Scouting the Draft: Is Virginia CB Chase Minnifield a First-Round Talent?

Jonathan BalesAnalyst IFebruary 25, 2012

CLEMSON, SC - NOVEMBER 21:  Chase Minnifield #13 of the Virginia Cavaliers runs with the ball during the game against the Clemson Tigers at Memorial Stadium on November 21, 2009 in Clemson, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Today’s New York Times scouting report is up here, and it’s on Virginia cornerback Chase Minnifield.  From the post:

At 6-0, 185 pounds, Chase Minnifield (No. 13) is a tall, lean cornerback who will need to add some bulk at the next level.  He was asked to press a lot at Virginia, but he’s not very effective at it considering his body type.  With long arms, Minnifield could develop into a really solid press cover man if he adds strength and works on his technique.

Minnifield’s strengths are his technique in off coverage and his ball skills.  He doesn’t come out of his backpedal too early, allowing receivers to get to his hip before either turning and running or breaking on the football.  He does both of these very effectively, running vertically as well as any cornerback in this draft.  Minnifield has an exceptional ability to turn and locate the football on the run.

His ability to play so well in off coverage is enhanced by his speed and quickness.  Minnifield should run in the 4.4s, and while I don’t generally put much stock in 40-yard dash times, it is important for cornerbacks.  At that position, you need to have enough speed to recover on vertical routes.  Minnifield has it.

You can read the rest of the scouting report in the Times.

Overall, Minnifield has the skill set—speed, length and hips—to be a really good cornerback.  He’s not there yet, though, and I think he’s a second-round talent.  I won’t be overjoyed nor depressed if the Cowboys select him there this year.

Previous Scouting Reports

Michael Brockers, DT/DE, LSU

Devon Still, DT/DE, Penn State

Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama

David DeCastro, G, Stanford

Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina

Quinton Coples, DE, UNC

Janoris Jenkins, CB, Florida/North Alabama

Mark Barron, SS, Alabama

Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois

Cordy Glenn, G, Georgia