NFL Draft Prospects: Alabama

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /
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Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports /

#26 CB Marlon Humphrey (6’1 | 196 | 4.49) – The former five-star recruit has had an up-and-down career so far in two seasons with the Tide, but his potential is unmistakeable. Humphrey has the size and speed combination to be a shutdown NFL corner.

The red-shirt sophomore has graded out as a top-ten coverage corner the last two seasons according to Pro Football Focus, but inconsistent technique and concentration lapses have allowed too many big plays on an elite defense that doesn’t give up many of them.

Overall Humphrey has been good enough to keep his starting gig and has made way more positive plays than negative ones. He has the size to defend big receivers and enough speed to run with anyone. On athleticism alone, there isn’t a corner in the draft with as much upside.

His size and speed combo would be enough to get him drafted, but Humphrey has also shown good ball skills with five interceptions and 13 pass deflections in two seasons. He has the coverage ability to play man, zone, or press at the next level but his ability to read, react, and make plays on the ball would fit best in a zone scheme.

Humphrey uses his size well against the run as well, showing an aggressive demeanor and no fear of mixing it up in traffic. He’s had a number of big hits over the last two years and plays the run more like a safety than a cornerback.

His technique isn’t as advanced as the other corners with first round grades, but Humphrey has more potential than any of them to develop into a true lockdown corner at the next level. It may take a year or two for him to fine-tune his coverage technique but his upside is worth the wait.

Projection: First round pick