Charles Gaines, CB

School: Louisville  |  Conference: ACC
College Experience: Junior  |  Hometown: Miami, FL
Height/Weight: 5-10 / 180 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
4.442.59-- 34 1/2-4.207.07
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
4.312.591.56- 34 1/210'3"4.207.07

Player Overview

Gaines signed with Charlie Strong and the Cardinals as a wideout and initially played there, hauling in 11 passes for 172 yards and a touchdown in 2012 after redshirting his first season in Louisville. Gaines was asked to make the switch to cornerback a year later, quickly emerging as a standout by starting 10 of the 13 games in which he played and leading the team with five interceptions during that time. Gaines' stats dropped a bit in 2014 (two interceptions) but his sticky cover skills likely played a role in teammate Gerod Holliman leading the country with 14 picks.

Gaines possesses the raw athleticism to handle coverage duties in the NFL but his slight frame and lack of ideal physicality are significant concerns. Helping his cause is the ball-skills the former wideout brought with him to the defense as well as Gaines' experience on special teams. Gaines has proven to be a natural playmaker, catching a touchdown pass early in his career as a receiver, as well as scoring on a kick return, blocked punt return (that he blocked) and following an interception.

Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: Possesses light feet and a fluid turning motion which allow him to remain in the hip pocket of receivers. Shows good anticipation of receiver breaks, frequently undercutting routes to be in position to make plays on the ball.

Willing to extend his arms when in press coverage but doesn't rely on an initial jam, easily turning and running with receivers down the field. Good ball skills for the position, extending to pluck the ball outside of his frame and showing good timing on jump balls to compete despite his less-than-ideal frame. Experienced on special teams, returning a kickoff for a 93-yard touchdown in 2013, as well as serving as a gunner defending punt returns.

WEAKNESSES: Former receiver who, unfortunately, plays like it too often, showing less-than-ideal physicality. Sports a wiry build with little muscular development. Willing to tackle when he has to but is more than happy to allow his teammates to do the dirty work. Too slight to operate as a kick returner in the NFL. Didn't miss time during his collegiate career but missed "at least" five games due to an unspecified injury during his junior season of high school that may warrant investigation by NFL doctors, especially given Gaines' slight frame.

--Rob Rang

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