When asked who the top two cornerbacks in the 2014 NFL Draft will be, virtually every draft expert will answer with Florida‘s Loucheiz Purifoy and Ohio State‘s Bradley Roby. Though they have different playing styles, the two juniors are both very talented players who have the ability to be elite in coverage at the next level. Though they both have off-the-field concerns, expect both to go in the first round.
While Roby is more of a zone-defending, ball-hawking type, Purifoy is a more physical player who specializes in man-to-man coverage. He’s already shown the ability to lock down virtually any receiver he goes up against as a collegiate player, but as he continues to develop, it is crucial that he learns to take better advantage of his size. Purifoy tends to be passive at times and backs off plays, and he must have better confidence in his physicality if he wants to play his best as a pro.
The biggest negative for Purifoy at the moment, though, may be the uncertainty surrounding his character. According to the Palm Beach Post, Purifoy was suspended for a failed drug test. Though this hasn’t been confirmed by team sources, it’s certainly got to be worrisome for talent evaluators, considering that the downward spirals of the collegiate careers of players like Janoris Jenkins and Tyrann Mathieu started with similar incidents. It will be interesting to see how Purifoy’s record looks come combine time, and whether any off-the-field issues end up negatively affecting his draft stock.
- Doesn’t let guys get past him and is a good tackler.
- Good special-teamer who is reliable on kickoff and punt coverage teams.
- Gets in good position all the time on run plays, though, he doesn’t make that many plays.
- Has the ability to return kicks.
- Doesn’t properly take advantage of his physical build.
- Has a tendency to get knocked out of the play by blocking receivers.
- Not as much of a ball-hawking playmaker as Roby.
- Suspended for Florida’s opener for an unspecified violation of team rules.
Purifoy was suspended for Week 1 and made his return last week in the Gators’ loss to Miami. Though he was held out of the starting lineup, he was able to make an impact with three tackles, including one for a loss. As an SEC competitor, Purifoy will be going up against elite competition for the rest of the season, so he will need to continue developing his craft as he navigates through his third collegiate season.
2014 Draft Projection: First round