Oregon State’s cornerback Jordan Poyer is among the top five corners coming into the NFL Draft and for good reason too. Having to take on the top wide receivers of the Pac 12 Conference, Poyer has had the opportunity to prove himself each week. Poyer will be leaving his alma mater on a high note recording seven interceptions and 51 tackles earning him All-American honors. Due to his performance this past season, Poyer also received an invite to the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama where he was able to impress team scouts.
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Poyer recognizes situations very quickly whether he breaks off coverage to assist the run or he is jumping the route. It is a given that he is very instinctive as his seven interceptions are proof of that. He reads the ball coming out of the quarterback’s hands very well, allowing him to undercut routes and get his hands on the ball. One thing you will notice on film is he reads the run early, and Poyer will attack the ball carrier just as fast. He has no issues with coming up to assist with the run as well as lining up for the big hit.
Another trait that sets Poyer apart from the other corners in the draft is his versatility. He can make contributions on special teams as well as the defense, returning kicks. Even though he was not as a big a contributor this season as his junior year, he can still be a productive member on special teams units. As far as covering receivers Poyer can play either man coverage or dropping back into a zone. He also has the ability to change directions to break on the ball quickly.
What you will notice on film that jumped out to me is he lacks the strength to get play physically with larger receivers. Spending time working on technique as well as with a strength coach he may very well work on this aspect of his game. As far as strength is concerned when it comes to Poyer, he has issues with shedding blockers when trying to make a play on the ball carrier.
Even though the former Beaver ran a 4.54 40 time at the combine recently, Poyer has an issue with straight line speed. Not to mention he takes bad angles to the runner at times, without the speed to overcome this can prove difficult at the next level. A speedy receiver much like Marquise Goodwin proved in the Alamo Bowl, you can get by Poyer. Working on technique and coming up to jam receivers at the line of scrimmage could be one way to overcome this issue.
Poyer is not the type of player who will be a shutdown corner. However he will be will a very good corner, which you could start in the slot. I still feel with his skills and anticipation he is a late first round pick possible to a team like the Denver Broncos or San Francisco 49ers in need of corner help.