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Donovan Warren (Michigan)
Height : 6' Weight : 185 40 Time : 4.42
Warren is another vastly underrated corner coming into this year's draft. Despite Rich Rodriguez' ill coaching, Warren is exiting his career at Michigan with excellent numbers and even better intangibles.
The former Wolverine ended his junior season with 66 tackles, 11 broken passes and four interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. Those are impressive numbers for any defensive back but it's Warren's natural athleticism that makes him so attractive for the NFL.
Although he didn't get much experience in press man coverage situations, Warren has excellent man-to-man skills. He is comfortable working from an island, typically eliminating an entire side of the field for the opposing quarterback.
He mirrors his man with inconsistent fluidity, rotating his hips and planting his foot with ease at times and jerky other times. His footwork is impressive, though at times, he bites on the stop-and-go route and will find himself in front of the receiver.
He uses his high football IQ to find the primary receiver and read the quarterback's eyes to cut off the inside route. He stays a little too high on his backpedal which allows the receiver to eat up the zone but uses a quick burst of speed to knock unsuspecting balls off their route.
What makes Warren stand out at times is his short memory. He has a tendency to give up big plays but he doesn't allow it to affect his play on the next snap.
As a tackler, Warren uses his upper body strength and his long, wiry limbs to wrap up the runner. He also uses his speed to cut off the outside run and force the rusher to the inside. He has the discipline to stay home on misdirection plays but struggles to get low on the runner, missing big tackles when it matters.
As a defensive back, Warren has the versatility to play a cover corner position and a free safety at the next level. His straight-line speed is a bit more attractive deep in the backfield but his instincts at the line also make him effective at the line and at run support.
Warren is a football player. He loves the game and gives it his all on every snap. He comes from a football family and plays the part of a team player. Any organization will be lucky to have a player of his caliber. He is excellent in the locker room and acted as a leader in backfield at Michigan, directing other defenders to their positions and recognizing changes at the line.
Look for a team like Minnesota to use their late first round pick to grab Warren. It would be considered a risk as there are multiple questions concerning the natural athleticism of the former Michigan star, but, in time, he can be effective at the next level.
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