2010 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Joe Haden

Zack NallyCorrespondent IFebruary 18, 2010

GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 5:  Joe Haden #5 of the Florida Gators lines up during the game against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 5, 2009 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

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Joe Haden (Florida)

Height : 5-11 Weight : 190 40 Time : 4.42

Despite the standout productions of Patrick Robinson and Kyle Wilson, Haden emerges as the best corner to enter this year's draft. His physical athleticism is a rare collection of position skills rarely found in a man of such small stature.

Haden didn't receive his rightful amount of attention at Florida, surrounded by stars on both sides of the ball. His consistency was the cornerstone by which to measure the Gator defense for three years.

A true athlete, Haden arrived at Florida as a quarterback and was preparing to start at wide receiver when he opted to play corner when Percy Harvin emerged as the true star at wide out. The transition was seamless, as Haden made the All-SEC freshman team and continued on to All-American status in the coming years.

What makes Haden special is his man-coverage ability. His "island" talent comes at a good time when corners like Darrelle Revis and Charles Woodson are lighting up the headlines with their man-to-man dominance. 

Haden is a physical defender, jamming his man at the line and using years of excellent coaching to read the receiver's route and using electric closing speed to correct his mistakes. He was an effective blitzer at Florida, though it's doubtful Haden would be drafted in order to be used a nickel corner. 

His straight-line speed lacks nothing, as well. There are doubts that his natural instincts aren't completely developed, but he has the burst of speed and natural athleticism to make up for his misreads. 

As a tackler, Haden will one of the best in April. He is excellent in run support and isn't afraid to go after a runner double his size. For such a physical back, his soft hands come as a surprise. He has an uncanny ability to locate the ball midair, contort his body away from the receiver, and bring the ball in with one swift motion.

The former Gator could go very early in the draft, possibly the top ten, though it depends primarily on the amount of need that exists within the organizations that have top draft picks. 

With two picks early in the first round, look for the Seahawks to make a move for a versatile defender, one who can cover the sidelines and occasionally play safety. If Eric Berry is out, it's more than likely the 'Hawks will take this opportunity to grab Haden.