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Nickell Robey, CB

School: Southern California  |  Conference: PAC12
College Experience: Junior  |  Hometown: Frostproof, FL
Height/Weight: 5-7 / 169 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
180225-6

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
4.472.481.5710 37 1/210'7"4.096.74
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
---- ----

Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGHTS: Possesses top-notch athleticism. Has light feet, loose hips and a natural low center of gravity which allow him to remain in the hip pocket of receivers when in man coverage. Shows good awareness in zone, demonstrating a feel for receivers running behind him and the downhill burst to break on underneath routes.

Very good ball skills. Good hand-eye coordination and the flexibility to contort in space to adjust. Gritty defender who is much more physical and aggressive than his stature would indicate. Reads quick-screens and draws well, attacking the line of scrimmage to beat would-be blockers to the action.

Flashes surprising overall physicality as a hitter and is generally a reliable open-field tackler. Effective blitzer off the edge. Plays hard.

WEAKNESSES: Significantly undersized. Has a slim-build, especially in his lower body. Relies on his quickness to evade blockers and struggles to break free when they get to him. Will occasionally duck his head when attempting to make tackles and lacks the upper body strength to pull ball-carriers to the ground when his technique isn't clean.

COMPARES TO: Jabari Greer, CB, New Orleans Saints: Roby possesses better ball skills than Greer, but otherwise is a similar prospect who will have to rely on the athleticism to overcome a lack of preferred size.

--Rob Rang

Player Overview

Robey is an excellent all-around athlete who earned all-state honors in football and baseball coming out of Frostproof, Fla., and was a long jumper and sprinter for USC's track team.

In 2012, Robey and football teammates D.J. Morgan, Marquise Lee and Tony Burnett teams to run a 41.05 sprint relay that took third place at the 2012 Rossie Relays.

While undersized, Robey's pure athleticism did translate into excellent production on the football field for USC.

He started all 13 games as a true freshman in 2010, finishing with 48 tackles, including 1.5 for losses, and led the team with four interceptions to go along with four passes defensed and a forced fumble to earn All-Pac-10 honorable mention.

Robey again started every game as a sophomore, racking up a career-high 63 tackles, including 5.5 for losses, two sacks, a team-high nine passes defensed and a pair of interceptions. He earned All-Pac-12 honors for his efforts, as well as USC's 2011 John McKay Award.

Robey started 13 more games as a junior, posting 52 tackles and an interception along with four pass breakups and five passes defensed. While his statistics were down, it was in large part due to opponents staying away from his side of the field.

His season did end on a sour note as a missed open-field tackle directly led to a touchdown in the Trojans' disappointing loss to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl.

"It's a business decision, like any other important decision I've made my whole life," Roby said in declaring for the 2013 NFL Draft. "It's the best thing for my family and for me."

Roby's quickness, ball skills, tenacity and success against high caliber competition are certainly intriguing, but he could be waiting later on draft weekend than expected. In an era in which NFL teams frequently exaggerate the size of their prospects, Roby is officially listed by USC at 5-8, 165 pounds.

He's much tougher than his size would seem to indicate and has averaged nearly 55 tackles a season over his career, but for most teams his small stature makes him strictly a nickel cornerback, limiting his value.

As such, Roby was given a "day three," or Rounds 4-7, projection from the NFL Advisory Committee, according to several reports. Roby's height is an undeniable factor that will limit his draft grade, but he could see a boost over the coming months once he is able to show off his athleticism.

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LATEST NEWS
04/30/2013 - Bills agree to terms with 16 undrafteds...CB Nickell Robey - 5'11" 1 - USC...Robey posted seven career interceptions for USC in his college career, returning three of them for touchdowns. He also had 24 career pass breakups in three seasons. "Extremely quick, great short agility and balance, tough and competitive," said Forsyth. "He'll fly to the ball, good hands and ball skills. Just not the biggest guy. He's got a chance because of his desire and quickness. He was productive in the PAC-12." - Chris Brown, BuffaloBills.com

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