11 Mar 2014 04:23 PM EST
-by Mason May, Contributing Writer; Image: Lindenwood cornerback Pierre Desir breaks up pass. (Image Source: Lindenwood Athletics)
Here’s a look cornerback Pierre Desir of the Lindenwood Lions:
Background: Prior to starting his career at Lindenwood, Pierre Desir attended Washburn University and lettered in football for two seasons and is ranked third in school history with 12 interceptions, which helped him to become second-team All-American in his freshman year. After his second season with Washburn, Desir decided to move closer to his family and that’s when he started his career as a Lindenwood Lion. He lit it up in his first season and was named an AFCA All-American. He also finished second in all levels of NCAA football with nine interceptions, which was good enough to clinch the school record. He led the MIAA in interceptions and passes defended. His second season (2013) with Lindenwood was just as impressive for the stud corner. He was much deservedly named the Cliff Harris Award winner, which is given out to the nation’s top small school defensive player. On top of that he was, again, named AFCA All-American and was named to the Little All-American first team by the Associated Press. All these honors were enough to get him invited to the East-West Shrine Game, the Reese’s Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine.
Best Parts of His Game: Desir has the size that many NFL teams are coveting since the emergence of Seattle’s Richard Sherman. At 6’1” and 195 pounds to go along with 31-inch long arms he has the potential to put pressure on big receivers such as Calvin Johnson and AJ Green. He doesn’t have blazing speed but he runs very fluid and rarely ever gives up the big play. Great hands and his excellent leaping ability allow Desir to go up and high-point the ball such as he did at the Senior Bowl when he intercepted a pass in the end zone. Desir has the ability to play in any coverage called. At Lindenwood he mostly played man-to-man, but he also excelled in zone when he had to. He covers ground extremely fast for a guy of his size, and his ability to break on the ball with such speed is something many NFL scouts are looking for. He is a very good bump-and-run corner who has great recovery speed and reacts to the ball very naturally. He seems to run with receivers very well along the sidelines and can change directions very quickly due to his quick feet and loose hips.
Could Use Some Work: Desir is not very aggressive when it comes to stopping the run. He seems to shy away from contact rather than initiate it. He must develop his technique in open field tackling as well and also gain confidence to be able to step up and take on bigger ball carriers, which he will see in the NFL. Another thing Desir must improve on to become an elite NFL cornerback is the ability to fight off perimeter blocks and get to the ball carrier. He played at a very small Division 2 school so some people may question the strength of his opponents.
Draft Outlook: Pierre Desir is a very intriguing prospect especially due to the demand of tall, athletic cornerbacks. I could see Desir going somewhere between the third and fourth rounds, and could even sneak into the second round. It will be very hard for a team with need for a cornerback to pass on the well-rounded Pierre Desir after the top corner prospects are off the board.
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