Georgia Tech cornerback Rod Sweeting has been someone the NFL has shown a ton of interest in. The Falcons, especially, have been one that have wanted to see what he could bring to their team. According to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Falcons interviewed Sweeting at the combine. Ledbetter quoted Sweeting about his experience in the interview:
“I met with the Falcons’ defensive back coach, Tim Lewis,” Sweeting said. “Basically, we just went over how defenses work and talked about what we ran at Tech. It was a pretty good meeting between me and him.”
While Sweeting is a very talented all-around cornerback, it would be shocking to see him selected before the fifth round. Follow along as I review his talents and how the Falcons would want to use him:
Georgia Institute of Technology
Height: 5'11-1/4" Weight: 189 pounds
Arm Length: 31-1/4" Hand Measurement: 9"
40-yard dash: 4.38 sec. 10-yard split: 1.54 sec.
3-cone Drill: 7.11 sec. Bench Reps: 11 reps
Vertical Jump: 37.0" Broad Jump: 10'4"
2012: 14 Games Played, 58 Tackles, 6.0 Tackles for Loss, 1.0 Sacks, 1 Interception, 7 Pass Deflections
2011: 13 Games Played, 56 Tackles, 3.0 Tackles for Loss, 3 Interceptions, 2 Fumbles Forced, 10 Pass Deflections, 1 Defensive Touchdown
2010: 13 Games Played, 38 Tackles, 1.0 Tackles for Loss, 1 Interception, 7 Pass Deflections
2009: 14 Games Played, 8 Tackles
Rod Sweeting has great athleticism and intelligence. He has great straight line speed and uses it to track down quite a few plays. He's got good ball skills and makes more plays on the ball than the stats show. He also has talent as an edge blitzer.
He's surprisingly effective in run defense when he is unblocked and is a solid wrap-up tackler, but still gets run over. He's definitely a jack of all trades, master of none type who has the potential to eventually be a quality starter in the NFL.
He gets turned around too quickly in coverage. He's a solid player when he can jump back into a zone and watch the play develop. But, in man coverage, he looks like a spinning top with his stiff hips. Ideally, he would play an outside role on the boundary side of the field. Overall, his biggest weaknesses are correctable by a good coaching staff.
The good news is that he has a ton of solid abilities. The bad news is that he's very unpolished as a football player despite a good amount of experience. His weaknesses are all correctable. Overall though, he's a rough lump of clay with a ton of special teams promise.
How does he fit the Comrade Filter?
While he has never been arrested or suspended, he has uttered "the S-bomb" on national television (h/t DeadSpin). This isn't really a big deal and won't penalize him no matter how strict the Comrade Filter has proven to be. He was a team captain in high school and known as a leader for the Yellow Jackets. Overall, he's just a hard working, football-loving player—the type that general manager Thomas Dimitroff loves.
How he would fit into the Falcons' plans
Rod Sweeting is a solid mid-round pick for the Falcons. He could be taken as early as the fourth and could last as late as the seventh round. He's someone who could come in and compete for playing time on special teams and in the defense. His long-term potential could be as a spot starter and nickel corner. But he will be a good fit for depth for any team who selects him, especially the Falcons.
All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus's Premium Stats, ESPN, CFBStats or the NFL. All contract information is courtesy Spotrac and Rotoworld. All recruiting rankings come from 247Sports.com.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He also runs the NFL Draft Website ScarDraft.com.