In our continuing series of draft profiles, we look at a player that many have going to the Buccaneers. We look at Vernon Hargreaves.
The NFL draft commences one month from tonight. On April 28th, all 32 NFL franchises get together in Chicago to decide who belongs in their future plans. Jason Licht and his staff with the Buccaneers are busy going over tape, reviewing statistics, and meeting with players, deciding how to best improve on last year’s 6-10 performance.
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- Peter King explains simple reason why Bucs passed on drafting Will Levis
- Mel Kiper Jr. hands out his official Buccaneers draft grade
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers undrafted free agents tracker 2023
So, we are going to do the same thing.
Over the last few weeks, we have been profiling edge pass rushers, like Joey Bosa and Noah Spence. Today, we take a look at a player that many of the experts are “mocking” to the Bucs, such as Daniel Jeremiah. We look at a local guy, Vernon Hargreaves III from Florida.
Here are his stats from his days in school:
Defense & Fumbles
Clearly, this player can find the football. Ten interceptions over three years is no slouch. He is around the football, knocking down passes when not picking them off, and doing it against solid competition. He is a competitor, that is not in dispute.
Let’s look at the measurables:
WEIGHT: 204 pounds
ARM LENGTH: 30 5/8″
He was very solid at the Combine, posting a 4.5 second time in the forty yard dash. He followed that up by leading the way in the broad jump and vertical jump, showing a unique explosiveness. Here are the strengths and weaknesses from his profile:
"Strengths: Premier, quick twitch athlete with explosion pulsing through his hips and feet. Instant click-and-close action to explode forward and attack the throw. Vertical springs to go up and over receivers at the high point. Smooth, controlled backpedal with ability to weave and mirror route progressions. Plays with outstanding body control and balance. Feet are electric. Can overwhelm lesser opponents across from him. Instinctive and urgent in his play. Excels from press, off or zone coverage. Fiery competitor with a strong desire to own the pass. Has quick, soft hands. Posted 38 passes defensed and 10 interceptions over last three years. Could see early kick or punt return action. Unwilling to stay blocked and doesn’t hesitate for one moment in run support and against wide receiver screens. Chest-up tackler who runs through his target.Weaknesses: Lean, wiry frame. Aggressive nature allows teams to bait him with double moves. Quicker than fast and doesn’t have closing speed to make mistakes underneath and still recover on top. Allowed 16.5 yards per completion this season. Scouts worry about his height outside. Big receivers will pose a challenge on the next level. Had his two worst games of the season in SEC Championship game against Alabama and Citrus Bowl against Michigan. Willingness to throw body around in run support could cause him to break down."
16.5 yards per completion is a little alarming, as it shows a guy that can be beaten deep. But let’s as always, move to the video for the eye test.
It is not hard to like this guy. Not often to we see a player that comes out of college understanding how to play press coverage, and Vernon does. He has the ability to “hand fight” that a lot of corners just aren’t exposed to while they are in school. He also looks as comfortable in zone as he does in press coverage, making him quite the versatile young man. He also is a fierce tackler, and doesn’t give up on a play EVER. What he lacks in size he makes up for in heart and determination. We often say players need to have a consistent motor, he doesn’t have this problem.
He also wasn’t thrown at a lot, a testament to his cover skills.
It is visible, however, the reason why his yards per reception were high. He plays very aggressively, which makes him vulnerable to complex double moves. He could be prone to biting on a “Post-Corner-Post” route, for example. He needs to read his man a bit better, so he can make a quicker adjustment on the fly. He at times has trouble catching up after a mistake, as seen on the tape once or twice.
The height is a concern. He can fight back as much as he can with heart and determination, but tall receivers are going to give him trouble at the next level. There are good ones in this division, most notably Julio Jones. If Hargreaves is going to battle this guy twice a year, he will be taking on a player that stands at 6’3″ tall. VHIII will be fighting an uphill battle against this player, and others around the league.
Now, can Vernon Hargreaves play? Yes. But, the Bucs have already signed small corners, I just wouldn’t use the number nine pick on a small corner.
What do you guys think?