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2021 NFL Draft Position Preview: Top DB prospects

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The 2021 NFL Draft is now just one week away.

There was no Combine this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, thus putting added importance into the college pro day circuit. It served as the only opportunity for prospects to showcase their skills and athleticism to NFL teams prior to the start of the draft.

Leading up to April 29, Giants.com will be breaking down the top prospects at each position according to NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah's top 50 draft prospect list.

Next up are the defensive backs.

Current defensive backs on the roster: James Bradberry, Adoree' Jackson, Logan Ryan, Jabrill Peppers, Xavier McKinney, Darnay Holmes, Julian Love, Isaac Yiadom, Chris Milton, Joshua Kalu, Madre Harper, Montre Hartage, Sam Beal, Jarren Williams, Quincy Wilson

Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

Height/Weight: 6-foot-2, 208 pounds

2020 stats: 13 games, 37 tackles (22 solo), 3.5 tackles for loss, one interception, one defensive touchdown, nine passes defensed

Accolades: First-Team All-SEC (2020), Unanimous All-American (2020), SEC Defensive Player of the Year (2020), CFP National Champion (2020)

Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50 Ranking: No. 10

NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah: "Surtain has an ideal blend of size, speed and ball skills. He's at his best in press coverage. He doesn't consistently re-route receivers, but he avoids false steps and has plenty of speed to stay on top versus the vertical passing game. He will struggle at times versus smaller/quicker pass catchers. Like most big corners, he lacks top-flight short-area quickness. He has good eyes from off coverage, though. He identifies route combinations and makes aggressive plays on the ball. He is tough to fill versus the run and he's a reliable tackler in the open field. Overall, Surtain is a very similar prospect to Marlon Humphreywhen he was coming out of Alabama. I envision similar success for Surtain at the next level."

ESPN's Todd McShay: "Surtain, a true shutdown cover corner, finished with a pick-six, 12 pass breakups (tied for third in the country) and 38 tackles in 13 games. I love his instincts and the way he quickly diagnoses wide receivers' routes and funnels them where he wants them to go. He is also a natural playmaker, with good ball-reaction skills and soft hands. His father, Patrick Surtain Sr., was a Pro Bowl corner in the NFL and a second-round pick in 1998."

ESPN's Mel Kiper: "You probably recognize the name; Surtain's father, Patrick, picked off 37 passes and earned three Pro Bowl trips over 11 NFL seasons. He was a second-round pick by the Miami Dolphins in 1998. Surtain II is a little bit bigger than his dad, but they have similar coverage traits. His frame reminds me a little bit of Marlon Humphrey, another Crimson Tide corner who went in Round 1 (2017). Surtain is a shutdown corner who can break on throws with ease -- he had 23 pass breakups over the past three seasons, along with four total interceptions. He also forced three fumbles in 2019. It's going to be close between Surtain and Farley for the No. 1 corner in this class."

Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner: "Surtain was the highest-graded cornerback in college football this past season and has seen his PFF grade increase every single year since his freshman campaign. It's also not hard to project him to the NFL, as he has played 662 press coverage snaps over the past two years."

The Athletic's Dane Brugler: "A three-year starter at Alabama, Surtain lined up at right cornerback in head coach Nick Saban's man-heavy scheme, playing mostly press-man and off- man while also seeing reps at the "Star" nickel position. As the son of a Pro Bowl cornerback and coach, he was groomed to play defensive back at a high level and didn't shrink in the SEC, allowing only four touchdowns and 46.1% completions in 41 career games. With his movements, body range and ball skills, Surtain plays sticky coverage and doesn't panic downfield, consistently staying balanced and in phase. While he is athletic and false steps are infrequent, he lacks suddenness in his movements, giving explosive receivers a chance to separate early. Overall, Surtain lacks elite play strength and twitch for the position, but he is smooth, instinctive and the game happens slower for him than most cornerbacks. He projects as an NFL starting-level press-man corner with Pro Bowl potential."

NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: "Lockdown, press-man cornerback with elite size, length and talent to match up with any brand of receiver from any place on the field. He was a five-star recruit coming in and he consistently competed for championships in high school and college. Surtain possesses elite physical and athletic traits with the rare combination of length and short-area quickness that allows him to play on a press-man island and phase routes on all three levels. He plays to his length with plus technique and cover skills that make winning downfield a very challenging proposition. He was beaten in true man-to-man battles for 29-plus yards just five times during his career. His ability to stay connected to the route allows him to shut down yards after catch very quickly as a strong, wrap-up tackler. Run support goes in the "strengths" column, as well. He's been well-schooled at home and at Alabama. He's wired like a future All-Pro cornerback."

Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

Height/Weight: 6-foot-1, 205 pounds

2020 stats: 7 games, 16 tackles (10 solo), one tackle for loss, two interceptions, six passes defensed

Accolades: SEC All-Freshman (2018), Second-Team All-SEC (2020)

Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50 Ranking: No. 16

NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah: "Horn is a big, physical cornerback with plenty of speed and instincts. He's physical with his hands to consistently re-route in press coverage. He is fluid when he opens up and can run/stay in phase with vertical routes. His short-area quickness is good for a big cornerback. However, he has some bad habits to break in off coverage. He catches and grabs too much. He will draw a lot of flags at the next level if that doesn't get cleaned up. He does do a good job of locating and playing the ball downfield. He has outstanding hands to finish with the ball. He is more than willing in run support (see: huge hit versus Auburn). Overall, Horn needs to play with more confidence from off coverage (to avoid panicking and grabbing), but he has the skills to excel right away as a press-man cornerback."

ESPN's Todd McShay: "The son of former NFL wide receiver Joe Horn, Jaycee is long and instinctive. And he tends to play his best in big games. Horn opted out in the middle of the 2020 season but not before hauling in a pair of interceptions and breaking up six more passes over the course of seven games."

ESPN's Mel Kiper: "You probably recognize his last name; his father is former NFL wide receiver Joe Horn. Horn is a good player in his own right, though. He's an instinctual corner with good size and speed. He had only two interceptions in three seasons at South Carolina, but his 23 total pass breakups show that he makes plays on the ball. He should add more picks in the NFL. Horn also has three career sacks, so he could be used as a blitzer."

Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner: "This is the press-man cornerback you want in this draft class. He allowed only eight catches from 24 targets in the SEC last season. The issue was that even with the relatively lax college rules, Horn was still flagged five times. He'll need to reel that in at the next level."

The Athletic's Dane Brugler: "A three-year starter at South Carolina, Horn was the left cornerback in former head coach Will Muschamp's defense, often following the opponent's top receiver across the formation. After no interceptions his first two seasons, he nabbed a pair of interceptions in 2020, although a bulk of his production his final season came in one game (6 passes defended, 2 interceptions vs. Auburn; 2 passes defended, 0 interceptions vs. the other six opponents). With his length and athleticism, Horn matches up well vs. size and he shows more ownership for the catch point than most receivers, displaying improved route recognition the last three seasons. While his aggressive nature is a strength to his game, it also works against him at times – he is the type of corner who immediately finds the official after each play to make sure no flags were thrown (five penalties in seven games in 2020). Overall, Horn needs to refine his discipline and finishing skills, but he is a long, agile athlete with outstanding instincts, bloodlines and competitive mentality. He projects as an NFL starting press-man corner in the Aqib Talib mold."

NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: "Three-year starter with tantalizing combination of size and length that is clearly effective when matched in tight man coverage. Horn can line up in any cover scheme and often traveled with the opponent's most talented target. He plays with desired eye discipline from zone and the talent to impede release from press. He does an above-average job of closing, crowding and eliminating comfortable windows for quarterbacks to throw into, but his route anticipation is average. Horn can play with solid technique, but he became too reliant on the college game's tendency to allow mauling beyond five yards and that must be cleaned up moving forward. He needs more consistent effort in run support, but the traits and upside are extremely appealing despite a lack of high-end ball production. Horn offers immediate starting help with a high upside."

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah updated his ranking of the top 50 prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft for the final time before the start of the draft.

Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

Height/Weight: 6-foot-2, 197 pounds

2019 stats: 10 games, 20 tackles (14 solo), four interceptions, one defensive touchdown, 12 passes defensed (opted out of 2020 season)

Accolades: First-Team All-ACC (2019)

Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50 Ranking: No. 17

NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah: "Farley has outstanding size, length and speed for the cornerback position. He mixes up his technique and effectively re-routes wideouts with a one- or two-hand jam in press coverage. He's very fluid/loose and stays in phase with his man underneath and down the field. Farley has a quick/smooth pedal in off coverage and his patience helps him handle double moves. He shows exceptional burst when he does drive on the ball. The redshirt junior has plenty of speed to carry vertical routes. He can find and play the ball down the field. He's aggressive to fill versus the run, but he will fall off a few tackles. Overall, Farley has all of the ingredients to be a No. 1 cornerback at the next level."

ESPN's Todd McShay: "The first high-end draft prospect to opt out of the 2020 college season, Farley broke up 12 passes and intercepted four in 2019. His blend of size, length and speed is rare, and he has burst to his game. A former wide receiver, he has strong ball skills and flashes the ability to recognize route combinations. Farley is still developing, but the toolbox is there."

ESPN's Mel Kiper: "Farley was the first notable prospect to opt out of the 2020 season. I wrote about him in August, and I moved him up in my cornerback rankings after watching more tape. I would love to have seen another full season of starts, just because 2019 was only his second year playing defensive back -- he played quarterback and wide receiver in high school. And that was after he tore his ACL in fall practice in 2017. But you can see Farley's tools on the Virginia Tech tape, even if he needs some refinement. I'm curious to see how he tests when he goes through drills at his pro day next month."

Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner: "Farley's recent back surgery is the only thing keeping him from being CB1 on PFF's board. The last time we saw him, in 2019, he earned a 90.5 coverage grade and allowed a passer rating of only 26.8. He's got elite closing speed downfield and can easily affect the catch point at 6-foot-2, 207 pounds."

The Athletic's Dane Brugler: "A two-year starter at Virginia Tech, Farley lined up at left cornerback in former defensive coordinator Bud Foster's 4-2-5 base defense, doing his best work in man coverage. A high school quarterback, the 2018 season opener vs. Florida State was the first time he played cornerback in a game in his life (had two interceptions in that game) and he logged more passes defended (25) than games played (24) during the 2018-19 seasons. Farley checks boxes with his size, speed and reaction skills and as his comfort level ascends, so does his ability to anticipate the action, burst on the ball and play ultra-competitively. With only two years of experience at corner, he needs continued work with his route recognition and fundamental muscle memory, but the majority of his flaws are due to inexperience and not inability. Overall, Farley might have some rough patches early on and his past injuries are a strong concern, but he has outstanding physical tools with the natural instincts and ball skills to consistently stay in phase and make plays on the ball. He projects as a press-man starter with Pro Bowl upside if healthy."

NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: "Farley possesses rare size for the position and does an excellent job of utilizing his frame and length to charge rent inside the catch space. While his traits and ball skills will be coveted, he's still light on overall reps at the cornerback position. He needs to continue to improve his technique and discipline as he displays inconsistencies staying connected to routes at times. Farley is an ascending talent who fits more cleanly in a press-heavy scheme. Might require early patience as he continues to gain the polish necessary to become a quality NFL starter. Concerns surrounding his past injuries and latest back procedure could cause him to slip in the draft."

Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU

Height/Weight: 6-foot-1, 202 pounds

2020 stats: 10 games, 47 tackles (30 solo), two tackles for loss, two interceptions, nine passes defensed

Accolades: 2x First-Team All-Big 12 (2019, 2020), Jim Thorpe Award (2020)

Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50 Ranking: No. 19

NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah: "Moehrig has adequate size, but excellent versatility and instincts. He can play in the deep post or cover in the slot. He is a smooth, fluid mover in man coverage underneath. He also possesses ideal anticipation and range from the back end. He has the ability to consistently match patterns and position himself for plays on the ball. The former TCU star does need to improve his finishing ability, having dropped a couple interceptions in the games I studied. He takes quality angles in run support and is a reliable, low tackler. Overall, Moehrig offers a complete skill set at the position. He will provide his defensive coordinator with options, which is exactly what's desired in 2021."

ESPN's Todd McShay: "Moehrig is a playmaker. He breaks quickly on the ball, times his jump and has the ball skills to haul in interceptions -- he had two through 10 games after grabbing four in 2019 and broke up nine additional passes this season. Moehrig is above average as a tackler (47 in 2020) and even has some return-game experience."

Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner: "Moehrig has some of the best ball production you'll see from a safety prospect, as he led all FBS safeties in pass breakups in each of the past two seasons. At 6-foot-2, 202 pounds, Moehrig has ideal size and physicality for the position, as well."

The Athletic's Dane Brugler: "A two-year starter at TCU, Moehrig was the free safety in head coach Gary Patterson's 4-2-5 base scheme, lining up versus the slot or to the field side. He was one of the most productive defensive backs in college football the last two seasons with 26 passes defended and six interceptions in 22 games (and only two touchdowns allowed), taking home the Jim Thorpe Award in 2020. Moehrig was a high school cornerback and wide receiver, which is reflected on his TCU tape, where he displayed natural instincts and feel when the ball is in the air. While he is quick to trigger against both the pass and the run, he is missing an explosive finishing gear and lacks an ideal build, leading to durability concerns. Overall, Moehrig is a versatile, athletic ballhawk with the play range and anticipation to pattern-match in coverage in the mold of Jessie Bates. He projects as an immediate NFL starter (single-high or split-safety) and special-teams contributor."

NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: "Very talented height-weight-speed prospect with the range and ball skills to become an impact defender at the next level. Moehrig possesses the overall talent to play in a variety of coverages, including over the slot against big targets, but his talent might be best served as a high safety where his instincts and anticipation lead him to the football. He's a talented ball tracker with soft hands and does a very good job of maintaining balance and positioning to make a play. While he can strike like a pro, he's not always a knock-back tackler and his inconsistent angles to ball-carriers present a bit of a concern as a last line of defense. His 2019 tape was a little better than 2020, but he has the talent and traits to become a good starter early in his career."

View photos of every player projected to the Giants in mock drafts just days ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern

Height/Weight: 6-foot-0, 192 pounds

2020 stats: 3 games, 12 tackles (eight solo), one interception, seven passes defensed

Accolades: First-Team All-Big Ten (2020)

Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50 Ranking: No. 28

NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah: "Newsome is a tall, agile cornerback. He played a lot of off coverage in Northwestern's scheme. He stays crouched in his pedal and is always under control. He's fluid when he opens up to turn and carry vertical routes. He stays in phase and he can locate/play the ball. He doesn't have an explosive plant/drive, but he does have the awareness to anticipate throws. He has excellent instincts versus the run and pass. Against the run, he will hang on blocks too long at times, but he is a solid tackler once he frees himself. I expect Newsome to develop into a reliable starting cornerback very early in his NFL career."

Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner: "Newsome's biggest knock is that we just didn't get to see more of him this past year. He allowed all of 12 catches on 34 targets for 93 yards. With the Big Ten's shortened schedule, however, those came on only 223 coverage snaps. He's got the best feet of any corner in the class and can plug into any scheme in the league."

The Athletic's Dane Brugler: "A three-year starter at Northwestern, Newsome was the left cornerback in former defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz's man/zone scheme, lining up primarily from off-coverage. After leading the team in passes defended (11) as a sophomore, he was No. 1 in the Big Ten in passes defended (10) as a junior and led the FBS in passer rating against (15.77) — of the 10 completions he allowed in 2020, only one was 10-plus yards downfield. With his agile footwork and anticipation, Newsome attaches himself to receivers and stays under control in coverage. He has terrific eyes to sort and make plays, but he needs to turn the pass break-ups into interceptions. Overall, Newsome comes with durability concerns, especially against the rigors of the NFL, but he is a route magnet with fluid transitions and natural instincts. He projects as a press-man NFL starter as a rookie."

NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: "Long-limbed cornerback with angular frame and disruptive size and strength. Newsome is well-versed in Cover 3, quarters coverage and press man. He's equally adept at each, too. It's hard to get a gauge on his overall long speed, as most of the throws his way were underneath, but it's worth noting that he's above average with ball tracking and body positioning to defend the deep throw. While the takeaway totals are nothing special, his length, timing and sheer competitiveness make tape study of the contested catches he's allowed for completions a very short watch. He has the footwork and skill level to cover downfield without getting into receivers prematurely, but for now, those pass interference penalties from press-man are a concern. Newsome is a competitive, scheme-diverse outside cornerback with good size, speed and explosiveness. He has the talent to become a good starter within his first two seasons."

Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State

Height/Weight: 5-foot-10, 180 pounds

2020 stats: 8 games, 30 tackles (22 solo), one tackle for loss, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, three interceptions, six passes defensed

Accolades: Third-Team All-ACC (2019), First-Team All-ACC (2020)

Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50 Ranking: No. 39

NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah: "Samuel is an undersized cornerback with quick feet, trustworthy eyes and outstanding hands. He's at his best in off coverage. Samuel has a quick, fluid pedal and he is very efficient in his plant/drive on throws in front of him. He has outstanding route awareness and anticipation to position himself for ball production. There are some instances in which he gets outsized on vertical throws, but he is always in position. He isn't a physical run defender, but he is reliable to wrap up and get ball-carriers on the ground. Overall, Samuel has a very high football IQ and the skill set to start outside or in the slot."

Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner: "He's undersized for the position, but there's not much else in Samuel's game you can poke holes in. He's started for three years and has seen his coverage grade improve every year. He allowed only 179 yards into his coverage last season."

The Athletic's Dane Brugler: "A three-year starter at Florida State, Samuel lined up at right cornerback in defensive coordinator Adam Fuller's scheme, playing mostly man (press and off) with some zone coverage mixed in. After a rough start when he arrived in Tallahassee (six touchdowns allowed in 2018), he settled in the last two years with 24 passes defended and only two touchdowns allowed over his last 20 games. Samuel plays with outstanding reaction quickness and ball awareness to turn and locate or drive on throws in front of him. His lack of size shows up in coverage and against the run, but he is a heady player who trusts his skills, very similar to his Pro Bowl father. Overall, Samuel's smallish frame isn't ideal, but he is twitched up with the fluid athleticism and play confidence to stay connected to routes (flashes Jaire Alexander-type ability). He projects as an NFL starter capable of playing inside or outside."

NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: "Cornerback with NFL bloodlines and disruptive strength to make contested catches a true challenge for wide receivers. Samuel has good feet, but average size and transition burst to shadow breaks. He allowed too many catches in front of his face, especially early in the 2020 season. He plays with good technique in closing out and crowding receivers headed down the field but has a tendency to go overboard when face-guarding, turning his coverage into flags. He has the traits and talent to turn some catches into incompletions with a change in approach. Samuel has nickel talent, but might just be average as a pro."

View photos of the New York Giants' active 53-man roster as it currently stands.

Kelvin Joseph, CB, Kentucky

Height/Weight: 5-foot-11, 197 pounds

2020 stats: 9 games, 25 tackles (14 solo), 0.5 tackles for loss, four interceptions, one defensive touchdown, one pass defended

Accolades: N/A

Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50 Ranking: No. 45

NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah: "Joseph is tall, fluid cornerback with excellent ball skills. His tape is very inconsistent, but it's easy to get excited about his upside. In press coverage, he flashes a physical jam and is very loose to open up and mirror. He has plenty of juice to carry vertical routes, and he can find and play the ball. In off coverage, he doesn't waste steps before driving on the ball, taking good pursuit angles. If you want to like him, avoid the Florida game. Kyle Pitts turned him inside-out several times, resulting in big plays. Joseph was much better the rest of the season, however. He is aggressive versus the run, and he's a reliable wrap/drag tackler. Overall, Joseph is still a work in progress, and teams need to do their homework on why he left LSU. However, he possesses tremendous upside and could eventually develop into an elite player at the next level."

ESPN's Mel Kiper: "Joseph is one of the biggest risers in this class. His 2020 tape -- his lone season at Kentucky -- is excellent. A former four-star recruit who signed with LSU, Joseph is a third-year sophomore who sat out the 2019 season. He had four interceptions in 2020, including a pick-six against Tennessee. He has ball skills and instincts to cut off passes and he's tough in the run game, too. Joseph has all the tools to be a great pro."

Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner: "Joseph is a bit of a roller coaster on tape, as evidenced by his 70.7 coverage grade this past season. It's the games like Tennessee (92.3 coverage grade) and Alabama (85.9) that get you excited about what he's physically capable of doing at the next level."

The Athletic's Dane Brugler: "A one-year starter at Kentucky, Joseph was the boundary cornerback in head coach Mark Stoops' zone/man scheme. After fizzling out after one season at LSU, he put together a productive nine games in Lexington in 2020 (four interceptions in nine games) before his effort level fell off and the coaches directed him to opt out (Stoops: "I can't just have him out there standing around..."). A big-time athlete, Joseph has the rare ability to shadow routes without losing balance, displaying twitchy feet, fluid movements and high-end ball skills to consistently make plays. However, the sample size (nine career starts) and character questions are a concern and his undisciplined eyes lead to completions for the offense. Overall, Joseph won't be a fit for every organization due to maturity concerns, but he has first-round physical talent and the athleticism to blanket any type of receiver, which is why a team will likely roll the dice on him in the top-50 picks."

NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: "Joseph has physical dimensions and natural athletic talent that are easy to get excited about, but his lack of experience might be a secondary concern to the lack of maturity that is sometimes shown on the field. He has the length and strength to re-route and bully the early stages of the release from press and displays a sudden twitch to attack throws if asked to play an off coverage. He has the size and ball skills to create real challenges at the catch point, but lacks the discipline and route recognition to stay consistently connected to routes. While he improved as the 2020 season went on, the Ole Miss game showed just how much work and experience he still needs. The traits and ability in run support could push him up the board for some teams, while others might be turned off by the penalties and undisciplined plays he put on tape. Either way, he has talent to work with."

Elijah Molden, DB, Washington

Height/Weight: 5-foot-9, 192 pounds

2020 stats: 4 games, 26 tackles (21 solo), one tackle for loss, one interception, one pass defended

Accolades: Second-Team All-Pac-12 (2018), 2x First-Team All-Pac-12 (2019, 2020)

Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50 Ranking: No. 49

NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah: "Molden is a thick, compact cornerback who primarily lined up in the slot for the Huskies. He's a feisty, instinctive player with excellent toughness. Molden is outstanding in underneath zone coverage, using his outstanding vision to anticipate throws and jump routes. He has the quickness and fluidity to mirror in underneath man coverage. His ability to find and play the ball is tremendous. He is an aggressive force defender against the run, flashing the ability to stack and toss blockers before collecting stops. He will also shoot gaps to make tackles for loss. The only concern is his lack of elite top speed. He has all of the tools to be an outstanding nickel back as soon as he arrives in the NFL."

Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner: "Molden is the gold standard in the slot for this class. He earned a 90.9 coverage grade in that role in 2019 and backed it up with a mark of 86.2 this past season. While he's a little undersized to stay outside, he's a physical tackler who has the skills to move to safety seamlessly."

The Athletic's Dane Brugler: "A two-year starter at Washington, Molden played a nickel role in head coach Jimmy Lake's five-man starting secondary, lining up primarily vs. the slot receiver while also seeing reps as a single-high safety. He was part of a secondary in 2018 with three future draft picks (Byron Murphy, Taylor Rapp, Jordan Miller) before announcing himself as a legitimate NFL prospect as a junior in 2019, leading the team in tackles, passes defended and interceptions. With his reactive athleticism, Molden quickly processes pass/run and stays coordinated in zone and man coverage to make plays on the ball. While scrappy and smart, you wish he were longer and faster to provide the versatility to play outside. Overall, Molden's lack of ideal size, length and twitch will be a disadvantage at times vs. NFL skill players, but his instincts, competitive nature and read/react skills are tailor-made for a starting nickel role who shouldn't leave the field (defense or special teams)."

NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: "Evaluators will love his instincts, pedigree and elite football character. Some teams might worry about his long speed and whether he can play down the field as a man-to-man nickel while others will see him as a little short to be playing safety. However, there will likely be more teams who see it the other way, viewing Molden as a versatile defender whose competitive nature, play strength and anticipation help him play as big and fast as he needs to. He's a team leader with NFL-caliber play recognition and feel for the game. While he does lack plus acceleration out of transitions, he has fast feet and plays with good balance around the field in both coverage and as a steady, open-field tackler. Molden plays in the mold of a Washington defensive back: with urgency and a nose for the football. He is a Day 2 talent with the intangibles to help elevate a defense."

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