2010 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Devin McCourty

Zack NallyCorrespondent IFebruary 18, 2010

TORONTO - JANUARY 5:  Devin McCourty #21 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights tackles Dante Love #86 of the Ball State Cardinals during the International Bowl at the Rogers Centre on January 5, 2008 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
Dave Sandford/Getty Images

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Devin McCourty (Rutgers)

Height: 5'11" Weight" 187 40 Time: 4.47

McCourty isn't the flashiest corner coming into the draft, but his under-the-radar status will be enough for him to be a blessing in disguise for any organization. 

The Rutgers senior has an array of skill sets that will impress more than a few scouts come April. He doesn't fall into any single category of classifications that most corners find themselves in. He is physical at the line and athletic enough to keep up with even the speediest wideouts.

Like his twin brother Jason, Devin is bound for the NFL, though he will most likely grace the boards before the sixth round. This year's class of cornerbacks isn't especially strong, but McCourty's special teams skills will be enough to set him apart from the rest. 

He excels at reading the receiver at the line, maintaining space after the first five yards, and possessing the acceleration burst to close in on the ball once it's in the air. He has the discipline to stay home when he works the zone, providing excellent run support even when the play is on the other side of the field.

His man coverage skills are a give and take affair. His hip movement has elite fluidity, but his size sometimes prohibits him from staying effective when a larger receiver shields him away from the ball. 

In zone, McCourty truly shines. He keeps a quick eye on the receiver crossing in the short field and has a nasty backpedal to keep an eye on the route behind him. He makes up for his size by using his hands to break up the play and his natural athleticism to come off the ball and cut off the route. 

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If the ball comes anywhere near McCourty, consider it caught. He has some of the softest hands in his class and snags balls from mid-air with elegant ease. He may also be the most effective tackler among the top 10 corners entering the draft.

His willingness to apply run support often comes as a surprise to offensive coordinators, but his quick misreads also come as a vulnerability to play action. He is also a nightmare special teams player. He blocked seven kicks at Rutgers and returned more than a ball or two.

He is a true leader on and off the field. He was vaulted into a position of leadership when two fellow Scarlet Knights made off for the NFL his senior year. He is a veteran who loves to play the game and is willing to learn until his craft is perfected. 

Look for a team like the Atlanta Falcons to look closely at McCourty. Even without Brent Grimes possibly departing through free agency, the Falcons have holes in their backfield. The defense will most likely be the side of the ball addressed most in the offseason, and a first or second round acquisition of McCourty would provide Atlanta with the young backfield talent they need.