SEC's Loucheiz Purifoy and Victor Hampton beef up draft CB class
Florida's Loucheiz Purifoy and South Carolina's Victor Hampton will skip their senior seasons and enter the 2014 NFL Draft
Florida junior cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy and South Carolina junior cornerback Victor Hampton both confirmed on Saturday that they intend to give up their remaining eligibility to enter the 2014 NFL Draft. Purifoy confirmed his decision to ESPN after the Gators 37-7 loss to Florida State while Hampton told his news to multiple media outlets following the Gamecocks 31-17 win over Clemson.
For a complete list of underclassmen who have declared for the 2014 NFL Draft, click here.
Purifoy is currently ranked as the No. 6 draft-eligible cornerback and the No. 70 prospect overall, according to NFLDraftScout.com. He finished the 2013 season second on the Gators in interceptions (2) and passes defended (9), despite being suspended for the season opener and missing playing time in several games due to nagging injuries.
Purifoy is a quick-footed and fluid athlete with smooth hips and body action, showing the natural movements and reflexes of an above average athlete. The Pensacola native has good size for the secondary (6-0, 190) and uses his length well in coverage to get his hands on the ball with 14 passes defended over the past two seasons. Purifoy is a physical tackler vs. the run and won’t back down, but he needs to do a better job breaking down on the move to finish after contact. He is a talented athlete, but needs a lot of technique work to survive as an outside cornerback in the NFL, tending to freelance too much with an undisciplined, wild style.
Purifoy was used all over the Florida secondary this season, seeing time at both inside and outside cornerback, as well as, safety. He also saw playing time on offense, practicing at wide receiver and starting the Tennessee game in the offensive backfield as a running back. There are questions regarding his best position at the next level because at this point in his development, he’s more of an athlete than fundamentally sound cornerback. But he is a gifted player with intriguing skills, showing that vs. Arkansas on a 42-yard interception return for a touchdown. Purifoy does have a good amount of experience on special teams coverage too, blocking a punt against Miami earlier in the season.
Purifoy has some off-the-field concerns that will need to be investigated by NFL teams. The junior was suspended for the 2013 season opener for a violation of team rules and he was also cited this past February for marijuana possession, although that charge was later dropped.
Hampton is currently rated as the No. 10 draft eligible cornerback and No. 88 overall prospect, according to NFLDraftScout.com’s rankings. Through 12 games this season, he is tied for the team-lead in interceptions (3) and leads the Gamecocks with 12 passes defended.
Listed at 5-10 and 202 pounds, Hampton is a strong competitor and has the foot quickness and range to cover a lot of ground. He is solidly built for the position and welcomes contact, driving through his target with speed and aggressiveness. Hampton has a good blend of awareness, ballskills and read/react ability to be left alone on an island against both the pass and the run. He lacks ideal height and his overaggressive nature will lead to mistakes, but his confidence and fast-paced playing style fit what NFL teams want at the position.
Hampton, who walked with the seniors on Saturday vs. Clemson, was suspended for the first half of the Gamecocks game vs. Georgia earlier this season for a violation of team rules. Junior defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney are expected to join Hampton and declare early for the 2014 NFL Draft, but have yet to make their intentions final.
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