Brandon Stephens 2021 NFL Draft Profile
For all the top quarterback play in the NFL, there have to be defensive backs to stop them, right? Well, Brandon Stephens can help with that. The SMU prospect isn’t your big-name type of guy. But if you are looking for the right measurables, you’ve come to the right place. Versatility is not new to Stephens as he started as a running back in high school before heading to UCLA and moved to wide receiver. Eventually, he found his way to Southern Methodist and shifted his role to a defensive back where, to put it lightly, he had some moments where eyes were opened.
Yes, he only had one pick for those who are wondering. But he also had 12 pass breakups in 2019 and ten this past season. In other words, he’s scrappy but effective. With 49 tackles in 2019 and 2020, he earned a reputation for being a physical corner on the inside that’s not afraid to get aggressive. He also showed great leadership, as demonstrated by being named a team captain and wearing a pristine jersey that once belonged to Jerry LeVias.
- Aggressive player that doesn’t take plays off;
- Tackles at a high level;
- Keeps eyes aware;
- Knows how to gain proper leverage;
- Prototypical size for the position;
- Not afraid to put pressure.
- Press coverage is lacking;
- Not a ball hawk;
- Must avoid jumping the snap;
- Needs to improve in space;
- Very raw as he only played the position for a short time.
Bottom Line on Brandon Stephens
Teams can’t expect Brandon Stephens to start in the lineup immediately. Unless, of course, there is an injury. However, with continued improvement, he very well could be slated as a slot cornerback. He has the size and can match up well inside as a cover corner. He is also a fundamentally sound tackler, which is not really mentioned among cornerbacks in today’s league as most are bent on intercepting passes. Stephens also has the ability to keep his balance and not lose sight of the receiver. Also, he’s not afraid to use his body to deliver hits.
However, his lack of intercepting passes may be enough for coaches to be concerned, given how several defensive backs are looking to play the role of ball hawk in today’s league. Also, he’s still learning the position after spending most of his life playing on the offensive side of the ball. Additionally, he has had trouble when playing in space without any help. Moreover, he will likely be used in blitz situations based on nickel formations. Stephens is likely going to be playing most of the time on special teams at the beginning of his career.
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