Is Paulson Adebo the Top Draft Eligible Cornerback?

In his first year as a starter Paulson Adebo quickly established himself as not only one of the top cornerbacks in the Pac 12 but the entire NCAA. Now entering his junior year he is draft eligible and the buzz surrounding him is starting to grow. In our Paulson Adebo NFL Draft Summer Preview we take a look at what makes him one of the best draft eligible cornerbacks.

Ball Skills

Sometimes stats don’t tell you the whole story, but when it comes to cornerbacks and passes defended it can tell you something about their ball skills. In 2018 Adebo had 17 passes defended which ranked 3rd nationally. When you watch the tape you can see that those stats are backed up but his traits. Adebo uses his length well to get a hand in to either disrupt the pass or even hit the receivers hands to force an incompletion. As we see in the above clip he was able to dive forward to get at least a finger tip on the ball to cause the incompletion. With four interceptions last year too, Adebo has also shown that he can convert some of those passes into turnovers. I have a feeling teams will not be throwing to his side as much this upcoming season.

Instincts and Agility

It’s one thing to be a good athlete that can burst forward, run deep or even change directions, but if you are a half second late to diagnosing the route there is still a good shot that you’ll give up a catch. Not only does Paulson have the ability to quickly flip his hips or burst forward out of a break, but he does well to quickly read the receiver and nearly make the cut before the receiver can. Adebo is able to pick up on route combinations and read the receivers both in man coverage and in zone. When you combine his instincts, agility and size it’s not wonder he’s been so effective.

Toughness

Now I get that the first and most important job of a cornerback is to cover the receivers and prevent passing from being caught, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need to be tough. Utilizing his 6’1 189lb frame Paulson Adebo does well to take on receivers and won’t be pushed around. Against the run he’s willing to come up and will even lower his shoulder to set the edge or take on a blocker and can even fill a hole to take on the running back. As he continues to develop as a cornerback this strength and toughness will become even more effective as a press man corner.


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