Eli Apple, CB

School: Ohio State  |  Conference: BIG10
College Experience: Sophomore  |  Hometown: Voorhees, NJ
Height/Weight: 6-1 / 199 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
4.402.59-13 ----
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
4.342.591.5313 ----

Mock Draft Expert Analysis

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Player Overview

A two-year starter at cornerback, Apple earned a starting role as a redshirt freshman and held his own the past two seasons, playing both man and zone coverages.

After redshirting in 2013, Apple earned a starting job as a redshirt freshman in 2014 and finished second on the team in passes defended (13), adding 53 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and three interceptions. He started all 13 games as sophomore in 2015 and again finished second on the team in passes defended (eight), adding 33 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss and one interception to earn Second Team All-Big Ten honors.

Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: Tall, athletic frame with long arms and solid build. Coordinated athlete to bracket receivers downfield and consistently stay in phase. Controlled hop and footwork in his transition, using clean hip motion to mirror in man coverage.

Disruptive and uses his length to keep receivers uncomfortable. Highly aggressive at the catch point with a "my ball" mentality. Competitive and not shy to take on blocks or throw his body around as a run defender. Physical once engaged to shed blockers on the perimeter.

Improved route anticipation and field/sideline leverage while in man coverage. Tough-minded with a short memory, not allowing negative plays linger. Survivor mentality and developed strong work habits at a young age. Battle-tested with experience in man and zone coverage.

WEAKNESSES: Too hands-on downfield and lacks savvy at the top of routes. Obvious target for penalties due to undisciplined hand placement, grabbing too much cloth. Experienced in press coverage at the line of scrimmage, but needs to improve his balance and jam technique. Tends to open his hips too early and struggles to recognize routes from bail position, creating too much of a cushion and allowing too many comeback completions.

Plays too fast in pursuit, leading to overaggressive angles and missed tackles. Needs to improve his feel for the ball when back is to the line of scrimmage, struggling with timing.

IN OUR VIEW: Apple possesses several traits for the cornerback position that translate well to the next level with his size, length and athleticism. Apple isn't afraid to be physical and contest at the top of routes, but he's still learning what he can get away with and what will draw flags - desired length for the position, but NFL teams will be forced to live and die with his hands-on contact while he figures it out.

He is also an aggressive run defender, but needs to be more measured with his break down mechanics as a tackler. Apple is still very young and with that comes discipline issues, but he consistently stays in phase in press or off-man coverage and has upside.

--Dane Brugler (2/13/16)

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