This post is part of a continuing series in which we break down 13 2011 NFL Draft prospects - our Baker's Dozen - that should interest the Buffalo Bills. Keep up to date on our Baker's Dozen series here.
When talking about cornerback and the Bills in the 2011 NFL Draft, the conversations typically go straight from an abbreviated look at Patrick Peterson to "well, we can just get a depth guy somewhere." While it may not be a popular pick (cornerback to Buffalo, that is), it would be a mistake to overlook Prince Amukamara in our pre-draft scouting series. Amukamara has the look of a future star cornerback.
Defining Trait: Physicality. Playing on a defense loaded with talent at Nebraska, Amukamara spent a lot of time in man coverage on an island. Add in the fact that he's a converted running back, and he's used to the physical side of the game, and has developed into a corner that excels in jamming, re-routing and trailing receivers. His physicality makes him a strong all-around defender.
Coverage Skills. Amukamara is a player that opposing teams typically avoided in his last two years at Nebraska. Small, average hands have many questioning his playmaking ability, but he plays the ball very well in the air. Strong instincts in that area, and anticipates routes very well. Reads receivers well, and in the rare circumstance that he was asked to face the line of scrimmage in zone, he read the quarterback well, too. Great football IQ and on-field awareness. Turns and runs very well, but while he is technically proficient overall, he can look sloppy in his backpedal, leading to some of his long speed issues. Very physical - gets a good jam at the line of scrimmage and re-routes receivers with ease. Extremely competitive and confident player, but can get burned when he gets over-aggressive. Could play both man and zone, but will be at his best in man.
Run Defend. Very willing in this department; is used to picking his way through trash and making the play. Reliable tackler (even in the open field), and can lay a big hit when the opportunity presents itself. Can sometimes struggle to disengage from blocks.
College Production. Never put up big numbers simply because opposing teams tended to avoid him in the passing game. Zero interceptions as a senior have many concerned that Amukamara is enough of a playmaker to take early in the draft.
Prince Amukamara: College Statistics
|Prince Amukamara Totals||49||161||27||5|
Athletic Traits. Has an ideal blend of height, bulk, speed and agility which will allow him to deal with big, physical receivers and small, quick receivers. Displayed very good long speed at the Combine, but this was a concern going in for a reason - he does not make up ground very well on tape. Excellent closing burst, both in making tackles and when the ball is in the air. Fluid in the hips and has quick feet, which make him a strong turn-and-run defender. Above average balance, agility and leaping ability. Has small hands, which has served to fuel concerns about his ball skills.
Prince Amukamara - 2011 Combine Results
Injury Issues. None. An extremely durable player that did not even have to play through any significant injuries while at Nebraska.