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Sports

NFL Draft Post-Combine Big Ten Defensive Rankings: No. 6 Nebraska Cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste

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NFL Draft Post-Combine Big Ten Defensive Rankings: No. 6 Nebraska Cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste

2014-03-07 14:38:431 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Stanley Jean-Baptiste returns interception for a touchdown against Southern Miss. (Image Source: Bruce Thorson/USA TODAY Sports)

Here are my Post-NFL Scouting Combine rankings of the defensive prospects coming out of the Big Ten conference:

1) CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State, Senior (Top 20)

2) DT Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota, Senior (Late First Round to Second Round)

3) OLB Ryan Shazier, Ohio State, Junior (Late First Round to Second Round)

4) CB Bradley Roby, Ohio State, Junior (Late First Round to Second Round)

5) ILB Chris Borland, Wisconsin, Senior (Second Round to Third Round)

6) CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Nebraska, Senior (6030, 218 pounds)

Are you sick of hearing Richard Sherman every time someone talks about Stanley Jean-Baptiste? Don’t worry, you will be. The reason being is Jean-Baptiste is that big-bodied coverman teams will be looking for as they try to copycat Seattle’s successful pass defense, which is based in part in having one of the league’s biggest secondaries.

With a 6’3” frame, Jean-Baptiste measured as the tallest defensive back (tied) at the NFL Scouting Combine. He’s not just long but he has bulk as well, tipping the scales at 218 pounds, which made the Cornhusker the second heaviest DB in Indy. So before Jean-Baptiste performed in any drills he probably had a bunch of teams intrigued right off the bat.

His 4.61 40-time and 4.33 short shuttle were disappointing. It’s unclear how much it will impact his draft status, but it was a blown opportunity for the Nebraska product to improve his stock. While Jean-Baptiste isn’t the fastest corner in the class he is very athletic and explosive. His 41.5” vertical jump was the best among the cornerback group and his 10’7” broad jump was tied for third.

Taking all his combine numbers into account and you can see why some scouts and general managers are already envisioning moving Jean-Baptiste to the safety position at the next level. At the very least it’s a potential fallback spot, insurance if you will, in case he doesn’t pan out as a corner. With the way the NFL is trending it’s not a bad idea to have a safety with cornerback skills on the field.

In evaluating Jean-Baptiste’s tape during the 2013 season, you’ll find a versatile coverman who flourishes in bump-and-run coverage, but is also more than capable of playing off the line of scrimmage. He also uses his length very well. Not many teams will challenge him on jump balls and his long arms allow him to disengage from blocking wide receivers in the running game.

Even though his shuttle time was a bit slow, Jean-Baptiste does appear to have fairly fluid hips for a man of his size and having been a wide receiver in high school, his ball skills are clearly up to par.

He’s inconsistent as a tackler, which will come into play for teams that view him as a safety. That being said, his lack of elite straight-line speed and short-area quickness are what could push him into the third round of the draft or later.

As a senior, he earned second-team All-Big Ten honors, which is solid, as cornerback was one of the strongest positions in the conference. Jean-Baptiste led Nebraska with four interceptions and 12 passes defensed, to go with four tackles for loss. He flashed the ability to turn defense into offense when he got the ball in his hands with 134 return yards, for an average of 33.5 yards per return following an INT, including one for a TD.

Projection: Second Round to Third Round

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. 

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