2015 NFL DRAFT

2014 Pro Days: TCU's Verrett delivers, Panthers visit, surgery next

By Jeff Reynolds | NFLDraftScout.com

TCU cornerback Jason Verrett bucked up, and powered through 19 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press to begin his workout at the Horned Frogs' pro day Thursday.

Two reasons this is kind of a big deal. First, Verrett is 5-9, 189 pounds. Second, he has a torn labrum in his shoulder. Even doctors bestowed a ceremonial Holiday Inn degree understand the limitations of lifting flat on your back with only one shoulder fully connected to his mass-moving muscles.

Verrett, NFLDraftScout.com's third-ranked cornerback and 30th overall prospect, more than held up on the outside in the spread-offense dominated Big 12.

Coach Gary Patterson said TCU's own game film review showed Verrett gave up one touchdown pass in man-to-man coverage -- on a double-move against Kansas State -- since he transferred from junior college and began his FBS career against Robert Griffin III and Baylor.

That's the kind of bio that earns an undersized cornerback the nickname Feeva Island. Verrett says it's because, well, he's always hot and "I'm always pretty much man-to-man, on an island."

He could stay hot in the two months remaining before the 2014 draft. He met with the Cleveland Browns -- Verrett would be a natural target at No. 26, a pick the Browns own courtesy of the Trent Richardson-to-Indy deal -- and scheduled a visit Friday with the Carolina Panthers.

A total of 26 teams were present Thursday, some to evaluate late-round quarterback prospect Casey Pachall.

Teams won't be overwhelmed -- though certainly encouraged -- by Verrett's workout results. His best time at the combine in the 40 was 4.30, a verified NFLDraftScout.com clocking, and he had a 39 1/2-inch vertical Thursday (officially 39 inches at the combine) with a 6.69 three-cone time.

Even when his less-than-adequate height is factored in, when they click on the film to confirm the same speed and agility shows on game day, coaches and GMs might are sure to be impressed. His background as a high school slot receiver and running back feed Verrett's excellent instincts.

"If you look at my film against Michigan State (in 2012), I had about six solo tackles against Le'Veon Bell (drafted in the second round by the Steelers in 2013)," Verrett said. "Had a lot of corner blitzes, a lot of tackles for loss. I feel like I can blitz. I feel like I can do it all.

"I feel like my physicality, my toughness, quick feet, my ball-hawking skills. I led the Big 12 the last two years with 38 passes defended, 30 pass breakups and eight interceptions.

Not everybody has ball skills, but I'm blessed to have that. With my frame, I'm able to transfer from A to B with fluid hips and quickness. That just allows me to make more plays. I've always been quick."

With some teams playing more than two-thirds of defensive snaps in nickel personnel, Verrett's skill set is coveted. He's the kind of talent teams need to contend with three- and four-wide receiver sets as a slot/nickel corner.

Follow Jeff Reynolds on Twitter @ReynoldsJD

 
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