Biography Morris Claiborne Cornerback LSU #17 Junior
Physical Ability: Claiborne does display some physical ability when tackling players off of the blitz.
Durability: He may not be as physical as Dre Kirkparick. He is more durable though.
Size: Claiborne is 6 foot 185 pounds. He could bulk up to 190 though with the proper conditioning. Claiborne is not as big as Patrick Peterson in terms of size, but he displays better coverage ability than Peterson. Plus he is not that undersized. 5 foot 8 to 5 foot 11 is considered undersized.
Learning Rate: Learns new coverage schemes right away.
Football IQ: Very smart cornerback who studies his playbook extensively while watching a lot of film. You could say Claiborne is a gym rat on the defensive side of the football. Claiborne managed to fly under the radar last season when playing next to Patrick Peterson.
Awareness: Claiborne has great instincts for a shutdown field cornerback when it comes to covering flanker wide receivers who appear to be a quarterbacks primary receiving target.
Intangibles: Claiborne has a variety of intangibles that can make him a shutdown cornerback.
Man Coverage: Claiborne may display the best man coverage among any cornerback prospect in this draft. He took away half of the field in the LSU VS Alabama game last night with his coverage ability. He also displayed excellent man coverage taking away one of Newton’s favorite receivers in last years LSU VS Auburn game.
Claiborne showcased some top notch man coverage against Arkansas giving Ryan Mallett some trouble.
Zone Coverage: Claiborne also has good zone coverage for a cornerback. He can drop back and play zone coverage. Sometimes Claiborne will position himself to make the proper pick.
Press Coverage: Claiborne displayed some amazing press coverage off the snap keeping Arkansas receiver Jarius Wright in check. Wright is a speedy slot receiver who is starting to creep up draft boards. The fact that Claiborne kept him in check makes him an excellent press coverage corner.
Knows the Cover 0 Shell: Claiborne knows the cover 0 shell. The cover 0 shell allows you to blitz the quarterback. Claiborne used his blitzing ability in a game VS Auburn last season to limit Cam Newton’s scrambling ability.
Knows the Cover 1 Shell: Claiborne is a beast in man coverage. The cover 1 shell may be the best cover shell for Claiborne to use.
Knows the Cover 2 Shell: Claiborne can play in a cover 2 Tampa 2 system. He can mix up his coverage shells while your safeties play zone.
Knows the Cover 3 Shell: Claiborne would probably be more effective in a cover 1 or a cover 2 scheme. He is the best coverage corner in this draft though so he probably could play cover 3.
Knows the Cover 4 Shell: The cover 4 shell has everyone play zone. You watch the LSU VS Tennessee game earlier this year. Tennessee chucks it deep and Claiborne is playing zone under the cover 4 shell.
Knows the Cover 6 Shell: Claiborne can be used as a field cornerback playing zone coverage on an opponents primary receiver.
Can be Used as a Field Cornerback: Claiborne has been used as a field cornerback in 2011. He has done well containing opponents primary receivers.
Can be Used as a Boundary Cornerback: Claiborne can be used as a boundary cornerback if a team already has a field cornerback in place and wants to develop Claiborne for a year or 2.
Can be Used as a Nickel Cornerback: Claiborne is better at blitzing the quarterback than Dre Kirkpatrick. He can play a nickel cornerback role if necessary because he has the experience there when it comes to blitzing quarterbacks. He blitzed Cam Newton limiting his scrambling ability.
Bump and Run Cornerback: Like Kirkpatrick, Claiborne can be effective at stopping the run.
Doesn’t Miss Tackles: Claiborne rarely misses tackles.
Speed: Claiborne has the speed to be an outstanding cornerback at the next level.
Agility: Claiborne has the agility to display excellent footwork when dropping back into coverage with his feet and hip movement.
Hands: Claiborne has the hands to catch interceptions.
Can be Used as a Top Flight Cover Corner: Claiborne can be used as a cover cornerback in practically any coverage scheme at the next level.
Can be Used as a Top Flight Ballhawk Corner: Claiborne can be used as a ballhawk corner to record interceptions. Claiborne had 5 interceptions in 2010 before recording 6 interceptions and 1 for a defensive touchdown in 2011.
Patient: Claiborne is one of the most patient corners in the country waiting for the receiver to execute his route playing good coverage waiting for the play to develop.
High Character: Morris Claiborne has very high character. He has a relentless work ethic and makes excellent eye contact with media reporters in interviews.
Work Ethic: Claiborne has an excellent work ethic and I could see him having success in the NFL considering the fact that he played next to Patrick Peterson a top 5 pick at LSU.
Production: Claiborne brings top notch production to the gridiron every Saturday. After his performance in LSU’s 9 to 6 win against Alabama its clear he’s the top cornerback prospect in this draft. Just like USC will have the first offensive tackle taken in back to back years or Alabama having the first running back drafted its safe to assume that LSU will have the top cornerback drafted in back to back years.
Potential: Claiborne has the potential to develop into a pro bowl cornerback with his coverage ability. This is a very gifted corner.
Has Good Supporting Cast on the Secondary: Like Dre Kirkpatrick, Morris Claiborne has an excellent supporting cast on the secondary. This is the only remote flaw hat I see with Claiborne. Still, I feel like the LSU secondary starts with Morris Claiborne now that Patrick Peterson is gone.
Jumping: I would like to see Claiborne jump higher.
My thoughts on Morris Claiborne
Morris Claiborne is one of the most complete coverage cornerbacks. He could go in the same draft range as Patrick Peterson. It will be interesting to see how Claiborne’s draft stock holds up the rest of the season. Right now Claiborne is my top cornerback for the 2012 NFL Draft.
Claiborne is practically the complete cornerback prospect. The only knocks on him are his supporting cast at LSU and his concerns about how high he could jump. Claiborne could address those concerns with a monster vertical leap at the 2012 NFL Combine.