Jayron Hosley would have been a much more hotly discussed name at the cornerback position if his sophomore and junior seasons had been flip-flopped. As a sophomore, Hosley led the nation with nine interceptions and added eight more pass breakups.
2011 was not a bad season for Hosley, but injuries slowed his production, even though he showed great perseverance in playing through them for 13 games. He was eventually named a Second Team All-ACC selection at cornerback.
Being a product of Virginia Tech means that Hosley has had his fair share of exposure to defense and special teams, as evidenced by his 11.8 yard average as a punt returner. This means that Hosley could be a nice blend of Eddie Royal's punt-return ability and Darrelle Revis' coverage skills.
Obviously, Hosley is not at the same level as either player individually, but the combination of his skills makes for a very dynamic prospect.
In the eyes of CBS Sports draft scout Dane Brugler, Hosley:
Gets better as the game goes on, picking up on small details and learning on the fly -- gets smarter as game progresses. Has very quick reaction skills and does a nice job using his eyes to recognize what the offense wants to do.
However, his main weakness that must be addressed is:
[T]o become a better wrap tackler and not settle for simply throwing his body around -- missed too many open-field tackles.
This draft is deceptively deep at cornerback this year, and Hosley is a prime example of talent that could have been considered first-round worthy under different circumstances. In the right system, Hosley can grow into a very valuable all-around player in the NFL, and could do it immediately as a rookie.
Given the depth at cornerback in the 2012 NFL Draft, the New York Giants might've gotten themselves quite a steal at the back of the third round. Although the game film doesn't seem to match the physical tools—at least in his junior year—Hosley has nice speed and quickness, and demonstrated an impressive football IQ in college. The experts aren't sold on his tackling prowess, but I seem to remember a cornerback of note who didn't relish contact. If Hosely can improve in that area, the Super Bowl champs should be quite happy with the selection.