Kendall James NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Vikings CB

Ian WhartonContributor IApril 17, 2014

Maine defensive back Kendall James (5) breaks up a pass intended for New Hampshire wide receiver R.J. Harris (15) during the first half of an NCAA football playoff game, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, in Orono, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Robert F. Bukaty

Kendall James, CB, Maine (HT: 5’10 1/2”; WT: 180 lbs)

Minnesota Vikings

Sixth Round: 184th Pick 

Combine Weigh-In
5'10"180 lbs29½"8"
Combine Results
40-yard dash10-yard splitVertBroad3-ConeShuttle



  • Great speed and quickness allow him to run with any receiver and route, unlike some cornerbacks who are linear athletes, only being able to post an impressive 40-yard dash time due to straight-line speed. James also has great lateral agility that will help him play either outside cornerback or slot corner, which requires short area speed over distance speed.
  • Played his best in off-man coverage. He can close quickly on underneath routes or turn his hips and run with receivers on deep routes.
  • Keeps his head up and eyes on the quarterback throughout the play. He can play in zone coverage and find the ball quickly, giving the defense a chance for a turnover.
  • Adds good value as a special teamer, where he starred for Maine. He gives great effort on every snap and can tackle elusive returners.
  • Aggressive when jumping routes but doesn’t do so recklessly. He reads the offense effectively and notices subtle hints by the quarterback and receiver.
  • Sticks his nose in every running play, which is important for a potential slot cornerback. He looks comfortable roaming around the line of scrimmage. It takes a tough mindset to play slot, and James isn’t lacking a tough mindset.
  • Great productivity while at Maine, showing he isn’t just a track athlete.
  • Great leaping helps overcome lack of height when in traffic.
  • Has the speed and agility to be a potential kick returner, although he doesn’t have much experience there now.


  • Size is a major concern and not just because of his below-average height. His arm length is very short and limits the radius he can impact.
  • His frame likely cannot handle much more muscle, so his ability to take on big receivers, ball carriers and even quarterbacks could greatly impact his durability and effectiveness.
  • Lack of length and strength limits ability to press in Cover 2 and man coverages. He will need to master his technique, awareness and instincts to overcome all of his physical limitations.
  • Very small hands make catching and finishing interceptions difficult, and he dropped multiple picks in college.
  • Upside is very limited due to size.
Collegiate Statistics

Personal Notes

  • First-Team All-CAA in 2013 and 2011.
  • Third-Team All-CAA in 2012.
  • 2014 NFL Combine participant.
  • Graduating in 2014 with a degree in business administration.
  • Twitter handle is @K__James.

Ratings Chart 

Graph made by

James has great speed, quickness and ability to stick with receivers on all routes. His biggest issue right now is his small frame and lack of length. He competes hard every play and should be a rotational or slot cornerback throughout his career.

If he had ideal size and frame, he’d be a Day 2-type player, but the NFL is getting bigger, not smaller.


Draft Projection: Late Day 3