Khalid Wooten Scouting Report: NFL Outlook for Nevada CB
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Sixth Round: 202nd Pick
Former Nevada cornerback Khalid Wooten has been a very versatile player since his days in high school. During those years, he was a dual-threat player, as he served as the team's quarterback on offense and safety on defense.
He was recruited to Nevada as a defensive back prospect and wound up starting at cornerback during his junior and senior seasons.
He was a 2012 All-Mountain West second-team selection after solid performances as a cornerback and punt return specialist.
Currently, he is slated to be a potential late-round selection in the 2013 NFL draft.
Wooten has a good size and strength combination to serve as an outside cornerback at the next level. He is strong enough to challenge a larger receiver in coverage. He shows his toughness by constantly getting a hit on a receiver within five yards to knock him off a route.
He does have fluid-enough hips to allow him a nice transition out of his backpedal. His upper-body strength comes into play once again as a tackler, which allows him to wrap up and throw down ball-carriers.
Doubling as a punt returner, Wooten shows a natural ability to be elusive in space and has great vision when carrying the football.
Wooten does not possess elite straight-line speed and is susceptible to getting beat on deep routes by quicker receivers. He does show decent recovery speed but will only be able to catch a receiver with average speed.
He struggles reading the quarterback and anticipating the route of the wide receiver.
Because of this, he struggles to get his head turned around when the ball comes his way. This could create an issue drawing penalties at the next level.
Wooten has good size for an outside cornerback at the NFL level.
He stands at 5'11" and weighs 210 pounds. He carries more bulk than many cornerbacks and could be a candidate for a switch to safety at the next level.
His length helps him in coverage as well—his 32.75" arms allow him to get a great reach to contest jump balls. His 9" hands are very strong and help him secure the football as both a defensive back and as a return specialist.
Wooten does not have any known character issues. He served as a veteran of the Nevada secondary for two years and should come away with some leadership experience from his collegiate years.
He is best served in man coverage, Wooten has a natural ability to trail a receiver and use his length to reach in and break up a pass at the last moment.
He allows himself to stay with quicker receivers by bumping them near the line of scrimmage and throwing off the timing of the route.
Playing the Ball
Wooten was Nevada's active interceptions leader while playing with the Wolf Pack with 10 total interceptions. He only started two seasons but was still able to come away with two picks in each of his first two years as well.
Aside from interceptions, Wooten does a fantastic job of staying in tight enough coverage to knock a ball away and cause an incomplete pass.
Against the Run
Even though Wooten does not play press coverage on a consistent basis, he is a strong enough tackler to be effective against the run.
His upper-body strength is above average, and he displays good technique when tackling. He does not shy away from contact and would be a benefit to a defense in run support.
This is where Wooten excels.
He is able to trail receivers nicely and stay close to make plays on the ball. He is a solid tackler who does not allow many yards after the catch and will wrap up a ball-carrier quickly.
He also displays good hip fluidity, which allows him to transition out of his backpedal nicely to stay with a receiver on the outside.
This is the area in which Wooten will need the most development. Because of his inconsistency reading the quarterback and anticipating the routes of wide receivers, Wooten could be lost in zone coverage at times.
He does not adjust well and sometimes stops his legs from moving when attempting to adjust to a route. This allows the receiver to break away and find an opening in the defense.
With good technique and strong upper-body strength, Wooten is an above-average tackler. He has the ability to wrap up and bring down larger ball-carriers and is a contributor in run support.
The main thing that Wooten must work on to become a complete player is his inability to adjust to a change in direction by a wide receiver. He needs to be able to keep his lower body moving while turning his head to adjust to a route or a ball in the air.
He will not be as effective as a cornerback until he can shore up these aspects of his game.
Future Role/Scheme Versatility
Wooten should be able to catch on with an NFL team this year. He most likely will not find playing time as a cornerback immediately.
However, his ability to return punts will allow him to find a role in special teams as either a return specialist or a gunner.
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