Who The Hell Will They Draft? Michigan CB, Donovan Warren

A physical Michigan CB, good in zone coverage, with great tackling skills, but a lack of speed and man skills that have most considering him as a safety. Where have we heard that before?

Warren is to Marlin Jackson as recent profile A.J. Edds is to Chad Greenway. Players from the same school, playing the same roles with very similar strengths and weaknesses, but this year's edition isn't quiet the overall prospect making them a mid round pick, rather than a 1st rounder. Warren is a CB who'll excel playing near the line in underneath zone and run support, but will struggle if he's asked to man up on WRs deep regularly.

A team like Indy that values run support and is still mostly man coverage will likely have serious interest in Warren in the middle to late rounds. Despite being a little rough around the edges and not a fit at CB in many schemes Warren has the skills to become a great zone CB.

Mocking the Draft

Warren is as good of a tackler as there is in this year's cornerback class. He's as reliable as they come in the open field and can really hit the ball carrier. He'll need to learn to shed better, but Warren's tackling is one of the things that makes him such a good prospect to move to safety. He wraps up correctly and drives through his tackles.

Reads quarterbacks pretty well in zone to get a good jump. Breaks up more passes with his physical playing style, and less so his athletic ability. Has a tendency to hit the receiver before the ball arrives, and needs to become a little more disciplined.

He's good at reading plays in front of him and has a better short-area burst than people give him credit for. Few players have been knocked during the offseason process as much as Warren, and some of it is unfounded. He'll get underdrafted.

NFL Draft Scout

Reacts quickly to throws in front of him, although his footwork is not always sound. Pounds and wraps up receivers making receptions in front of him. Jumps routes when quarterback locks onto a receiver. Jumps underneath routes to make tackles. Poor backpedal, allows receivers to eat up cushion.

Works hard to get off tight end blocks on the edge when supporting the run. Is not strong enough to rip off consistently, put will attempt to force plays inside and reach the sideline. Backs typically don't elude him once in the grasp. Stays home against misdirection plays and cutbacks.

Secure tackler in the open field who brings his hips and wraps with authority. Strong enough to knock the ball out of the receiver's hands during or after the catch is secured. Effective arm tackler but bends at the waist to tackle in space instead of dropping his hips, will miss tackles against NFL backs. Lunges and leaps at the feet of running backs when supporting the run, which is not acceptable at the next level.

Loves the game. Plays with passion and toughness. Directs other defensive backs into position.

NFL.com

Warren possesses the size and athleticism coveted in defensive backs. He’s a tough, competitive player who can really help out in run support with his aggressiveness and sound open-field tackling. Warren’s a confident, instinctive performer who’s comfortable reacting to plays in front of him.

Lacks the necessary pure speed to play on an island and turn and run with speedy receivers. His lateral agility and burst are only adequate.

Warren's technique issues even in zone mean he isn't likely to step right into a big role well (as a more polished zone CB like Spievey might), but Warren could be available as late as the 6th round, where he'd be a steal for a team looking for a CB to play mostly short zone. Keep an eye out for Warren next Saturday in the final four rounds. He fits what Indy likes to do and very much compares to a player they thought quite highly of in 2005.

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