2018 NFL Draft: Scouting Iman Marshall

nfl draft

USC
Cornerback #8
Junior, 6’0″ 205 pounds

Strengths:

  • Checks the size and build boxes with the functional strength to thrive along the perimeter
  • Will impress many with his understanding of how to effectively to post receivers outside the numbers with his length and frame
  • Reliant upon strength and physical play-style to frustrate receivers off the line and come downhill to challenge the run game
  • Breaks in his backpedals consistently run with the proper footwork when changing pace
  • Capitalizes on his football intelligence to parlay his understanding of his responsibilities into trap throws that lead to breakups or turnovers
  • Confidence and attacking mindset carries over to his ability to play the ball in the air
  • Utilizes ideal timing and recognition skills to constrict zone throwing lanes
  • Can efficiently carry routes over the top in zone and anticipate quarterbacks’ intentions
  • Dependable ball skills to flip the field and generate a spark

 

Weaknesses:

  • Displays a tendency to become overly-reliant on handwork and physicality when crowding the line, generating a number of penalties
  • Feet and hands have an of ugly habit of working independently of one another, giving way to compromised positioning and free releases
  • Limited athleticism with equal reaction skills and makeup speed
  • Has yet to develop into a consistently reliable open-field tackler
  • Aggressive play occasionally runs too hot, leading to over-extension and increased opportunities for receivers to clear space at the line
  • Attempts to jam and reroute as receivers declare their stem intentions land everywhere along the strike zone

Pro comp: Xavien Howard

Draft projection: Mid-Late 3rd

I begin Marshall’s summary with the belief he’s best-served returning for his final season to refine his boom-or-bust game. The strength and physicality and cerebral aspect of Marshall’s game are incredibly enticing and will lend itself to success at the next level, but coaches have to be willing to take the bad with the good and be patient with his development. Looking to a guy like Marcus Peters signals that technique and footwork can be refined in the NFL, but Marshall requires further refinement that Peters could mitigate with the athleticism, ball skills and natural play-making ability that isn’t found in Marshall’s evaluation. Expect Marshall to spend the majority of his first two or seasons on the sideline before cracking a rotation or starting lineup come Year Three.




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