Top 3 Cornerback Draft Prospects – Marshon Lattimore

Continuing on with the top 3 CB series is my third ranked corner. Largely considered to be the top corner in the draft, Marshon is ranked the top corner by NFL.com and CBS Sports. Specifically, the chart below show how he measured out.

 SI Walter NFL CBS B/R Ourlads FOX PFF AVG
Marshon Lattimore
2
3
1
1
4
NA
5
NA
2.67

About Marshon

Born in Cleveland Ohio, the 6-0 192 lb sophomore cornerback played in 13 games in 2016 and amassed 30 tackles, 9 passes broken up, 4 interceptions, and a touchdown. Having only played 6 games in his freshman year due to hamstring issues, Lattimore has only 19 total games under his belt. Eventually, the hamstring issues became such a problem, Marshon made the decision to get surgery. The decision proved to be a wise one which led to him being able to play every game of his sophomore year where he was awarded first-team All-Big 10.

Coverage

Marshon Lattimore is an incredible athlete with extremely fluid hips and an uncanny ability to run stride for stride with the receiver. Watch in the clip below Lattimore’s ability to flip his hips and blanket the receiver, all the while watching the quarterback. When the quarterback releases the ball, Lattimore is in a better position than the receiver and is able to close on the ball.

 ohio state marshon lattimore

In the play above, Lattimore’s play is perfect and I can’t for the life of me figure out why the quarterback thought it was a good idea to throw at him. In a play earlier in the game, however, the receiver actually gets a few steps on Marshon and would be considered open in the NFL. A well placed ball would more often than not go for a big gain. Notice also how Marshon seems to not only be a step behind but is losing his footing.

 ohio state marshon lattimore

After the ball is released, Lattimore is able to regain his footing and hit a second gear that the quarterback was not counting on. Marshon closes with lightning speed and is able to get out in front of the receiver and get the interception. In both videos one thing to notice is the speed of Lattimore before and after the ball is thrown. In both cases if you watch up until the ball is thrown, it seems as the receiver might be able to pull away. The second Marshon sees the ball in the air it’s as though he is shot from a cannon and blows past the receiver. Speed is certainly an asset with the Marsh-man.
Lattimore also does a fantastic job with the ball in the air. In the video below, Lattimore once again plays skin tight coverage.

 marshon lattimore

Despite not having his eyes on the quarterback, Marshon’s instincts are on display as he gets his head around at the right time, locates the ball, and is able to swat it out of the air.

Physicality

If there is something that may help separate Marshon from this deep crop of great cover backs it’s his physicality. If Marshon were to add a few pounds of muscle, he might have a shot at playing linebacker. Not only is he willing to lower his shoulders and bang with the big boys, his ability to shed tackles and make plays in the open field far exceeds what you would expect from a corner. If you’re interested in seeing his mean streak on display, look no further than his game against the Wisconsin Badgers. In the play below, Lattimore is in man coverage and runs across the field to cover the jet sweep to number 11.

 

After catching up with him about 7 yards down the field, Marshon elects to throw his entire body into the receiver and launch him out of bounds, rather than simply push him out.
Below, Lattimore at the top quickly recognizes the play as a run. He is able to shed the block and instantly attack the RB, taking his legs out from under him for only a short gain.

 

 

Cons

Trouble with big receivers

Although I can’t say I agree with it entirely, I have read some critiques that Lattimore struggles with the physicality of bigger receivers and will at times resort to holding to keep from being man-handled. I’ll say off the bat that I would happily line him up 1 on 1 with a big receiver, however, I’d be lying if I said I’ve never seen what they are talking about. Never was there a more blatant example than against 6-2, 215 lb Michigan WR Amara Darboh.

 

Right away Darboh puts his hands in the chest of Lattimore and from the looks of it, Marshon grabs a hold of him to simply stay on his feet. As Darboh then moves to the inside and tries to run past him, Lattimore continues to grab and hold the shoulder pads, ultimately tackling him to the ground. I don’t have a clue how the referees could have possibly missed that call but it is definitely something Lattimore will need to work on to make it against the monsters in the NFL.

Inexperience

As stated earlier, Lattimore missed a lot of time with hamstring issues. He only has one full season under his belt which would make him a “raw” prospect. With the depth of talent at the corner position as well as his injury history, teams may elect to pass on him in favor of lower risk players at the corner position or otherwise.

 

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