Dallas Cowboys 2012 Draft: South Carolina CB Stephon Gilmore Could Help Big D

Jonathan Bales@thecowboystimesAnalyst IMarch 12, 2012

COLUMBIA, SC - NOVEMBER 14:  Brandon James #25 of the Florida Gators runs with the ball away from Stephon Gilmore #5 of the South Carolina Gamecocks during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 14, 2009 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

I am finishing my 2012 cornerback rankings, and there will be a few surprises. One is the feature of today’s post—South Carolina’s Stephon Gilmore—who I currently have rated ahead of Janoris Jenkins.

I have three cornerbacks ahead of both of them (Morris Claiborne and Dre Kirkpatrick being the obvious ones), so check back later to see the third mystery player.

My scouting report on Stephon Gilmore is posted today at the New York Times. You’ll have to go there for the full analysis, but here is a clip:

At 6-1, Stephon Gilmore has elite length for the cornerback position.  He uses it to his advantage at the line, extending to re-route receivers in his press.  Gilmore could add some bulk at 195 pounds, but he already possesses good strength.  Because of his size, Gilmore thrives when in a press position, whether or not he actually jams the receiver.  He has excellent lateral quickness, particularly for his size, mirroring receivers with ease.

Gilmore was asked to play all sorts of coverages at South Carolina, including off the line in both man and zone concepts.  He struggles in this position, staying in his backpedal too long (such as at the 1:27 mark in the video below).

I think Gilmore would be a great fit in Dallas. Despite a lot of reports out there, I believe Gilmore will thrive in a man scheme. He displays poor awareness and play-making ability in off-coverage (particularly zone), but he can press with the best of them.

I really think he has a chance to be the third cornerback off the board, and there’s a chance he jumps into the first round. If Gilmore drops to the Cowboys in the second, he will be awfully enticing (even if the team signs a veteran cornerback in free agency).


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

Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia

Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis

Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia