The Atlanta Falcons don’t really need another cornerback to be added to their arsenal. However, Atlanta has shown interest in Jason Verrett this offseason. If he’s going to be taken by the Falcons, they will have to move one of their top corners to safety.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Verrett was in Atlanta on April 11 working out for the team. The Texas Christian cornerback is a unique fit for Atlanta, because he likely won’t be available as their second-round pick, and he doesn’t really fit their needs.
Texas Christian University
Combine/Pro Day Measurements
Height: 5'9 1/2" Weight: 189 pounds
Arm Length: 30 5/8" Hand Measurement: 9 1/4"
40 yard dash: 4.38 sec. 10 yard split: 1.47 sec.
20 yard shuttle: 4.00 sec. 3-cone Drill: 6.67 sec.
Vertical Jump: 39.0" Broad Jump: 10'8"
2013: 11 Games Played, 39 Tackles, 3.5 Tackles for Loss, 1.0 Sack, 1 QB Hurry, 2 Interceptions, 1 Fumble Forced, 14 Pass Deflections
2012: 13 Games Played, 63 Tackles, 5.0 Tackles for Loss, 6 Interceptions, 16 Pass Deflections, 1 Blocked Kick
2011: 13 Games Played, 58 Tackles, 1.5 Tackles for Loss, 1 Interception, 4 Pass Deflections
2010: Played at Junior College
Verrett is a great playmaker on the ball. He understands when to break in the same ways that Asante Samuel did throughout his career. It shows in his stats, as he has a ton of interceptions and pass breakups. He did that because he’s versatile in both zone and man concepts.
He also doesn’t have any false steps in his footwork and uses his body well to defend routes. He’s a good run defender when he does disengage from blocks and is more than solid as a tackler. He has versatility, as he can play either slot corner or outside corner effectively.
Sometimes, Verrett gets way too cocky and tries to go after every pass. It leads to him getting burned quite often and getting penalized too frequently. His lack of size and strength hurts him quite a bit on shorter routes, but it really kills him on deep routes where he has to defend a fade pass.
He is awful at shedding blocks against the run and needs to learn how to use his hands better in that aspect. If he can figure out how to use his hands more effectively to shed, he’ll be a much better run defender. Outside of all this, his projection to the NFL might be just as a nickel defender in most schemes.
How does he fit the Comrade Filter?
Verrett was never arrested nor was he suspended. He did graduate already, and that is something Atlanta tends to love. Verrett was a captain for the Horned Frogs for a couple of games each season.
Verrett is a very talented cornerback and will be a starting-caliber player for a team in 2014. However, he will have to really improve on his run stuffing technique if he wants to play more than just a nickel back as a rookie.
On top of that, the former Horned Frog needs to make sure he doesn’t gamble too much to where he’s drawing penalties all the time. He’s a great talent at cornerback and could end up as a starter really early with an impact similar to what Desmond Trufant had in 2013.
How he would fit into the Falcons' plans
It doesn’t really make much sense for the Falcons to take Verrett because he would have to be selected with either their second-round pick or after a trade into the first. However, Verrett has a unique skill set that could allow him to play nickel and allow Atlanta to move Robert McClain to free safety.
Verrett could also end up playing left cornerback allowing Robert Alford to slide inside to the nickel position and give the Falcons three ridiculously talented cornerbacks on their roster. If McClain can transition to free safety, Atlanta could have a dominant secondary.
All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus' Premium Stats (subscription required), ESPN, CFBStats or the NFL. All combine and pro day info is courtesy NFL Draft Scout. All contract information is courtesy of Spotrac and Rotoworld.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, College Football, NFL and the NFL draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.