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 (Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports)
With the departures of cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, the Patriots secondary has some big shoes to fill. Despite the additions of Bradley Fletcher and Robert McClain, the secondary could use an influx of young talent in the draft. Even with young players like Logan Ryan and Malcolm Butler, adding another CB to the mix will likely bring out the best of each guy back there. Should the value not feel right in the 1st round (I personally like Byron Jones, Jalen Collins, and Kevin Johnson, in that order), the Patriots could find great value in Oregon CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu in the 2nd or 3rd round.

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu is an interesting guy. He suffered a season ending knee injury (torn ACL) during a practice for the Rose Bowl, and has yet to truly work out for teams since. That being said, he was a consensus All-American, 1st team All PAC 12, and a Jim Thorpe Award finalist last year. Due to his size and injury, his projected draft range varies quite a bit, but the Patriots have shown a willingness to draft an injured player with a lot of upside, if the value is there.

Measurables:
Height: 5'9″
Weight: 194 lbs
Arm Length: 30 7/8”

Combine/Pro Day Results:
N/A

College Stats:
Played all four years: 244 tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss, 9 interceptions, 43 passes defended, 8 forced fumbles

Professional Comparison:
Jason Verrett. Nearly identical in size (5'9" 190 lbs) and style of play. If Ifo didn't hurt himself, he would likely have found himself in a similar conversation that Verrett was in last year. Smaller guys, very fast and fluid, that could excel against all but the biggest WRs.

Strengths: 
All traits were before the injury. Some of the quickest feet. Fluid hips. Can change direction on a dime. Plays with speed in every way. Fast hands to knock away balls. Very alert. Instinctive player when ball is in the air. Can play man or zone. Not afraid to hit. Can play CB anywhere on the field. Has more experience than most college players as a four year player. Decent tackler. Constant effort. Knows how to track and follow receivers with hands on hip. Goes for strips when the opportunity comes after the catch. So fast that he limits yards after the catch. Not afraid to get physical with receivers. Excellent footwork. Was a leader for the team on and off field.

At 0:15-0:33 - For his size, he knows how to form tackle and wait for help finishing the tackle.
At 1:49-2:12 - Knows how to keep hand on WR's hips and run the route for him.
At 4:29-4:38 - Some of the most natural and fluid hips I've seen from a college CB.
At 4:56-5:19 - Sees the play and is able to come down fast on the WR and use hands to break up pass.



Weaknesses: 
Will get bullied by larger WRs. Tackles too high on occasion (hard to believe I know). Often is too reckless when tackling. Doesn't break down consistently. Not big or strong enough to fight off blocks from bigger receivers. Can get caught looking at the QB when playing zone. WRs with length can box him out on certain routes. Will struggle stopping some of the bigger RBs in the league.

At 1:39-1:48 - Lacks the size and strength to disengage regularly from blocks.
At 2:53-3:01 - Can get caught looking at the QB when he is playing zone coverage.



Projections:
3rd round. I've seen him in a variety of places on draft boards, anywhere from the 2nd round to the 4th round, but I think the 3rd round is where his value is ideal without knowing more about his knee. If CBs are jumped on in the 1st and 2nd round, a team may get scared and reach for him earlier, but a late 2nd wouldn't be a reach if teams are ok with waiting until September for him to get involved. He is ahead of schedule on his recovery though.



Will the Patriots draft him?
If he slips to the 3rd round, and they haven't taken a CB yet, they should absolutely draft him without a second thought. I still can't get over how quick he was. Should he eliminate doubt about his knee before the draft he very well could be taken in the 2nd round. The Patriots have shown interest in him, which only helps the thought of him donning the Flying Elvis come summer.

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Adam Bogdan 4/15/2015 06:00:00 PM Edit
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