Justin Layne, Michigan State Spartans (6’3”/185)
Justin Layne has opted to forgo his senior season for the Michigan State Spartans and pursue an NFL career as a corner. While Layne is still very raw at the position having come to campus as a wide receiver, he has flashed serious upside since becoming an NFL caliber cornerback.
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Layne quickly became a lock down corner for the Spartans and his skills he used as a receiver easily translated into making him an elite man coverage corner. He is excellent when it comes to using his hands and physical frame to make it hard for receivers to get off the line of scrimmage and into their routes.
When it comes to coverage Layne uses his many reps as a former receiver to identify the routes being ran against him. In two years as a starting corner, Layne appeared in 24 games totaling 130 tackles, 3 interceptions, 24 passes defended, and took one interception to the house for six.
While Layne has proven to be a lockdown man coverage corner he leaves much to be desired in zone schemes. With his lengthy frame and physical nature Layne is what defensive coordinators dream of for a zone corner.
With a year or two of NFL caliber coaching Layne could easily be a top cornerback in the league. Scouts seem to be torn on where Layne will go and I’ve seen him be mocked anywhere from late round one to early round three.