After Jeff Okudah, there appears to be a wide consensus of answers for who the 2nd best cornerback in the draft is. For me, it’s probably the hardest position to evaluate just by watching the games. Often times you don’t really notice them unless they’re getting abused. Often times good corners fade into the background while you focus on the quarterback, offensive line, and pass rush. That’s a good thing if you don’t notice the cornerback. So which cornerback in the 2020 NFL Draft deserves more respect? I think Trevon Diggs is the answer.
Does Trevon Diggs have superstar potential? I think he has a lot of external factors working in his favor. For starters, he’s an Alabama corner that showed ball skills. If you don’t want to overthink things, that’s a pretty good start. Oh, and then there’s the fact that his brother is Stefon Diggs. NFL bloodlines matter. Just go look at the Bosa’s or Edmunds brothers. I’ll take my chances on Stefon Diggs’ brother.
Diggs has a lot of other things working in his favor. In case you didn’t guess it already, Diggs is a former wide receiver. His ball skills are noticeable. Despite being the primary starter for just one season, Diggs was able to come away with 3 interceptions and 8 pass deflections this past year. If I have learned anything from doing draft recaps over the years, if a cornerback or safety has no ball production, they probably won’t make it at the NFL level. Diggs has ball skills and often runs the route better than the wide receiver. That’s a great skill to have.
Diggs also has great size and length for the position. 6-foot-1, 205, with a 78 3/8 inch wingspan. He’s the third-longest corner in the draft class. So not only does he have ball production but he also comes into the league with great size. Diggs is also a great athlete. I thought he moved really well in the drills. Change of direction and movement skills were all there.
Diggs has two red flags against him. The first being pure speed. I think there’s a reason why Diggs didn’t run the 40 at the combine. I’m not saying Diggs is slow but he’s not fast either. Certainly more of a quicker than fast thing. That’s not really a death sentence though for a corner with Diggs’ skillset. The Alabama corner is best suited for heavy press coverage. He’s great in press. Richard Sherman ran a 4.56 and he turned out more than okay. Josh Norman ran a 4.61 and was a beast for many years. Diggs comes in that mold. Let him go to work in press. He will hold up just fine on his own.
The other red flag was the LSU game. Ja’Marr Chase kicked his ass. Guess what? Ja’Marr Chase kicked everyone’s ass this year. Go ask AJ Terrell what that was like. Diggs allowed 9 catches for 133 yards in that game. You can see why the NFL is down on him. Trevon Diggs doesn’t have elite speed and LSU kicked his ass. I get that. However, that’s where good scouting guys strike. They can see past the negatives and see how this sort of player has so much potential.
Take the LSU game out. LSU beat everyone up this year. In every other game this season, Diggs allowed 13-39 targets for 176 yards, no scores. Over the past two seasons (including the LSU game) Diggs has allowed a completion percentage of 32.3 and quarterback rating of 48.7 when balls have been thrown in his direction that ranks second in the draft class behind Damon Arnette of Ohio State.
I also think Diggs has been getting a bad rap by other experts claiming he’s just a press corner. I’ve seen Diggs play zone, man, in the slot, wherever. Here is a good play below. Diggs never even touches the receiver and comes away with the interception. His ball skills are impossible to ignore.
At the end of the day, Diggs has a skillset NFL teams cover. Put the man on the island, let him win in press coverage, and send safety help in the other direction. This is an Alabama corner that has slide down the boards for reasons that are sort of silly. How many corners in the draft have ball skills and length like Trevon Diggs? So does Trevon Diggs have superstar potential? You bet your ass he does.