2018 NFL Draft: M.J. Stewart Scouting Report

DURHAM, NC - NOVEMBER 10: M.J. Stewart
DURHAM, NC - NOVEMBER 10: M.J. Stewart /

North Carolina’s M.J. Stewart is a strong 2018 NFL Draft cornerback prospect.

M.J. Stewart is a well-built defensive back who isn’t afraid to play a physical brand of football. He is one of the more reliable 2018 NFL Draft cornerback prospects in this year’s draft. His experience working on the outside and in the slot provides a lot of versatility.

Stewart features average size for the position with good arm length. His strong build helps him work through contact. He does a good job getting into proper position and not allow the receiver to box him out from the ball.

North Carolina liked to use him in the slot where he showed the ability to work through traffic, keep in phase and keep pace down the seam.

His willingness to make plays in the run game also fit this role. Stewart routinely attacks the ball carrier and doesn’t hesitate to take on blockers. He is a reliable tackler who can deliver some big hits. This will absolutely be something defensive coordinators love.

More from With the First Pick

In man coverage, Stewart shows fluid hits and excellent balance. He can limit separation as well as quickly get his head on the football. His 4.54 40-time at the combine shows he has just enough speed to keep pace.

However, the faster receivers at the next level may be able to beat him downfield.

Stewart also flashes strong zone coverage instincts. He has a great feel for developing routes and seems to understand the flow of the offense. His commitment to keeping his pads down helps him remain balanced. This gives him the ability to quickly click and close on the football.

One area of concern is Stewart’s lack of ball production. He hasn’t registered an interception in each of the past two years. NFL coaches like to see defensive backs who can create turnovers.

Overall, Stewart has the instincts and coverage skills needed to excel in the NFL. He will be someone who can work inside or out. The lack of ball production and questions about his long speed are the only real concerns.