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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Around The Draft: EJ Gaines

I'm struggling through a personal loss, so I took a day off on my 60 prospects/60 days thing.

At any rate, we have EJ Gaines.  Missouri CB, a very average 5'10, 190.  A lot of the prospects so far at CB have been the tall, lanky type or the smaller, nickelback type - and outside of the third round duo of McGill/Jean-Baptiste, the average ranking based on the internet suggests that the higher you go, the taller you are.  

Gaines is an average build guy, but still rated lower.  He isn't the tall, lanky corner that fits the outside defender narrative for Carolina. But, he fits the slot corner narrative, and does have the ability and athleticism to fit downfield, where his hips seem to turn well for him from backpedal.  He's played both in press and off-man, so he should be able to handle the slot or outside zone.

He does also fit in another form - he is a good tackler and blitzer, even to go as far as to say that he's the type of guy who can avoid blockers well enough to be a threat to come at the QB.   He's the sort that doesn't turn enough of his ball opportunities into INTs (the prototypical "that's why he plays defense" type of comment), and has to overcome a small injury history.

Carolina needs basically this one piece, based on whether the odd idea of having Charles Godfrey as the nickel pays any dividends (but, even still, they could use this piece).  Gaines could go late 3rd, or 4th, but fits the football player playing corner type player that Ron Rivera has sought.
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