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Panther's Josh Norman Scouting Report - Draft Insiders’ 2012 Yearbook

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CB Josh Norman Scouting Report - Draft Insiders’ 2012 Yearbook - Frank Coyle

Josh Norman was selected in the 5th Round of NFL Draft 2012 by the Panthers – Today he is one of the Top Five cornerbacks in the NFL

Photo - CB Josh Norman - Panthers

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Josh Norman #24 - 6’ 195 lbs. - Coastal Carolina Sp. 4.55 Rating 78 Hindu Theory: Kelvin Hayden
Agile tall senior corner had a fine career in the Big South starting the past three seasons, earning honors over that period. Josh has good athletic skills and high production that earned him invitations to the East-West and Senior Bowl All-star games and the NFL Combine. He is a high cut athlete who moves easily and has the skill set to become a starting NFL cover man. He is a well-developed athlete at just over 6’ and 195 lbs., and will benefit from an NFL weight-training program. He moves well with quick feet and smooth flexible hips to turn and cover in the deep game and close on the ball to make plays. He displayed playmaking ability as a cover corner over his career that saw him total 35 PBU and 13 interceptions. He is not as physical or disciplined as scouts want in a prospect, but he has an intriguing skill set for the corner and shows fine man matchup talent. He has good size, speed, quickness, agility and ball instincts to become a quality NFL corner with more development and consistency. He needs development in his basic technique and his initial reads to fully realize his talent that ranks him among the top small college prospects despite some inconsistencies. He has the fine athletic ability that allows him to matchup in coverage with the premier receivers. Over his career, he showed the speed to run stride for stride with the top receivers from the lower level of competition relying on his physical size and leaping ability to battle for the ball. He has the combination of size, speed, quickness and agility with the ability to read routes and make sound decisions. His instincts are good, though he needs some development in his reads and adjustments especially when to gamble and when to play with sound positioning in coverage. He is quick on the underneath patterns when he reads well using his speed to break on the ball. He has smooth movement skills for a bigger corner and performs positional drills at a level of smaller athletes. He has the hip flexibility and footwork to make an easy transition with the speed to run with receivers stride for stride. His fine height and reach allow him to win matchups with big receivers and win. He has rare corner size and reach with good movement skills to play tight man coverage. In his back pedal, he is usually smooth, fluid and shows the ability to sink his hips despite his height that allows him to break quickly on the ball. His initial reads are usually sound and his good ball skills led many teams to throw away from him since his sophomore season. He has good COD skills and is supple for a big defender with quick anticipation skills when he reads the route properly. That allows him to use his AA and leaping ability to make plays where he displays very good body control and is fluid coming out his breaks. He has the ability to recover with the good speed that scouts look for in a starting corner with the quick feet in his pedal, explosion out of his plant and the ability to drive and close. In zone coverage, he is raw in some respects and needs development and may need some time before feeling comfortable in that scheme, though it might be the best fit for him. He shows good play recognition ability with the closing burst to make up for mistakes with developing ball skills. His range and catch up speed are good with the burst of speed to recover nicely. He uses his long arms well to deflect passes and can match up, combining the leaping and agility skills. As a tackler, he is not a physical hitter and is more a drag down defender who needs definite strength development to improve in this key area. He has to prove more physical to earn a starting corner role. He is similar to Kelvin Hayden in size, agility, speed, and LOD. His likeness to Hayden is very similar physical skill set to become a good corner and probably an eventual starter. At the NFL Combine, he came in just over 6’ and 197 lbs. He ran a disappointing 4.66 forty with a 1.52 time in the ten yard split. He did 13 reps with a 33” VJ and 10’4” BJ. As a senior, he started 10 of 11 games and had 62 tackles with 2 FF, 12 PBU and 2 picks that earned Big South honors. As a junior, he started 11 of 12 games and had 56 tackles with 1 FF, 9 PBU and 1 pick that earned Big South honors. As a sophomore, he started 11 games and made 43 tackles with 7 PBU and 8 picks. He can be a gambling aggressive cover man who can bite on double moves and needs better overall discipline. He has adequate recovery speed to match up vs. top receivers but the size to battle the big wideouts consistently. Rising top 100 prospect on my board with fine overall talent with further upside. He was considered a middle round prospect entering the All-star postseason where he drew raves at the East-West practices that earned him a Senior Bowl invitation. Figures in the 3rd round area with clubs like the Falcons, Raiders and Cards interested. Fast rising developing corner with a big upside to be solid starter in time.
Draft Projection: 3rd-4th Round