Weight: 185 pounds
40-yard dash time(projected): 4.4 seconds
Nate Wiggins was a freshman at Clemson University in 2021. He saw limited playing time and struggled off the field. In his sophomore year, he received praise from coaches and teammates for his growth and maturation during the offseason. He had a breakout performance in the 2022 ACC Championship Game, returning an interception for 98 yards, the longest in ACC Championship history. He finished the season with 30 tackles, 11 passes defended, and one interception. Over this past season, Wiggins has emerged as one of the best defensive backs in the country and has the potential to become a lockdown cornerback at the professional level.
Imposing Size and Fluidity: Standing tall at 6'2" and running a sub 4.5 40-yard dash time, Wiggins possesses an ideal combination of height and speed for a cornerback at the NFL level. He has long arms that provide an extended reach, enabling him to disrupt passing attempts and deflect passes with ease. He is a very fluid mover, which makes him a versatile defender capable of covering a wide range of the field.
Unreal Effort: In all my years of studying NFL prospects, I have never seen anyone with as relentless of a motor as Nate Wiggins. He never gives up on a play and has made many game-altering rundowns in his short time at Clemson. Coaches will fall in love with just how hard he plays.
Speed: Wiggins's defining attribute is his blazing speed, which sets him apart from his counterparts. His ability to accelerate and maintain top-end velocity allows him to keep pace with even the swiftest receivers, effectively eliminating deep threats and making him a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks. He was clocked at over 22MPH this season for the Clemson Tigers.
Frame Development: While Wiggins possesses the ideal height for a cornerback, his frame is still developing, and he could benefit from adding a bit more bulk to his physique. This would further enhance his ability to withstand physicality from larger receivers and make him even more formidable in run support.
Occasional Grabiness: Wiggins's eagerness and physicality can sometimes lead to instances of grabiness in coverage. While his aggressive approach is a positive attribute, he needs to refine his technique and avoid unnecessary contact that could result in penalties.
NFL Comparison: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Like Wiggins, there were concerns about whether Rodgers-Cromartie was going to be strong enough at the NFL level with his 180lb frame. He went on to have a fantastic career and established himself as one of the best cornerbacks in the league.
Drawing comparisons to NFL standout Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Wiggins shares several traits that suggest a similar trajectory to the league. Both players possess exceptional speed, height, and athleticism while being underweight for cornerback. While Rodgers-Cromartie was a better ballhawk than Wiggins in college, Wiggins is a more well-rounded prospect coming out of college. Rodgers-Cromartie's success in the NFL provides a promising outlook for Wiggins's potential at the professional level.
Draft Projection: First Round
Nate Wiggins's unique blend of physical tools, athleticism, and playmaking ability has solidified his status as a top-tier prospect in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft. His potential to become a lockdown cornerback at the professional level is evident, and NFL teams should be eager to add his talents to their rosters.
Nate Wiggins is a rising star, and his exceptional blend of speed, athleticism, and length will make him a highly sought-after player in the 2024 NFL draft. Wiggins has the potential to become a shutdown cornerback at the professional level.