As I have said before, I have been incredibly disappointed with the free safety class that is available in this current draft class. Most of the prospects boast their run stopping ability, but no one really epitomizes the rangy, ball hawking players that we want to pair with TJ McDonald. I will continue to demerit Haha Clinton Dix due to his hype coming out of Alabama that does not match his production or athleticism. Calvin Pryor is a great hitter, but will he make the plays in the pass game that continuously plagued our secondary last year?
I continue to stress how neither are worthy of being a top 15 pick. After players like Earl Thomas, Eric Berry and Patrick Peterson have seen such valuations, I cannot consider wasting a pick on a guy that high just to fill a need. Enter Jerome Couplin, All-American safety out of William and Mary. He is 6'2, 215 pounds yet had better measurables than both Haha and Calvin Pryor. He represents the growing trend in the NFL that I have been talking about, where the long limbed fluid athletes will continue to translate into the best playmakers. He ran a 4.5 in 32 degree,rainy conditions which was faster than Haha and Calvin Pryor who were inside at Lucas Oil. His broad jump was the best out of any safety prospect in the past ten years, showing how his explosion also matches these other intangibles. His size will allow him to give tight ends and other taller receivers fits, while he also displays the ranginess and footwork to make plays in the open field.
Couplin made a multifarious array of plays all over the field, forcing fumbles, de-cleating guys and having an inordinate amount of interceptions and break ups. While he played against FCS competition, he also stepped his game up when playing against teams like Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia. He was not invited to the combine, but has seen recent stock appraisal after his pro day. The Cardinals and Seahawks are currently looking at him as a defensive back. He is a player who I would much rather take on day 2 than any of the overhyped players available.