2021 NFL Draft: Elijah Molden Player Profile

Elijah Molden NFL Draft Overview

Position: Cornerback
Height: 5-foot-9 ½”
Weight: 192 pounds
Arms: 29 ½”
Hands: 9 ½”
School: Washington

Pro Day Performance Results

40-yard dash: 4.59
Vertical: 36.5”
Broad: 125”
Bench press: 13 reps 

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Elijah Molden 2021 NFL Draft Profile

As a true freshman in 2017, Molden saw immediate playing time as he played in all 13 games for the Huskies. Molden tallied 19 total tackles as well as one pass deflection. As a 2018 sophomore, Molden put together a solid season in which he played in all 14 games including two starts. Molden accounted for 29 total tackles, five pass deflections, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. The performance earned Molden All-Pac-12 second team honors as well as his performance in the classroom earning him Academic All-Pac-12 first team honors. In 2019 as a junior, Molden started all 13 games in which he put together his most impressive statistical collegiate season. Molden racked up 79 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, 17 pass deflections, four interceptions, three forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. The performance earned Molden All-Pac-12 first team honors and he again excelled in the classroom as he earned Academic All-District 8 honors. Last season as a senior, Molden again had a strong season in which he played four games and accounted for 26 total tackles, one interception, and two pass deflections. Molden again earned All-Pac-12 first team honors in addition to being a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, an accolade which includes an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship.  

Strengths

  • An extremely athletic slot corner who has NFL caliber nickel traits;
  • Impressive instincts when defending the pass which cannot be taught;
  • A more than willing tackler;
  • Father played in the NFL;
  • Offers extreme versatility and could play both within the slot and at safety;
  • Quick twitch agility and short area closing quickness.

Weaknesses

  • Could struggle when lined up wide;
  • Slightly undersized for a safety role;
  • Does not have elite speed which can be an issue when trying to recover downfield;
  • Bigger receivers could give him issues in jump ball situations;
  • Can give too much cushion at times, but this can be coached out of him.

NFL Comparison: Jonathan Jones  

Teams With Need at Position: Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints, Washington Football Team, Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, Pittsburgh Steelers

Projection: Late Second to Third Round 

Bottom Line on Elijah Molden

Molden is a starting caliber NFL nickel slot corner with impressive instincts and a love for the game which shows up in his willingness to contribute in run defense. Furthermore, Molden has NFL blood as his father played in the league. While not having elite speed, Molden’s athleticism certainly is not a concern. Despite playing in just four games last season and likely needing some time to adjust to NFL caliber play, it should not negatively impact his draft stock. Additionally, Molden brings a ton of versatility to any defensive scheme as he not only has the ability to play within the slot, but could also make the transition to safety. While Jones is the more realistic player comparison, it would not be a stretch to suggest that Molden’s ceiling is Tyrann Mathieu if he puts everything together within the right defensive scheme.

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