I took Verrett No. 27 overall because the Saints could use some added depth at the cornerback position. Justin Gilbert, Darqueze Dennard and Bradley Roby were unavailable, so I felt that TCU’s corner was the next best option.
Champ Bailey is a favorable addition opposite Keenan Lewis, but the status of his health will be unpredictable and CB’s Corey White and Patrick Robison just don’t seem ready to take the next step. Affixing safety Jairus Byrd into the equation alongside Kenny Vaccarro was an exceptional modification to that defense and now, New Orleans is just about one athlete away from securing a near-flawless secondary.
Jason Verrett’s productive collegiate career and outstanding NFL combine performance helped lock himself in amongst the top-five cornerback prospects in the draft. The 2013 Big 12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year led the conference with 14 pass breakups. In 2012 alone, he accumulated 22 passes defended and six interceptions. His competitive nature will fit in well with Rob Ryan‘s aggressive-style defense in the Big Easy.
Verrett finished second among cornerbacks with a 4.38 40-yard dash time at the combine. At 5’9″, he may lack size, but his 39 inch vertical jump makes up for that; he tends to play bigger than he actually is. Verrett is explosive the second the ball is snapped and his quick feet and coverage ability allows him to cut in on routes and make the big play.
His proportions and athletic capabilities are fitting for a nickleback and even a No. 2, if Champ Bailey were to go down. The New Orleans Saints are in the process of building an army on defense and merging a player of Verrett’s caliber into the scenario would be ideal for the Black and Gold, especially after the departure of veteran Jabari Greer. The cornerback position is an area the Saints must address in the 2014 NFL Draft and taking Jason Verrett with the 27th overall pick should be the first step.