General manager Ray Farmer may swing for the fences with one of his first-round picks but expect the other to be a safer selection. Verrett lacks ideal size but he's a tenacious defender in the mold of former Minnesota Vikings' Pro Bowler Antoine Winfield. Pairing him with Joe Haden would give the Browns a formidable duo of cover corners.
Carlos Rogers was released and the 49ers didn't pick up a corner in free agency. Verrett is short but a solid cover corner.
STRENGTHS: Fluid body type with smooth hips to easily turn and adjust his frame. Excellent short-area burst and flexibility to seamlessly redirect his footwork to mirror receivers in space. Very good feel on an island ? baits and drives on throws with burst and timing. Improved instincts and awareness, not afraid to come off his man to make a play. Excellent ballskills and confidence to undercut routes and finish with the interception. Quick read/react skills. Adequate strength for his size and very active in run support. Will hold his ground at the point of attack. Very aggressive with the ball in the air and attacks it. Smart and sound with his cover assignments, always playing alert. Routinely made ?wow? plays on special teams coverage, including a blocked field goal in 2012. Heady player with high football character. Productive as a three-year starter, combining for 43 passes defended and nine interceptions in college.
WEAKNESSES: Lack of elite height and length shows against most receivers. Lanky build and doesn?t have the frame to pack on too much more muscle. Lacks ideal hand strength to consistently finish or easily shed blocks. Room to improve his tackling technique, especially in space, hitting too high and losing immediate leverage. Will pop up out of his backpedal too soon and needs to play with more consistent pad level in his transition technique. Needs to eliminate the mental mistakes with too many offsides and holding penalties on his resume. Blanket coverage, but needs to do a better job finding the ball with his back to the line of scrimmage. Some durability concerns after several nagging injuries plagued him in 2013, most notably a shoulder injury.
Verrett struggled with academics out of high school and went the JUCO route (Santa Rosa JC) for a season before enrolling at TCU. He earned a starting job right away and despite a rocky start, he showed steady improvement and had an All-American junior season in 2012, tallying 22 passes defended. Verrett battled injuries as a senior, but he was still productive and earned Co-Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2013 ? shut down several of the conference?s top receivers and caused offenses to stop looking to his side of the field. He is like a magnet to the ball with excellent timing to plant, drive and arrive when the ball does with aggressive ballhawking skills. Verrett is scrappy and loves to play sticky and physical, which will cause some penalties, but it?s easy to love his confident mentality. His lack of size likely limits his NFL ceiling, but he has the easy change of direction skills, light feet and physical and mental toughness to shine in the NFL, ideally suited as an inside nickel corner.
02/20/2014 - 2014 NFL Draft Scout Pre-Combine Top 64 Prospects: 32. Jason Verrett, CB, TCU, 5-10, 176, 4.49, 1-2...Still improving skills at corner after starring as running back and defensive back in high school, then stopping in junior college before joining TCU in 2012. Looks naturally fluid with smooth transition on flip and has the right approach mentally as an intimidator and physically as a tough guy. Selected first team All-America on several lists, second team by Associated Press. Allowed LSU's nifty Odell Beckham Jr. (27th on this list) only one catch. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange