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NFL Draft: Vikings Select Maine CB Kendall James

Posted May 10, 2014

OVERVIEW

Defensive back-receiver who also played basketball and was a member of a state-champion track squad as a New Jersey prep. Redshirted in 2009. Played in 11 games in '10 and made 16 tackles with zero pass breakups and zero interceptions as a reserve defensive back and special-teams player. Started 13 games at right cornerback in '11 and had 50-4-3 with one forced fumble. In '12, he registered 46-12-3 with two forced fumbles in 11 starts at RCB. Scored his lone collegiate touchdown on a 100-yard interception return at Bryant. In '13, recorded 36-9-2 with 2.5 tackles for loss in 13 starts at RCB. Also had a blocked field goal against New Hampshire. Did not broad jump at the NFL Scouting Combine (hamstring).

STRENGTHS

Outstanding timed speed and leaping ability (39-inch vertical). Terrific balance, body control and agility. Fluid and flexible with loose hips and ankles to transition and change direction smoothly. Mirrors in man coverage. Aware in zone. Plants and drives quickly. Shows burst to close and recover. Good ball skills. Will come up and stick his nose in run support. Has special-teams experience as a gunner. Three-year starter. 

WEAKNESSES

Does not look the part -- is skinny with extremely short arms and small hands. Must bulk up and get functionally stronger -- gets wired to blocks. Bench-pressed 225 pounds just nine times at the combine, one of the lowest totals among DBs. Does not have strength to press -- will be outmuscled by larger receivers outside the numbers. Tackles low and needs help from the cavalry when he cannot chop down ball carriers with momentum. Lacks experience playing inside.

DRAFT PROJECTION

Rounds 4-5

BOTTOM LINE

Undersized, extremely short-armed, feisty corner with potential to contribute as a sub-package defender. Offers appealing fluidity, twitch, speed and ball skills, though he will always face size and strength limitations.