Long spent two seasons in Michigan totaling only 37 tackles, two tackles-for-loss, 0.5 sacks, three interceptions, and 12 pass deflections. He obviously didn’t have a ton of stats to show for his time in Michigan, but it’s actually a positive. College quarterbacks generally avoided Long, and when they targeted him, the result was hardly ever positive.
Let’s take a look at the write-up:
Long does a beautiful job pressing receivers at the line of scrimmage. Physical but not overly-physical. Does a good job extending his arm and shortening his side of the field by riding receivers towards the sidelines. Great football intelligence. Sticky in coverage, good at staying on a receivers hip. Does a good job turning his head and playing/locating the ball. If his initial punch at the LOS misses, he can allow immediate separation on in-breaking routes. Pretty good tackler. Incredible lateral agility allows him to recover quickly if his assignment creates separation.
On this play here, Long’s assignment motions into a bunch allowing him a clean and easy release off the line of scrimmage. By getting picked, Long allows immediate separation but uses his speed and lateral agility to recover and close the gap. Long also manages to make a play on the ball and jar it loose:
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Getting to watch Long pre-draft, I was a major fan of his game. On my Rams-centric big board which I released a few weeks ago, Long came in as my CB3 and 15th-overall player. His lateral agility (fastest 3-cone and short shuttle times at the combine of every single player who attended), his explosion (87th-percentile vertical jump), his deep speed, and his technicality at the cornerback position made me a major fan of his game. Not only that, but as a young player, Long has the potential to continue to improve as a player. Luckily for him, the Rams have a solid trio of starting cornerbacks in Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters, and Nickell Robey-Coleman. Both Talib and Peters only have one-year remaining on their contracts, so Long could see a starting role in 2020. Until then, Long should be used as a dime cornerback who gets a ton of playing time in the preseason and on special teams.
Here is Long’s athletic profile via MockDraftable:
Next up on the docket is third-round pick Oklahoma Sooners LT Bobby Evans.