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Minnesota Vikings Select Michigan State CB Trae Waynes



Played in 36 games over three seasons with Spartans, starting 27. Selected as first-team All-Big Ten in 2014. Was a semifinalist for the Thorpe Award (top defensive back). Was defensive recipient of MSU's Jim Adams Award (unsung hero). As a junior in 2014, had three interceptions and eight pass breakups and finished sixth on the team with 46 tackles. In 2013, started all 13 games at cornerback and earned MSU's Tommy Love Award (most improved player, defense). Played nine games as a redshirt freshman in 2012. First-team all-state as a senior at Bradford High School in Kenosha, Wis., despite missing three games with knee and leg injuries. Recorded the fastest 40 time (4.37 seconds) at the 2010 Midwest Ultimate 100 Camp. Also starred in baseball and track in high school; was indoor track champion in the 60- and 20-yard dashes.


20-yard short shuttle: 4.19 seconds


Good length. Loves to compete in man-to-man and is mentally tough. Asked to play on an island and did so successfully. Allowed just two touchdowns over last two seasons. Bump-and-run specialist. Fastest cornerback at the NFL Scouting Combine with a 4.31 40-yard dash, showing off his recovery speed to make up for separation. Maintains feel for vertical threats and uses his frame to pin wideouts against sideline. Excels in deep, man coverage and can be smothering. Acceleration and length to contest any throw on the field. Well-coached and plays with proper leverage in coverage. Can be intimidating and disruptive against finesse receivers. Drives forward with burst and runs through targets, jarring balls loose. Wrap-up tackler who understands his responsibility against the run.


"Grab, grab, grab!" Transition to a less hands-on cover style will take time. Would grab opposing wide receivers at top of route at times rather than trusting length and ball skills. Penalized nine times over last two seasons. Tight through hips and tends to play upright. Struggles to mirror and match against quickness. Hips and feet get clumsy in transition. Allows brief separation window at the top of short and intermediate routes. Fails to sink hips to stop, causing balance issues. Sometimes plays with blinders on and anticipation is below average. Slow to process combinations.


"I didn't think anyone had a better combine than (Trae Waynes). He was faster than I thought and looked great in the drills. He's the top corner and I don't think it's close." -- NFC director of personnel


Antonio Cromartie


He's a bump-and-run cornerback with the length, deep speed and confidence to handle himself down the field against speed. Waynes plays too handsy for NFL officials and that could show up on Sundays. His 4.31 40, smooth hips and overall fluidity displayed at the combine could make him a much earlier pick in the draft than previously projected. Waynes carries a very high ceiling.

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