While we all know that the Colts will be going QB with the #1 pick, there are many different directions they could go with the 2nd rounder, as basically every position is now in play for an upgrade. One of their many choices is South Carolina CB Stephon Gilmore, a former HS QB that can also return kickoffs and punts.
Gilmore is an early entrant into the draft, starting in all 40 games he played in at South Carolina. He amassed 181 tackles in his three seasons, intercepted eight passes, and had 17 pass break-ups. His numbers as a junior kind of fell off from his sophomore season, where he earned first team All-SEC honors, but I'm guessing teams just decided to not throw to his side as often, causing the low numbers. South Carolina was 2nd nationally in Pass Efficiency Defense, behind only Alabama.
In reading over some of the scouting reports on Gilmore, every one of them brings up the fact that he could play either CB or Safety, and I think that's because he loves to play in the box. Most of these college CBs we're profiling might have a sack or two, but were just asked to play in coverage. Gilmore, however, made a living in the backfield. He finished his career with seven sacks and 15 tackles for loss, making him an obvious choice to play as a nickel corner, and in a scheme that likes the Corner blitz. A scheme like Chuck Pagano likes to run. At the combine he was asked who's style he compares himself too, and he brought up blitzing:
I like Charles Woodson a lot because he can play outside and inside and he takes pride in tackling. He's a smart player. And he blitzes a lot. I like to blitz.
He's a style of CB we haven't seen in Indianapolis for a while now, but his style certainly fits the new scheme now.
After the jump we have what some draft sites have to say about Gilmore, as well as all his measurements from the Combine, audio from his media session, and my thoughts on him.
A tall, solidly built corner with a physical nature to his game. Plays in mostly pres-bail/off-coverage at South Carolina and is at his best when he's near the line of scrimmage... Is a "plus" sized corner with good quickness and fluidity. Needs to clean up his footwork in off/zone concepts, but has skill set to play near the line, check receivers and turn and run.
Wiry, athletic, physical cornerback with intriguing length and upside and takes pride in being a well-rounded player. Is not a finished product and is still learning to play with his back to the ball, but should start sooner rather than later. Could be considered as a safety.
Gilmore is a dynamic athlete who made a lot of plays at corner for South Carolina. He has the skill set to move to safety but is talented enough to challenge for a starting role at the corner position as a rookie. He is a football player who makes big plays and was among the SEC's finest athletes.
Combine Media Session (8:00)
Gilmore seems to be a slightly faster version of Marlin Jackson, as they are the same exact height and within 10 pounds of each other. With the injury issues we've seen from the Colts (and hopefully we'll see that change over the next few years), having a guy like Gilmore who could legitimately play either CB or Safety would be great to have. Gilmore will most likely be there at pick #34, but certainly not at the top of round 3, so I think the Colts will really have to fall in love with him if he is to become a Colt. At this point, I think there are more pressing needs at pick #34, and CBs/Safety can be picked later in the draft. It's too bad though, as I think Gilmore is a really good player.
For a complete list of prospects and profiles, check out our 2012 Draft Profiles Page.