In this year's draft, three cornerbacks may hear their names called during the top half of the first round. Vernon Hargreaves hopes that by the time we hit late April, his name will have risen to the top of that list.
At 5-11, 192 pounds, he may be the most explosive member of the trio that includes Florida State's Jalen Ramsey and Clemson's Mackensie Alexander. Hargreaves, a starter in each of his three years at Florida, intercepted 10 passes and broke up 17 more during his collegiate career. As a junior, he finished with career lows in defended passes (4) and tackles (33), a testament to the infrequency with which opposing teams threw in his direction. Still, he picked off a career-high four passes in 2015.
Hargreaves' greatest strengths are his ball skills and his quick-twitch athleticism, both of which make him a dangerous player around the ball. In each of his three seasons with the Gators, he finished top-8 in the SEC in interceptions, ranking fourth in the conference in that category in 2015 en route to Consensus All-American honors. Depending on how teams evaluate his performance at the NFL Scouting Combine, the 20-year-old could be selected in the top-10 of this year's draft. With the Eagles now holding the eighth-overall selection, there's a good chance Hargreaves could be in play to be the Eagles selection.
Scouting Report From NFL.com
Premier, quick twitch athlete with explosion pulsing through his hips and feet. Instant click-and-close action to explode forward and attack the throw. Vertical springs to go up and over receivers at the high point. Smooth, controlled backpedal with ability to weave and mirror route progressions. Plays with outstanding body control and balance. Feet are electric. Can overwhelm lesser opponents across from him. Instinctive and urgent in his play. Excels from press, off or zone coverage. Fiery competitor with a strong desire to own the pass. Has quick, soft hands. Posted 38 passes defensed and 10 interceptions over last three years. Could see early kick or punt return action. Unwilling to stay blocked and doesn't hesitate for one moment in run support and against wide receiver screens. Chest-up tackler who runs through his target.
What He Said
"My ball skills, they're natural. I've always had them. There's nothing I've really done. When the ball's in the air I have to go get it and that's my mindset. I don't really care who I'm covering. The balls in the air, it's 50-50." - Hargreaves on playing the ball in the air