Height Overblown For Corners?

March 16th, 2016
New Bucs CB Brent Grives proves you don't have to be tall to play lockdown corner.

Brent Grimes proves you don’t have to be tall to play lockdown corner.

The talk among some football analysts claims a college cornerback under 6 feet tall shouldn’t be selected in the first two days of the NFL Draft.

When Joe was at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis last month, outside of hand size, the biggest chatter Joe heard was over cornerback height.

That brings Joe to new Bucs corner Brent Grimes. One of the better corners in the game, Grimes is 5-10. Not exactly ideal height for a corner. So he was asked Monday how he compensated for that.

“At my height, technique,” Grimes said. “Also I believe my athletic ability helps me a great deal as far as getting in and out of breaks, jumping – and also just knowing the game. Film work, things like that. Like I brought up earlier genetics is a great deal and I guess I’m lucky to be able to do some of the things I can.”

This takes Joe to the draft and two cornerbacks. If Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht is so inclined, might he draft Vernon Hargreaves or Mackensie Alexander, both are 5-10? When Joe spoke with both corners at the combine, each echoed in different ways what Grimes said Monday.

“If you can play ball you can play ball,” Hargreaves said.

Alexander took a mental approach to his game, he said, by doing as much research as he could on wide receivers he is assigned to cover.

“You’ve just got to know who they are,” Alexander said. “You’ve got to know their skillset.”

When uber NFL draft analyst Mike Mayock closed the combine with his annual presser, Joe asked him about factoring in height for corners. Mayock said it is a factor but not the final determination.

“Height is not overrated,” Mayock said.

But in the end, Mayock said it’s not so much how tall you are but can you cover.

13 Responses to “Height Overblown For Corners?”

  1. bucs4life86 Says:

    Like VH3 said, ” If u can play ball, you can play ball.” I don’t think a inch or two is that big of a deal. Guys like Grimes have proven that every year when there playing in Hawaii. It comes down to your skill set. There are plenty of tall corners that aren’t worth a dam in this league. You can be 7 ft tall but if u can’t cover, what good are you?

    With the two signings we made @ Corner I would be suprised if we still drafted VH3. I still didn’t think they were gonna take before the signings. Grief and Verner aren’t the youngest CBs so it wouldn’t be a bad investment for the future either. If the Bucs think he is the BPA when they are on the clock then so be it. Would love to see HARGREAVES III on the back of a bucs uniform.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Sure height helps but heart means more…..the same goes for the size of Linebackers. Sometimes I think the smaller guys work harder at their game because they know they are at a slight disadvantage.
    What good does height do you if you are three yards off of the receiver?

  3. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Wasn’t Ronde Barber 5’10”?

    I think ability, agility, technique and speed are key for shorter CBs. They can be very successful if they have the right ingredients.

    But I also believe the NFL is moving toward bigger WRs as a hole, and eventually, the CBs have to get bigger as well.

  4. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Moderation? I’m not sure what I said that needs it this time, lol.

  5. macabee Says:

    If you can play, you can play! But the Bucs got a lot of vertically challenged CBs (5). Banks is the only one over 6 feet. Like Robinson, Verner, and Grimes, most are 5’10”.

    You want a model? Deion Sanders, 6-1, 192, 4.27/40. You know who fits the model? Myron Lewis, 6-2, 203, 4.42/40. You know the difference? One can play – one can’t!

    To be a successful CB in today’s NFL and compete twice a year against WRs like Kelvin Benjamin and Julio Jones, it helps to have competitive length. But you also gotta have the skills and the instincts to play the game and those characteristics aren’t limited to players over 6 feet. If you can play, you can play! Don’t take my word for it, ask Darrelle Revis!

  6. Howard Cosell Says:

    The Revis is 5’11”

  7. Daniel Says:

    I hope the eight teams in front of the bucs are concerned with CB height so we can get Hargreaves. Grimes, Hargreaves, Verner, Moore, and Robinson is not a bad line up.

  8. macabee Says:

    You’re right Cosell,

    Revis is 5’11” – not over 6 feet!

  9. Tnew Says:

    There is a total equation. Height is important, especially when the vertical isn’t there. Vert is more important without height. Arm length important. We could go on about shuttle vs 40 and how each relates to “football speed” but ..

    Basically can a kid play football or not? Thats your question.

  10. godzilla13 Says:

    If you had a choice I am sure everyone would always draft a tall CB who can play over a short CB who can play. With Vernon Hargreaves III I am just not sold on him being a top 10 pick with his performance in the SEC Championship game against Alabama and Citrus Bowl against Michigan. Lets focus on our defensive line and a WR playmaker in the draft this year. With Brent Grimes and Josh Robinson, a new coaching staff and improved scheme lets go after that shutdown CB next year.

  11. Tnew Says:

    100% agree regarding the Citrus Bowl but I’m going to have to disagree regarding the SEC Championship game. I’ve watched that tape 3-4 times now and that game wasn’t that bad, I felt he played pretty well. The two deep passes Bama hit on, he released to the safety on one and came off of his guy on the second and had enough make up speed to nearly make a play. I did a quick search to see if there were any grades on this game and PFF graded him as a top 10 player in that game. Not saying that if the SEC Championship was his best game I would take him at 9 but it sure isn’t the reason why he’s not.

    He’s not really a shutdown corner either. He’s the type that is going to create turnovers.

  12. salish_seamonster Says:

    Height isn’t overrated when you’re talking about investing the 9th pick in the draft on a 5’10” corner with only average speed. No way Hargreaves is worth that high of a pick.

  13. 813bucboi Says:

    if a player plays over 30games in his college career and you can only think of 1,2 maybe 3 games that his performance wasn’t the best, the kid is a top 10 kid….I say draft him because grimes and robinson are only on 1 2 year deals with banks being a FA after this year….GO BUCS!!!