Josh Norman: 6 Biggest Strengths and Weaknesses of NFL Draft Prospect's Game

Sean MerrimanCorrespondent IApril 17, 2012

Josh Norman: 6 Biggest Strengths and Weaknesses of NFL Draft Prospect's Game

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    When it comes to small-school prospects in this year's NFL draft, there aren't many better than Coastal Carolina cornerback Josh Norman.

    This talented under-the-radar prospect has superior athleticism and caught NFL scouts' eyes throughout the All-Star games and combine testing with several highlight-reel plays.

    While Norman's skill set should land him a spot in the middle rounds of the draft, he still has plenty to work on in his game.

    Let's go ahead and break down six strengths and weaknesses of Josh Norman's game.

    Bleacher Report style!

STRENGTH: Great Size

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    There are plenty of good cornerbacks in the NFL who are considered "undersized" for their position.

    But having good size certainly helps cornerbacks, especially when going up against guys like Calvin Johnson, Vincent Jackson, Marques Colston and Larry Fitzgerald.

    Norman stands at 6'0", 197 pounds and uses his size well to match up against big, athletic wide receivers.

    Norman's size and playmaking ability is a good start to being successful at the pro level.

WEAKNESS: Does Not Have Blazing Speed

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    Cornerbacks are supposed to be the fastest defensive players on the field, but in Norman's case, he does not have blazing speed.

    Ideally, NFL scouts would like to see cornerbacks run between 4.4 and 4.6 40-yard dash times. Norman was timed at 4.66 in the 40-yard dash at the combine, which isn't remarkably slow, but it certainly isn't fast for his position.

    As far as skill set alone, Norman might be the fifth-best cornerback prospect in this year's draft, but a guy like South Florida's Josh Robinson will probably be selected above Norman because he possess that 4.3 blazing speed.

    Of course, speed isn't everything, but it certainly is important.

STRENGTH: Playmaker

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    Josh Norman might not be the fastest cornerback prospect in this year's draft class, but he is certainly one of the top playmakers.

    Norman shined at this year's East-West Shrine Game and throughout the week of practice leading up to the game. He received praise from the media throughout the week, which, in return, made a bit of a name for himself heading into the Senior Bowl.

    Norman has extremely flexible hips, which allows him to turn well and make so many acrobatic plays on the ball. He also has soft hands, which helped contribute to his 13 career interceptions, eight of which came in his breakout sophomore season.

    Make no mistake about it, this guy has the playmaking ability to make a major impact at the NFL level.

WEAKNESS: A Little Bit Cocky

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    There's nothing wrong with a player having a little swagger to his game. But in Josh Norman's case, he might have a little too much.

    The word on Norman is that he is slightly cocky and let's everyone around him know it. Of course, he can get away with that playing at a small school like Coastal Carolina, but that's a whole different game once he enters the NFL and has to match up against the Calvin Johnsons of the world.

    Several people have also questioned his aptitude because he is so overly cocky at times.

    This is a small weakness that can be fixed very easily.

STRENGTH: Well Balanced

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    When making the transition from college football to the NFL, it is important that a prospect at the cornerback position have good balance in his ability to play both man-to-man coverage as well as zone coverage.

    In Josh Norman's case, he excels at both, which gives him a leg up on his competition.

    This small-school prospect has a great understanding of when to take risks and when to play back in coverage. When he does come up to make a play on the ball, he is a fairly reliable tackler, despite his poor body control at times.

    With his ability to play multiple coverages and his athletic style of play, Norman should have a good shot at being a starter in the NFL sometime down the road.

WEAKNESS: Lack of Competition

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    Any time a small school prospect attempts to make it in the NFL, there is always that fear of the lack of competition that given player has gone up against.

    In Josh Norman's case, his Coastal Carolina team certainly wasn't going up against the Alabamas and LSUs of the college football world on a weekly basis.

    Because of his lack of competition, there will likely be an adaptation period in his rookie season, which means that he will have to contribute on special teams before he has a chance to start in the defensive backfield.

    Those 13 career interceptions didn't come against the quality of quarterbacks he will see at the NFL level. But nonetheless, chances are he will adapt to the big leagues and be ready to make an impact after some slight adjustments to the NFL game.

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