The 6 Biggest Strengths and Weaknesses of Juron Criner's Game

James Christensen@@nepatriotsdraftContributor IApril 19, 2012

The 6 Biggest Strengths and Weaknesses of Juron Criner's Game

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    Juron Criner started off as a first or second-round pick on many boards when the initial 2012 NFL Draft rankings came out last May.

    However, after a disappointing senior season, I have him ranked as the 17th best receiver and a probable third or fourth round pick in the loaded 2012 receiver class.

    Read on for Criner's six biggest strengths and weaknesses.

Strength: Size

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    Criner measured in at over 6'2" and 224 pounds at the NFL Combine. That sort of size will catch the attention of a lot of NFL teams.

    Criner will certainly be a threat in the red zone, even if he can't break into the starting lineup as a rookie.

Strength: Route-Running

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    Criner doesn't always get a lot of love for his route-running, but I think he deserves more credit. When he is able to get a clean release, which I'll touch on later, Criner exhibits the ability to create separation down the field.

    He doesn't lose speed coming out of his breaks and stays very balanced. Criner rarely tips his hand as to where he is headed.

Strength: Body Control

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    I've already mentioned Criner's red zone ability, but his body control just reinforces that fact. He positions himself very well and tracks the ball well along the sideline. 

    Criner is going to win a lot of one-on-one battles, including in the blocking game.

Weakness: Speed

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    A forty-yard dash time in the 4.6's isn't going to impress many NFL teams, even if Criner plays faster than that on tape.

    He's more quick than fast, but he is going to have to rely on his leaping and body control at the next level, as he won't be winning footraces against NFL cornerbacks.

Weakness: Press Coverage

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    If there is one thing that Criner must improve on in order to be successful in the NFL, it is his technique against press coverage.

    He doesn't use his quickness and fails to accelerate off the line, allowing corners to re-route him. Criner has some strength, but doesn't seem to know how to use it at the line against the press.

Weakness: Mystery

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    Criner was hospitalized for neurological testing before the 2011 slate of Arizona's games, in a mysterious scare that some though might jeopardize his entire season. I have been unable to get a confirmed reason for what was going on in Criner's life, although there has been rampant speculation.

    I'm sure scouts will get to the bottom of the incident and any team taking Criner will have made themselves comfortable with what was going on.