Marqueston Huff has contributed to the Wyoming defense since his freshman year when he played nickel. He played the next two years corner before ultimately finishing his career as their free safety patrolling the middle of the field and occasionally coming up into the box. Huff is looked at more favorably as a corner moving to the NFL, but he does have experience at both spots and should benefit from having seen the field from different angles. At the Reese’s Senior Bowl, Huff spent his time almost exclusively back at corner the entire week.
Huff has a number of qualities that could allow him to be a productive corner at the next level. He has the speed, agility and length to play the position as well as being physical and willing to support against the run. Huff has also showed he can cause turnovers, both with interceptions and forcing fumbles. Inconsistencies with technique can cause him problems and letdowns at times, but on the whole, Huff showed a lot of promise. As a result, Huff has a small chance to go in the top 100 prospects but seems more likely to be a day three pick and someone that could go early on day three, because of his base skillset and versatility.
Vitals & Build
Huff measured 5’11” 196lbs at the scouting combine with 31 3/8” arms. He looks the part, has a good build for the corner position with a good amount of strength, but has enough strength to contribute at safety. Huff has good straight line speed and fluid enough hips to contribute as a corner. His length is good and he has the explosion and leaping ability to close ground. Huff can still continue to get stronger and get better with his athleticism, but he has the physical ability to contribute as is.
Huff’s tackling can be inconsistent. At times, he will deliver some big hits that can knock the ball out and he generally has a good sense of when he can take that big swing. He has shown he can wrap up as a tackler, but when he leaves his feet, he has fallen off of tackles and reduced the amount of power he can bring.
There is too much lunging at times that can be problematic and result in whiffing on tackles as well. As a corner, he does a pretty good job, but when he is the last line of defense, his mistakes on tackles can have catastrophic results.
When Huff sees run, he goes downhill in a hurry, looking to make an impact. He is not afraid of contact and looks to initiate it against the ball carrier, able to sift through trash and find his way to make plays. At times, Huff reads it quickly enough or is used on a run blitz where he has been able to stop plays in the backfield and when he catches the opponent under his pads, he can make a highlight hit.
Huff needs to do a better job when it comes to taking on and shedding blocks. He tries to circumvent them a little too much and needs to shed more quickly. Huff has shown he can do it, but just needs to be more consistent.
The biggest issue Huff runs into is when it comes to angles and false steps. Bad angles result in inefficient paths to the football and make him play slower than he should. He will also get himself in trouble at times by overrunning plays and taking himself out of the play or forcing him to have to chase the play from behind.
Huff has a lot of experience in man coverage not only as a corner but also being brought down in the box as a safety to play in the slot. He had experience playing slot corner as a freshman and looked comfortable there as a senior.
Huff also has experience playing zone by virtue of manning the middle of the Cowboys’ Cover-1 looks. Often as the only player covering a ton of real estate down the middle of the field, he found out quickly how quickly he had to read if he wanted to be involved in the play.
Occasionally, Huff would get caught reading plays wrong and be flat footed as opponents were able to get behind him, either because he was unsure if he was reading run or he thought the play was going underneath and he came up to try to make a play.
When he was able, Huff was not afraid to separate opponents from the ball, causing both incompletions and fumbles with some big hits and could be an intimidating presence.
Like in the running game, bad angles could get Huff in trouble both in trying to track and stop the pass down the field as well as with receivers in the open field. Huff had plenty of speed to chase plays down but a few of them were plays he could have made before the catch if he had a better read on his path of where to go.
While Huff is more likely to play corner, his experience playing the deep middle should benefit him if a team would like him to play in a zone scheme. Being put in a situation where he asked to cover far less ground could have much better results in the amount of plays he can make.
Huff has the ball skills to make plays and get interceptions. He is not afraid to catch the ball with his hands. The issue for Huff is creating more opportunities where he can potentially get his hands on the football. If he can create more opportunities in the NFL, he could have far more interceptions than he did in college.
Huff has experience on coverage units as a gunner. Physically, he has the ability to do the job with a decent amount of strength and the speed to do it at the next level.
Huff might be best suited to play in a man scheme as a corner, but he is versatile enough where he could contribute as a corner or a safety for pretty much anyone. He might be likely to start out playing as a nickel as he did in college with his strength giving a team some credibility in the run. Huff does have the potential to become a starter either outside as a corner or playing safety. It just comes down to where a team wants him to excel and just letting him focus on it.
Huff has similarities to Ron Brooks of the Buffalo Bills. Brooks had the physical tools coming out of LSU, but just needed to firm up his technique and become more consistent. Since being a fourth round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, he has been able to keep improving and become a nice asset for the Bills’ secondary.
Huff has a lot of experience playing at three different positions in the secondary and took a step back in his production for the betterment of his team. More likely to be a corner first, Huff has the tools to be successful and just needs to eliminate inconsistencies with technique. Huff seems like a good bet for the third day but could come in and contribute in nickel as well as special teams with the potential to start down the road.
Some of the film used in this scouting breakdown was provided by the good folks at draftbreakdown.com