Position Ranking: #2
Strengths: A very impressive player in his overall game from the cornerback position. Can turn and run quickly from press coverage and shows a strong and quick punch to halt receivers release timing off the line of scrimmage. Smooth backpedal. Can stay on the hip of speedy receivers up to 30 yards downfield and can keeps his hands clean of the receiver; very good athlete.
Often plays on an island in man coverage for long stretches of the game. Focused player who stays alert and keeps his eyes on his man. Physical against the run, doesn’t shy from contact and will work to get back in the play even if he’s being blocked downfield. A good tackler in space, squares up and breaks down to wrap when necessary. Flashes the ability to be dominant and close off his side of the field. Competitive and physical. Plays with a quiet confidence.
Needs Improvement: Recovery speed is only adequate if he bites on a double move. Has trouble with big and athletic receivers when trying to win inside leverage. Doesn’t have a great vertical and can be beat on the jumpball. Not quick twitch in his movements and has trouble with savvy route runners on hitches, and comebacks; overplays the deep route at times. Is listed at 6’1 but looks to be an inch or two shorter. Though he is physical against the run, strength at the point of attack is only above-adequate and will need to improve in order to be as effective one-on-one in space against NFL running backs. Didn’t play much zone coverage.
Bottom Line: Prince Amukamara is an exceptional player who keeps his head in the game at all times and shows a complete skill set as an NFL cover corner. His technique stays relatively sharp and he won’t incur many holding penalties. In some games I observed there were times where opposing quarterbacks wouldn’t look to test his side of the field.
Amukamara could easily dominate lesser talent, but had trouble against NFL caliber receivers with a good combination of size and strength. Doesn’t have a ton of experience in zone coverage and it will likely take a little time to get comfortable with the nuances. His recovery speed is something he’ll need to improve to reach the elite level, and may benefit from playing safety early in his career. Has all the tools to be extremely good at the NFL level and should be off the board very early.
Draft Projection: Top ten pick.