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2015 NFL DRAFT
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Bradley Fletcher

Height: 6-1 | Weight: 196 | College: Iowa
 
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Overview

The waiting was finally over in 2008 for Fletcher, who emerged as one of the elite pass defenders in the Big Ten Conference in his final season.

Always the good soldier since arriving on campus in 2004, he toiled on special teams as a redshirt freshman. He started four games while sharing left cornerback duties with Adam Shada as a sophomore and then shifted to the right side in 2007. He spent his junior campaign alternating with Charles Godfrey, picking up four more starting assignments.

With Godfrey having graduated, it was time for Fletcher to step up his leadership role in 2008. He manned the left cornerback position all season, as the All-Big Ten Conference honorable mention finished fifth on the team with 60 tackles and defended 13 passes.

Fletcher was a first-team All-Conference, All-County, All-District, All-Northwest Ohio, All-Ohio and North/South All-State selection as a senior at Liberty High School. He was also named first-team All-Conference and All-County, along with special mention All-Ohio as a junior.

As a defensive back, Fletcher recorded 207 tackles (81 solo), 13 pass breakups and four interceptions during his career. He registered 74 tackles (43 solos), two interceptions and six pass deflections as a senior. He also performed as a running back, as he rushed 143 times for 815 yards 12 touchdowns as a senior, adding 17 receptions for 314 yards and one kickoff return for 61 yards. In addition to football, he was also an All-State choice in basketball.

Fletcher enrolled at Iowa in 2004, spending the season on the scout team. He played in nine games, seeing action mostly on special teams in 2005, finishing with one solo tackle. He shared left cornerback duties in 2006, appearing in 13 games with four starts. He ranked 11th on the team with 38 tackles (24 solos), as he caused one fumble and broke up four passes.

In 2007, Fletcher again started four times, this time on the right side, seeing action in 11 games. He sat out the season opener vs. Northern Illinois for violating team rules, but went on to post 53 tackles (31 solos) while causing and recovering a fumble. He broke up three passes and had the first two interceptions for his career.

The 2008 campaign saw Fletcher receive All-Big Ten Conference mention. The starter at left cornerback made the most of his opportunity, coming up with 60 tackles (44 solos), as he caused a fumble and knocked down ten passes. He also had three interceptions.

Analysis

Positives: Excellent size and athleticism for the position; should become effective jamming receivers as a press corner. Gives good effort on every play. Mirrors even the fastest receivers down the sideline. Closes on the ball quickly when playing off his man. Good vertical and strength to high-point the ball in traffic. Fair hands for the interception, and has the coordination and arm length to knock passes away without drawing a flag. Physical enough with receivers to knock the ball out after the catch.

Negatives: A bit stiff in the hips, as his height can be a detriment when trying to stay with quicker receivers. Can be a bit tall in his backpedal and lateral movement, allowing better NFL receivers to take advantage of slants and double moves. Might move to free safety like former Hawkeye Charles Godfrey. Overly physical and pulls jersey when beaten, which will pick up penalties in the NFL. Must be more consistent using his hands to redirect receivers at the line of scrimmage. Aggressive on out routes, will bite on pump fakes and only has adequate recovery speed. Will drop the occasional interception. Drunk driving arrest in 2007.

Compares To: DRAYTON FLORENCE, Buffalo -- If Fletcher remains at cornerback, his value would be in the nickel package. He does not have the fluid hips to cover speedy NFL receivers throughout the route, but is a physical tackler in run support and does a better job of making plays closing on the ball in front of him than with his back turned on the quarterback. If a team considers bulking him up for a move to free safety, he'd be better value as a mid-round draft pick.

Scouting Report

GENERAL REPORT: 6.14

Body Structure: Fletcher has a tall, angular frame with good chest thickness and long limbs. He has smaller than ideal hands, but possesses a tight waist. He shows good lower-body flexibility with tapered thighs and calves. He is an athletic cornerback with impressive timed speed.

Athletic Ability: Fletcher has good timed speed, moving easily in the open field. He needs to stay crisp coming out of his breaks so he doesn't lose anything in transition. He has the burst and recovery speed to make up ground when a receiver gets behind him. He will gather in his plant-and-drive phase, as he does not display a smooth backpedal (needs to get lower in his pads). He shows adequate quickness and change-of-direction agility working in tight areas though, as he will take a few extra steps when angling in the short area. GRADE: 6.3

Football Sense: Fletcher gets in position and has the vision to locate receivers in a crowded formation. He is a low-rep type best playing the ball in front of him, but he does a good job seeing threats to his outside when playing in the shuffle-and-bail technique. He is not as effective playing with his back to the ball, looks a bit stiff when trying to turn around and must do a better job of locating secondary receivers going deep. GRADE: 6.2

Character: Fletcher has been generally a good citizen since his July 2007 arrest for drunk driving and running a red light charges, but some teams could be concerned about that transgression. GRADE: 5.7

Competitiveness: Fletcher is a competitive type with good hitting power. He does a good job of using his timing and leaping ability, along with his wingspan and frame to play the ball in the air, but is more of a safety type, as he does well playing the ball in front of him than with his back to it. He looks to finish the play in coverage and is a willing tackler, someone that will "blow 'em up" in run support. GRADE: 6.2

Work Habits: Fletcher shows good work ethic in the training room and practices. He is just a one-time, full-time starter, but has experience at both corner positions and has a firm grasp of the playbook. He seemed to have found his comfort zone in 2008; he didn't have to share positional duties for the first time and gained confidence each week. GRADE: 6.1

ATHLETIC REPORT

GRADE: 6.12

Key and Diagnostic Skills: Fletcher plays more like a safety than a cornerback. He has good physicality behind his hits and does much better vs. plays in front of him than when turned on the backfield. He shows good awareness and can see the route develop quickly. He anticipates the path of the ball in flight well, doing a nice job of extending and reaching around to break up the pass. He is a bit late seeing the receiver on the out routes when he uses the shuffle technique, but does a good job of reacting to the runs along the perimeter. GRADE: 6.5

Man Coverage Ability: Fletcher knows how to use his size and length to jam or reroute receivers, but he lacks the burst to recover when beaten. He allows too much separation on deep routes and has stiffness in his hips when suddenly changing direction. He has a better burst closing on the ball in front of him than in the deep secondary. With his jamming ability, he is more likely to see action in the nickel package or at safety rather than playing one-on-one along the boundary. GRADE: 5.6

Zone Coverage Ability: Fletcher is best when he keeps the action in front of him. He shows good route awareness and reaction moving forward. When he plays the shuffle-and-bail, he is late to acknowledge the outside threat. He is smart enough not to lose sight of the receiver playing in the slot, but will lose relationship with the speedy receivers when he has to go vertical. GRADE: 6.2

Backpedal Skills: Fletcher shows tightness in his hips when having to turn out of his breaks. There is just too much length and stride in his pedal -- he needs to open his hips quicker to generate enough burst needed to keep position coming out of transition. GRADE: 5.7

Ball Reaction Skills: Fletcher has a very good reach and extension, but shows just adequate hands for the interception. He sees threats develop in front of him and gets into position to make the play, but will be late at times when having to go vertical. He has better plant-and-drive on the ball when moving forward than in reverse or laterally. GRADE: 6.3

Range/Recovery: Fletcher needs to have good hand placement in order to stay with receivers on deep routes, as he lacks the hip snap to turn and suddenly run to the ball. He can make up ground when the ball is in the air, but gives up too much separation on long patterns. He seems to be a one-speed runner with a marginal closing burst. GRADE: 5.8

Jumping Ability: Fletcher knows how to elevate and time his leaps to high-point the ball. He has good body adjustment and torque competing for jump balls, but just adequate hands to secure the interception (double catches, leading to deflections or bobbles instead of interceptions). GRADE: 6.4

Hands: Fletcher keeps his hands active in attempts to jam and reroute the receiver at the Xs, but is not a natural catcher. He has the long reach, timing and leaping ability to compete for jump balls, but his hands are nothing special trying to make the interception. GRADE: 6.0

Run Defense; Fletcher is a possible safety candidate for another reason -- his ability to come up in the box, stay low in his pads and wrap-tackle ballcarriers. He is not a vicious hitter but will attack with good pop on contact. He does a good job of not getting overly aggressive and keeping outside containment. With his upper-body strength and reach, he will not have problems shedding vs. smaller blockers. He breaks down in the open field and has a good concept for proper angles to close on the ball. GRADE: 6.4

Tackling Ability: Fletcher rarely leaves his feet to make a tackle and he plays under control. He is an efficient wrap-up tackler with good upper-body strength. He gets ballcarriers to the ground with little assistance and uses his hands well to break free from blockers. He has enough open-field quickness to make plays coming forward on the ball, a quality needed for a possible move to safety. GRADE: 6.3

Compares To: DRAYTON FLORENCE, Buffalo -- If Fletcher remains at cornerback, his value would be in the nickel package. He does not have the fluid hips to cover speedy NFL receivers throughout the route, but is a physical tackler in run support and does a better job of making plays closing on the ball in front of him than with his back turned on the quarterback. If a team considers bulking him up for a move to free safety, he'd be better value as a mid-round draft pick.

OVERALL GRADE: 6.12

--Report by Dave-Te Thomas

Career Notes

Fletcher started 21 of 46 games at Iowa; 17 at left cornerback and four at right cornerback … Recorded 152 tackles (100 solos) with two stops for losses of 6 yards, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery … Deflected 17 passes and intercepted five others, returning one 5 yards.

2008 Season

Super Sleeper Team selection by The NFL Draft Report … Earned All-Big Ten Conference honorable mention … Started all season at left cornerback … Ranked fifth on the team with a career-high 60 tackles (44 solos) … Assisted on a stop behind the line of scrimmage for a 2-yard loss … Caused one fumble, deflected ten passes and intercepted three others, returning one 5 yards … His total of 13 passes defended ranked fifth in the conference and 38th in the nation … Played a major role in the success of his unit, as the Hawkeyes ranked second ion the league and tenth nationally in total defense (291.31 ypg), fled the Big Ten and placed fifth in the NCAA ranks in scoring defense (13.0 ppg) and finished fifth in the country while leading the conference with a 98.32 pass efficiency defense rating.

2008 Game Analysis

Maine … Finally a full-time starter, Fletcher responded with four tackles, as he ended Maine's first series for the season by picking off a pass that he returned five yards, setting up a 4-yard touchdown pass from Hawkeyes QB Jake Christensen to Brandon Myers, as he led a secondary that allowed just 83 aerial yards and 220 yards in total offense.

Florida International … Recorded one solo tackle as the defense allowed just 56 rushing yards and 218 yards in total offense.

Iowa State … Helped the defense that allowed just 13 rushing yards, as Fletcher posted seven tackles (6 solos) … In the fourth quarter, he helped kill an ISU series by deflecting an Austen Arnaud pass at the Iowa 33, forcing the Cyclones to punt, but on that kick, Fletcher cleared out space with a cut block, as Iowa punt returner Andy Brodell fielded the punt and returned it 81 yards for a touchdown.

Northwestern … Collected six tackles, including four solo stops.

Michigan State … Fletcher delivered four tackles with a pair of pass break-ups … He broke up a Brian Hoyer pass and then tackled Jeff McPherson on a second-&-goal toss for 6 yards, as MSU would settle for a 25-yard field goal on that opening series of the second half … He brought out the MSU punt unit on the Spartans' next series after knocking down Hoyer's third-&-3 pass attempt.

Indiana … The left cornerback produced four solo tackles … He was very active on two late first quarter drives, as he first tackled Ray Fisher at the IU 13 for no gain on a punt return … On the ensuing series, he pulled down Bryan Payton on a third-&-18 run that netted 6 yards, forcing Indiana to punt … The defense allowed just 95 rushing yards and 286 yards total offense.

Wisconsin … Posted five tackles (3 solos) and made a sensational pass break-up, going up and over tight end Travis Beckum to knock the ball out of his opponent's hands midway through the second quarter.

Illinois … Was part of a defense that allowed just 60 net rushing yards, as Fletcher was in on four solo tackles … He batted away a third-&-10 Juice Williams pass intended to A.J. Jenkins late in the second quarter, as the Illini sent out their punt unit … Late in the third quarter, he killed another Illinois possession, intercepting a Williams pass at the Iowa 2-yard line.

Penn State … Fletcher followed with seven tackles (four solos), as he pulled down Deon Butler on a third-&-10 pass that netted 4 yards, forcing PSU to settle for a 25-yard field goal … In the fourth quarter, he joined defensive tackle Mitch King in tackling receiver Derek Williams for a 3-yard loss on a direct snap at the Iowa 24 with 9:20 left in the game, as the defense held the Nittany Lions to 289 yards in total offense.

Purdue … Three of Fletcher's nine tackles (7 solos) came on third-down plays, as the Hawkeyes allowed just 86 yards rushing.

Minnesota … The Iowa defense gave up only seven rushing yards and 134 yards total offense in posting its second shutout of the season, as Fletcher delivered three tackles and broke up two passes … Minnesota was forced to punt after the left cornerback batted down a third-&-16 Alan Webber pass near midfield in the second quarter.

South Carolina (Outback Bowl) … Fletcher closed out his career with four solo tackles in a 31-10 win … He intercepted a Stephen Garcia pass at the start of the second quarter, setting up a 1-yard touchdown run by Iowa's Shonn Greene … He stripped the ball from receiver Moe Brown at the start of the second half, as the Hawkeyes' A.J. Edds recovered the ball to set up an Iowa 18-yard field goal.

2007 Season

Recipient of the team's Hustle Team Award, defense … Played in eleven games, sharing right cornerback duties with Charles Godfrey … Suspended for the season opener vs. Northern Illinois (see Off-Field Issues below), earning starting assignments vs. Indiana, Northwestern, Minnesota and Western Michigan … Ranked ninth on the team with 53 tackles (31 solos), assisting on one stop behind the line of scrimmage … Recovered and caused a fumble … Deflected three passes and intercepted two others.

2007 Game Analysis

Saw action vs. Syracuse, recording one assisted tackle as the defense allowed just 24 rushing yards and 103 yards total offense … Added a solo tackle and caused a fumble vs. Wisconsin … In his first start for 2007, Fletcher posted four solo tackles vs. Indiana … Made a career-high thirteen tackles (seven solos, as he stripped the ball from tailback Javon Ringer in the fourth quarter, but was shaken up on the play, leaving the Michigan State clash … Followed with twelve tackles (10 solos), as he deflected three passes and had his first career interception as the defense allowed just three points, seven rushing yards and 124 yards total offense in the second half vs. Northwestern … Credited with four tackles and had another interception vs. Minnesota … Matched his career-high with thirteen tackles (4 solos), including one behind the line of scrimmage vs. Western Michigan.

2006 Season

Appeared in thirteen games, starting vs. Northern Illinois, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Minnesota at left cornerback … Finished with 38 tackles (24 solos) that included one stop for a 3-yard loss … Caused one fumble and deflected four passes.

2006 Game Analysis

Had two tackles and a pass break-up vs. Montana and posted three hits vs. Iowa State … Was in on three assisted tackles and knocked down a pass vs. Purdue … Collected five solo stops vs. Michigan and delivered six hits (4 solos) the following week vs. Northern Illinois … Produced seven hits (5 solos) vs. Northwestern and made four tackles, including one that stopped tailback P.J. Hill for a 3-yard loss vs. Wisconsin … Deflected a pass and was credited with six solo tackles vs. Minnesota.

2005 Season

Played in nine games, but saw limited action … Made just one solo tackle, coming in his career debut vs. Ball State.

2004 Season

Red-shirted as a freshman.

Injury Report

2007: Left the Michigan State game (10/27) after suffering a high ankle sprain.

Agility Tests

Campus: 4.44 in the 40-yard dash … 1.53 10-yard dash … 2.59 20-yard dash … 4.22 three-cone drill … 40-inch vertical jump … 10'7" broad jump.

Combine: 4.47 in the 40-yard dash … 1.47 10-yard dash … 2.59 20-yard dash … 4.29 20-yard shuttle … 7.04 three-cone drill … 38.5-inch vertical jump … 10'2" broad jump … Bench pressed 225 pounds 20 times … 32 5/8-inch arm length … 8 1/2-inch hands.

Off-Field Issues

2007: Fletcher was suspended for the season opener vs. Northern Illinois after he was cited in July for drunk driving after running a red light, pleading guilty, as he attended an OWI program and underwent a substance abuse evaluation.

High School

Attended Liberty (Youngstown, Ohio) High School, playing football for head coach Jeff Whitaker … First-team All-Conference, All-County, All-District, All-Northwest Ohio, All-Ohio and North/South All-State selection as a senior … Named first-team All-Conference and All-County, along with special mention All-Ohio as a junior … As a defensive back, Fletcher recorded 207 tackles (81 solo), 13 pass breakups and four interceptions during his career … Registered 74 tackles (43 solos), two interceptions and six pass deflections as a senior … Also performed as a running back, as he rushed 143 times for 815 yards 12 touchdowns as a senior, adding 17 receptions for 314 yards and one kickoff return for 61 yards … In addition to football, he was also an All-State choice in basketball.

Personal

African-American Studies major … Son of Vicki and Carl Fletcher … Born 6/25/86 … Resides in Youngstown, Ohio.

 
Latest News
04/28/2009 - Coach Steve Spagnuolo and general manager Billy Devaney have insisted frequently that character will be a major consideration when acquiring players. So, there were raised eyebrows when the Rams chose cornerback Bradley Fletcher in the third round. In 2007, Fletcher pled guilty to drunken driving and was suspended for the season opener that year. Asked about the incident, Devaney said, "It was there. I think it was the pre-draft meeting that we had like this. I said that each case will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. We did our due diligence thoroughly with this guy and it kept coming back. He messed up. He made a mistake. I think I also said that we weren't going to take anyone off the draft board just because they made a mistake and did something silly that a lot of college kids do. That was the case with Fletcher. He made a mistake, but we had everybody vouch for him at Iowa that he is a strong character guy. And there isn't any question in our mind that he's a good guy." Spagnuolo reiterated the team did its due diligence. "That's what you have to rely on," Spagnuolo said. "You have to do your research and the scouts and coaches did a lot of it. When it was all said and done, we believed and felt with the people that we know there and trust that it was very out of character for him." Said Fletcher, "That situation is something that I learned from. I made a mistake and I learned from it and I'm ready to move forward."

04/28/2009 - A closer look at the Rams' picks: Round 3/66 -- Bradley Fletcher, CB, 6-1, 196, Iowa...Rams believe he will be a good press-type corner because of his size and "length." Is considered tough, will play the run and contribute on special teams. Might also see some time at safety.

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