The Dolphins drafted two cornerbacks this draft, Xavien Howard and Jordan Lucas. Now Howard is a better prospect when it comes to ball skills and probably athletic ability, but I felt that Lucas was the more technically sound cornerback and a better tackler out of the two prospects.
I would have liked to have seen Penn State keep Lucas at cornerback instead of moving him to safety. I think he would have been a higher value prospect if he stayed at cornerback.
Penn State moved Lucas to safety this year and I didn’t see many games of 2015 but the games I did see he looked lost. I think he could spell for a strong safety for a couple of plays or two and he does have coverage skills which makes him appealing at strong safety. But I would prefer him in the boundary or in the slot.
Lucas has a lot to like when it comes to a cover 2 or 3 boundary zone corner back. He has good size at 6’0” and 200 lbs. His arms are at an average length at 30 inches. He has good jumps, awareness and reaction to play zone defense. Plus Lucas is a good tackler.
Here Lucas demonstrates very good zone coverage. He gets a hand on the WR then back pedals a little with the WR while keeping his eyes on the QB. He is able to deflect the pass. I would like to see an interception here but I can settle with a heads up pass break up.
Lucas demonstrated good tackling throughout my film study. He is a sure tackler that takes good angles. On this play Lucas makes a good tackle on the ball carrier to limit yards gained.
Penn State used Lucas as a safety which in my opinion messed up his chances for a better draft evaluation. Lucas played unsurely at the safety position; whereas when he played at cornerback he played a lot more confidently.
The one thing Lucas did well at the safety position was in run support. On this play Lucas shows he can make a sure tackle from the safety position.
Lucas was sent on slot blitzes a number of times. Here is an example of one instance when he was sent to rush the QB. Lucas doesn’t get to the QB but he does affect the throw.
I saw Lucas make a lot of quick decision tackles. In this clip Lucas sees the run and reacts quickly once he sees the lane.
Lucas has average arm length, but on this play he shows he can keep the WR in front of him with a strong stiff arm.
Lucas shows good ability to turn his head at the correct time on this play. This is a perfect timing and perfect form head turn. This allowed him to make a pass break up on this play.
Here is another example of Lucas’ read and react skills. On this play the QB throws a pass to the running back in the flat. Lucas reads this play as the QB is throwing, plants his foot in the ground, and sprints to the ball carrier. He makes a shoe string tackle, and limits a bigger yard gain.
Lucas shows a great ability for jump athletics on this play. This ability is very important as a zone defender because it shortens passing windows for the QB.
This film review was done by Matthew Knowles. Follow him on Twitter: @blueflamespcl