B.J. Lowery, CB, Iowa (HT: 5’11”; WT: 193 lbs)
- Good size and frame, with his height and weight aligning with NFL averages for starting cornerbacks.
- Gained valuable experience by lining up as a boundary and slot cornerback throughout his career at Iowa. That versatility will serve him well in the NFL, as he could even slide to safety occasionally.
- Flashes the ability to be an above-average press cornerback, as he uses a strong initial punch to disrupt the receiver from his route. Press-man is all about altering the timing of the offense, and winning at the snap is the most important skill.
- Has great ball skills when playing Cover 3, where his role is very defined and he can keep his eyes on the QB the entire play. His best fit in the NFL may very well be as a Cover 3 cornerback.
- Has very good timing when defending passes, often batting the ball down right at the highest point. Even when he mistimes his leaps, he’s still capable of an incredible play like this.
- Excels at defending deep routes with his strength and ability to stay in front of the receiver. His body control keeps him in a position to play the ball and contest the pass.
- Solid tackler in space, boasting a tackling efficiency of 83 percent throughout 2013, from what I charted.
- Really struggles when playing off-man coverage due to his lack of quickness. He ends up giving a lot of extra cushion, and receivers destroy him on comeback and curl routes.
- Change-of-direction ability is limited from his stiff hips, so there are times when he cannot recover from losing in press coverage. Stiff hips lead to rounding off routes, and when receivers can cut cleaner than the cornerback, the receiver is able to make an easy reception.
- His ability to mirror receivers is inconsistent, as he will too often bite on head fakes and false steps at the beginning of the route.
- Distance speed is very average, so he will need safety help if he’s in man coverage or else be in zone for most of his snaps.
- Play recognition is poor at this time. He focuses on his receiver too much, leading to his gap being uncontained. Time spent in the film room and more exposure can help improve this.
- First-Team Big Ten cornerback in 2013
- Former 3-star recruit from Cincinnati, Ohio
- Leisure Studies major, graduating this spring
B.J. Lowery flashes the ability to be a solid NFL player, but he needs a lot of technique work to overcome his physical traits. He has potential to be a decent NFL cornerback, but it might take a few seasons to get there. With the depth of this cornerback class, he might not get drafted until late on Day 3.
Draft Projection: Day 3