From now until the 2018 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.
Isaac Yiadom/CB Boston College – 6’0/7 187
– NFL frame and length (32 7/8 inch arms)
– Thrives in press man coverage and does well to disrupt the WRs release
– Physical player who takes pride in defending the run, works hard to get off stalk blocks with a violent release and comes downhill to make the tackle
– Good leaper who uses size and length to play the pocket
– Fluid hips and turn and an above average athlete
– Quick to diagnose with change of direction ability to drive downhill onto any short/intermediate throws
– Good starting experience and well respected by teammates
– Trusts himself too much in man coverage and can be late opening his hips
– Press work needs refinement
– Has to play a little cleaner at the LOS to avoid penalties
– Hands and punch can be aimed lower
– Must do a better job of keeping feet square on contact and not opening hips hip as he punches, causing him to lunge and lose power, especially in C2 reroute
– Primarily a man corner who doesn’t have a ton of experience in zone
– Limited production but partially due to how infrequently he was targeted
– 28 career starts, three year starter
– Career: 110 tackles, 26 PDs, 3 INTs
– 2017: 53 tackles, 2 INTs (both season highs)
– Earned 2017 award for DB who showed the most leadership
Yiadom is a corner who might wind up flying under the radar. I don’t know if he’s going to go in the first round, he probably won’t, but if he tests well, he’ll have first round talent. He can do it all. Press man, play the ball, support the run. Checks the baseline boxes.
I love corners who support the run and/or tackle, even if that’s sorta fallen out of favor – or at least priority – in Pittsburgh. Yiadom takes a lot of pride in it even though he didn’t have to as a shutdown cornerback. Here’s a great clip to show that. Bottom of the screen. Cover 2 reroute, key the receiver to the flat, drive on the ball, make a forceful tackle.
But of course, he’s gotta be able to cover too. Fits what Pittsburgh is looking for in big, long, press corners a la Artie Burns. Bottom of the screen, watch him punch the receiver and knock him off his route.
Some things about his game that do need to be cleaned up. When he plays with good technique, his punch is effective in press coverage. But it isn’t always perfect. I know he’s trying to reroute and funnel the receiver inside here but he’s still lunging and his punch isn’t forceful like it could be. Falls off and the receiver begins to stem upfield.
And he has to get more comfortable in off coverage when he has a cushion and needs to open his hips out of his pedal. At the top, waits until the WR eats up his space before he turns. In quarters, he can’t depend on the safety helping him out and the receiver gets several steps on him.
Cornerback won’t be high on the Steelers needs. At least, not high enough to get Yiadom where I think he’ll go. But I have my fingers crossed he doesn’t wind up in the AFC North. Yiadom has the makeup of everything I look for and I think he can play in the league for a long time.
Projection: Mid-Late Day Two
Games Watched: at Clemson, vs Virginia Tech vs Iowa, Senior Bowl