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Cole World

This Falcon can fly: Kendall Sheffield’s elite speed should help secondary

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CB Kendall Sheffield reminds me of Panthers CB Donte Jackson in that both of them are track stars who happens to play football. Both uses their speed to stay in the hip pocket of the receiver they are covering.

Jackson went in the 2nd round of last year draft and I believe Sheffield would have gone anywhere from the 2nd to the 3rd if he didn't injury himself at the combine. This is what was said about Jackson pre-draft.

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Jackson was able to work his way onto the field at LSU because of the world-class speed that made him a track-and-field star translated to the football field. Instantly in the NFL, Jackson is going to be among the fastest players on any team. He might be the fastest cornerback in the league in 2018. Jackson ran the 100-meter dash - longer than 100 yards - in 10.22 seconds, which is a tremendous time. He uses his great speed and agility to routinely blanket receivers. Jackson is very capable to run the route to prevent separation and uses his instant acceleration to stay with the wideouts out of breaks. His burst and explosion give him excellent recoverability skills. Many teams in the NFL can struggle with super-fast wide receivers downfield and have to give cornerbacks help over the top. Jackson's NFL team won't have to worry about that, because he is able to run with the deep-speed receivers and keep them from getting open.

The most concerning negatives about Jackson are his size. He is a short and light for cornerback, so he should not be matched up with big receivers who could make catches over him. A lot of the time Jackson will be relegated to being a nickelback, but he will also line up on the outside when taking on a speed receiver. Jackson knows he is fast, and that can make him overly aggressive at times. He is a gambler who needs to become more disciplined for the NFL.

 

 

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This Falcon can fly: Kendall Sheffield’s elite speed should help secondary

The 5-foot-11, 193-pound cornerback can absolutely fly. Sheffield set an Ohio State record by running the 60-yard dash in 6.663 seconds, and that speed is something he brings to the football field as well.

Sheffield’s speed alone makes him a tantalizing prospect. He possesses not only the long-range speed to track receivers vertically, but he also has some quick-twitch qualities and breaks on receivers fairly quickly. In the Falcons’ defensive scheme that ability to bring a receiver down where he catches the ball is especially important.

As a tackler, Sheffield does a good job of shooting his arms and wrapping up a defender’s legs. It might be too generous to call Sheffield an urgent tackler, as he doesn’t usually seem ****-bent to get to the runner, but he is far from hesitant to make a tackle.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn indicated that Sheffield could get a look at the nickel role in Atlanta’s defense and tackling is especially important that close to the line of scrimmage.

Despite his raw speed and athletic traits, there are still several aspects of Sheffield’s game where he can improve. Most notably, locating and playing the ball while facing a receiver. This was an inconsistent part of Sheffield’s game at Ohio State and it’s the area he needs the most work as a pro.

Sheffield’s elite speed makes his flaws worth overlooking. Given the Falcons’ current secondary makeup, Sheffield should have time to learn and improve his technique without being thrust into starting action right away.

There are plenty of moments on film where Sheffield puts himself in the right position to make a play but is the victim of either a great throw or a tremendous catch. Still, it’s not the end result that matters in his evaluation but rather the skills he shows. In this instance, he displays good footwork and burst to close on the ball.

At times, Sheffield can get off-balance while mirroring a receiver at the line of scrimmage. This tends to get him into trouble at times. But, like most of the flaws in Sheffield’s game at this time, this is something that can be corrected with coaching and time.

Cornerback is one of the more difficult positions to play early on in the NFL, but Sheffield should have a little bit of time to make the transition. The Falcons have said they may look at Sheffield as a candidate to return kicks given his speed, but that is not a role he has experience occupying.

While he may have some things in his game to clean up, Sheffield is an exciting prospect who started every game for Ohio State last season.

If the Falcons are able to tighten up Sheffield’s technique and confidence when his back is turned to the ball, he has the makings of a quality starting cornerback in the NFL given his rare speed and explosiveness.

 

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What impressed me from his workout video is how quick he is. Straight line speed is only so much use in football, but combined w quickness it’s deadly

 

if they can teach him some clean tacking, some in phase head turn, little bit of instinct...his athletic ability can cover some mistakes 

gazoo, Cole World, atlbaby and 1 other like this

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12 hours ago, Kung Fu Kenny said:

4.26 forty. Yeah he can fly.

 

 

5 hours ago, ATLSlobberKnockers said:

Thought it was 4.24

 

Campbell and Sheffield were always atop the team's 40-yard dash charts posted on the wall of the Woody Hayes Athletic center, where they were most recently seen as tied with an almost-certainly embellished 4.25-second time.

But those two aren't the only ones expecting to run fast this weekend. Terry McLaurin said last month that he expects to run a 4.35 or better at the combine, "and I'm not even kidding."

Many assume Campbell and Sheffield will be the fastest Buckeyes at the combine, and they very well may be, but McLaurin still has a mission to beat their times, and he knows fellow speedy receiver Johnnie Dixon does as well.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, atlbaby said:

 

Campbell and Sheffield were always atop the team's 40-yard dash charts posted on the wall of the Woody Hayes Athletic center, where they were most recently seen as tied with an almost-certainly embellished 4.25-second time.

But those two aren't the only ones expecting to run fast this weekend. Terry McLaurin said last month that he expects to run a 4.35 or better at the combine, "and I'm not even kidding."

Many assume Campbell and Sheffield will be the fastest Buckeyes at the combine, and they very well may be, but McLaurin still has a mission to beat their times, and he knows fellow speedy receiver Johnnie Dixon does as well.

His 6.66 60 proves he's fast as hail

Edited by ATLSlobberKnockers
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I wouldn't get too excited over raw speed - it is those that aren't affected too much by football decision-making slowing them down that truly succeed.

Mack Wilson from Alabama is a prime example.  He was one of the fastest guys on the field when you just let him chase the ball, but when he was moved to a position that required post-snap decision making, he appeared much slower.

Darrell Green and Deion Sanders are two exceptions of those that were able keep their raw speed relevant, but the league is littered with speedsters that couldn't.

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If you don’t possess raw speed & quickness, then you’re even more deeply dependent on having picture perfect feet, form & function.  Because you cannot practice yourself into gaining or learning speed.  Therefore, you need to be close to perfect most all of the time so as not to give up huge gains.

On the other hand, however, if you do possess the gift of rare speed, you have that in your back pocket while you dedicate yourself to the art of footwork & form.  You just know in your heart that the guy in front of you will never pose the threat of outrunning you.  That’s where the confidence comes in.  

You know in your heart that if your technique is solid, then even if the receiver outmaneuvers you in a route or if he gains a bit of separation due to an unanticipated move, you have the makeup speed to recover & make a play on the ball.  

For him it will simply be about dedicating himself to technique, footwork, hands, awareness of field position & tackling.  He needs to eat, sleep & live in Tru’s brain & sap every ounce of information he can from him.  

Cole World, Kung Fu Kenny and gazoo like this

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