M.J. Stewart NFL Draft 2018: Scouting Report for Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Pick

Matt Miller@nfldraftscoutNFL Draft Lead WriterApril 28, 2018

North Carolina cornerback M.J. Stewart (6) defnds against Pittsburgh wide receiver Jester Weah (85) during an NCAA college football game, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

POSITIVES

—One of the best press cornerbacks in the class and bangs with his punch at the line.

—Short but stocky and thick with the strength to redirect receivers.

—Physical at the line of scrimmage and also excels as a tackler in the open field.

—Plays with the awareness and instincts to be assignment versatile; can handle both zone and man duties.

—Some scouts have suggested he'll move to safety in the NFL. Teams love his versatility.

               

NEGATIVES

—Lacks ideal height (5'10⅞") to play outside cornerback and doesn't have the speed to run well in the slot (4.54-second 40-yard dash).

—Short-area burst is average; not a twitchy guy and struggles some with hip tightness in transitions.

—Will struggle to run with top receivers.

—Doesn't have the height or vertical (35 inches) to compete with taller receivers.

                            

OVERALL

If you want a physical, tough cornerback and are OK with a lack of height and average speed, M.J. Stewart has the goods to come in and be an early starter in sub-packages. He might never project as an outside corner, but he has a ton of upside in the slot.

                    

GRADE: 6.50 (Round 2-3)

PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Logan Ryan, Tennessee Titans

Related

    RB Ronald Jones Eager to Prove Himself as Rookie

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers logo
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    RB Ronald Jones Eager to Prove Himself as Rookie

    Tampabay
    via Tampabay

    Report: Gronk Won't Hold Out for New Deal

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Report: Gronk Won't Hold Out for New Deal

    NFLTradeRumors.co
    via NFLTradeRumors.co

    Godwin's Striving to Follow Julio Jones' Footsteps

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers logo
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Godwin's Striving to Follow Julio Jones' Footsteps

    Bonnie Mott
    via Bucs Wire

    D-Jack Has a Message for Any Saying He's 'Washed Up, Too Old'

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers logo
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    D-Jack Has a Message for Any Saying He's 'Washed Up, Too Old'

    Bonnie Mott
    via Bucs Wire