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Enemy Evaluations: CHI CB Prince Amukamara

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Chicago Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara will have the task of covering Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery in their Week 12 tilt. A former 1st round pick (19th overall) in the 2011 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, Amukamara is on his third team during his time in the league, but don’t let that fool you into thinking he’ll be a pushover for Jeffery.

When I watched him in the summer as part of my Scouting Academy defensive back module, I came away impressed with his ability to diagnose formations and ability to process quickly on the fly. He also impressed with his athletic ability, possessing quick feet and fluid hips.

The film I watched on him included five games from Amukamara’s 2016 stint with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Despite not being re-signed to the Jags, I still felt he possessed all the tools to be a solid starting outside cornerback in a scheme reliant on Cover 3. This year he’s starting for a Bears defensive scheme that regularly plays Cover 3, a good fit for his skill-set. Amukamara is giving up the least yards per route run (0.66) of the cornerback group.

Here’s what I saw when I broke down the 6’ 206 pound cornerback’s film.

Best: Football IQ, Versatility, Foot Quickness, Run Support

Worst: Functional Strength, Excessive Cushion, Lacks Natural Hands

SCOUTING REPORT

6th year CB (at time of report) that has started 57 of 69 games and played in 4 playoff games. History of lower and upper body injuries and has played a full 16 games only once. 1st year with Jaguars’ HC Gus Bradley and DC Todd Walsh in their heavy Cover 3 scheme. Accounted for 80.95% of the 2016 Jaguars’ defensive snaps at outside and nickel CB, missed 2 games.

STRENGTHS

Solid, fluid frame with good athletic ability relying on good foot quickness and lateral agility.

Very good mental processing; understands zone relationship with deep safety and will bend zone to tighten window with no underneath threat. Good play speed; quick to diagnose and react to bubbles, rubs and route combinations based on alignment

Solid at the LOS; eyes receivers’ chest in press, feet/hip/shoulders married to mirror with active hands to chop inside arm of WR and steer to desired release. Excels at stacking outside releases by mirroring from press and staying in the chest of the WR.

Good in man coverage; smooth man turns, squeezes outside routes and uses sideline as extra defender, frequently stays on top of routes. Stays patient against double moves and nods at breakpoint, fluid hips to man turn and stay in phase. Smooth, low pedal with good closing burst on plant and drive. Quick feet to stay in phase against multi-break routes, start and stops with little gear down required and utilizes smart hands throughout route.

Solid ball skills; keys eyes and hands of WR when not in phase, very good hand placement to break up passes.

Good open field tackler; consistently low aiming point with solid wrap and brings speed/explosion behind hits.

Good in run support; fills gap responsibilities with good aggression, keeps contain well, and overall willing to take on ball-carriers of all sizes.

Very good competitive toughness; chirper that is willing to take on linemen in space and fight throughout each rep. Puts bad plays behind him quickly and stays composed on next series.

WEAKNESSES

Limited reps as a blitzer; possesses athletic profile and tackling that suggest he would be solid if utilized as a pass rusher from the slot.

Has tendency to mistime snap and bail early that provides QB/WR key to coverage concept.

Susceptible to stutter steps from quicker WR, gets on heels and lunges with punch. Tendency to get baited into lunging at LOS when WRs utilize rocker step release. Occasionally positioned extra wide in outside leverage and allows for clean inside breaking routes.

Overly cautious in off man coverage, especially against speed; provides significant room between self and short/intermediate routes.

Does not possess natural hands; allows balls into body at catchpoint that lead to bobbles/drops.

Adequate play strength; can get displaced from spot by stronger WRs and TEs. Flashes propensity to overrun in space taking wide outside contain angles.

SUMMARY

Overall, a starting outside CB you can win with that relies on foot quickness, processing prowess and can fill in as a nickel while being counted upon in run support. Fits a Cover 3 scheme that also relies on man cover 1 schemes.

To check out the other players featured in the Evaluation Series, click the links below:

WR Alshon Jeffery

CB Ronald Darby

WR Dontrelle Inman

WR Terrelle Pryor Jr.

QB Trevor Siemian

Michael is an NFL Draft enthusiast, aspiring scout, and grandson of longtime East Stroudsburg (Pa.) HS football coach John P. Kist. He hosts Locked On Eagles and writes for Inside the Pylon & Breaking Football.

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