Antone Exum, CB, Virginia Tech (HT: 6’1”; WT: 224 lbs)
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- Huge frame for a defensive back; can match up with almost any receiver and not be physically overwhelmed.
- Versatile player at Virginia Tech, often lining up at safety or outside cornerback.
- Decent ball skills and route anticipation on deeper routes, including the ability to jump post routes.
- Highlight-reel hitter in space but can also form tackle. The ability to be a dependable tackler in the box could lead to a position change to linebacker.
- Will force fumbles and incompletions but doesn’t draw personal-foul penalties with big hits.
- Played his best in cover 2 and 3 defense, posting a burn percentage of 20 percent, but scheme put major pressure on corners, so this impressive accomplishment shouldn't be diminished.
- Intimidating presence in the secondary due to size and athletic ability.
- Projects as a potential impact safety prospect in a weak class, but he isn't limited to any one position. He's a good enough athlete, if healthy, to get on the field.
- Recovery from ACL tear and an ankle injury limited Exum to playing in two games in 2013, and his comeback from the ACL tear took much longer than anticipated.
- Has heavy feet that causes too much wasted movement for a cornerback in man coverage. A position switch might have to happen, even if it isn't a full-time switch.
- Often lines up well off of the receiver and will wait for the receiver to be parallel, then will backpedal, which is poor technique, and he doesn't have the athletic burst or acceleration to make up for the disadvantage he puts himself in.
- Will sometimes miss the easy tackles when he goes for the big hit. That's always an inherent risk for big hitters.
- Stiff hips for a cornerback that could be caused by a playing weight of 224 pounds. If he's set on staying at cornerback, he may need to lose around 10 pounds to gain the necessary quickness for the position.
- Didn't line up in coverage against tight ends, and if he switches to outside linebacker or safety, he will need to be physical and fast enough to run with the elite athletes in the NFL.
NFL Comparison: Antrel Rolle, Safety, New York Giants
- Graduated with a degree in finance and working on a second degree in marketing.
- Former 3-star recruit and No. 14 player in the state of Virginia.
- Twitter handle is @iamswag1.
Antone Exum is a risk for teams because of his injury history and lack of a defined position in the NFL. If he is fully recovered from the torn ACL he suffered at the end of the 2012 season, teams will love his size and versatility. A move to safety is possible, and he could likely succeed in a role like Seattle’s Kam Chancellor or Cleveland’s TJ Ward.
Draft Projection: Third round