From now until the 2022 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top 10 picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections and priority undrafted free agents. Today, I’ll be profiling Kentucky S Yusuf Corker.
#29 Yusuf Corker, S, Kentucky – 5116, 204 lbs.
Combine Attendee / Senior Bowl
|Player||Ht/Wt||Hand Size||Arm Length||Wingspan|
|Yusuf Corker||5116/204||9 1/8″||30 7/8″||75″|
|40-Yard Dash||10-Yard Dash||Short Shuttle||3-Cone|
|Broad Jump||Vertical||Bench Press|
*Pro day numbers
— Starting experience in a successful defensive scheme
— Interchangeable Safety; deep & box
— Good feel in zone coverage, often gets to the intended spot quickly
— Coverage as the deep/free safety looks natural
— Ability to see the play quickly
— Pre-snap conductor of the defense in many instances
— Gets downhill in a hurry from deep safety spots against run plays
— Good ability to breakup passes without making a ton of contact
— Reads the QB’s eyes well
— Special Teams experience across multiple units
— Quick reaction and hustle on run plays causes over pursuit, resulting in missed tackles and opportunities
— Tackling looks iffy at times due to wanting to get towards the side/hip of the ball carrier before first contact and dives very low, even when faced head-on – ball-carriers simply plant and burst in opposite direction
— Due to tackling angles, yards after contact are yielded on many occasions
— Even with good recognition on plays, turnovers are lacking
— Can sometimes take bad angles in coverage, more so when lined-up in the box, but also at times as a deep safety
— Three-year starter for the Wildcats (37 official starts & 50 games played)
— Graduated May 2021 with a degree in economics
— Career: 177 solo tackles (9 TFL or no gain), 31 missed tackles, 3 INTs, 11 PBUs
— 2021: 58 solo tackles, 23 assisted, 21 stops, 11 missed tackles, 6 PBUs, 0 INT
— Elected two-time team captain by peers
— Second-Team All-SEC as a Jr. in 2020
— Four-star recruit out of Woodland HS in Stockbridge, GA – chose Kentucky over Michigan State and Tennessee
— Ranked as No. 1 cornerback in the state of Georgia by Scout.com coming out of high school
— Uncle is Anthony Mitchell who played nine seasons as a Safety in the NFL for Ravens, Jaguars, and Bengals
— Married long-time girlfriend in February 2021 and they have one daughter together
— Name is pronounced YOU-suf and nickname is “Deuce” – father also named Yusuf Corker
Simply cannot question the effort Corker puts forth while watching him play. His hustle and reactions though at times hinders his effort on occasion, specifically against the run. There are moments where Corker will play the run beautifully but then a few plays later it can leave one scratching their head a bit
On this opening play of the game versus Georgia, Corker is lined-up in the box and does well to not hesitate and trust his instincts to make a big tackle for loss.
A couple of drives later in the game, Georgia uses the same formation and perhaps same play with Corker lined-up deeper instead of in the box. Georgia does much better in their execution in this instance with the pulling guard getting to his spot to create isolation, but Corker over pursues the play, allowing the RB to turn this into a foot race towards the end zone.
Playing the run again here within the same game with what appears as deep safety responsibilities, Corker reacts to the play quickly and engages with the blocker instead of staying in space.
The hope is Corker’s moments of over pursuit and miss-reactions are aberrations as there are plays where he can absolutely deliver big hits using his pads.
Coverage is clean most of the time and does well reading the passer’s eyes. On this play Corker waits until the QB comes off his first read and then quickly gets to the second read to break-up the pass.
Another instance of Corker finding his coverage responsibility early and then reading the eyes before basically becoming the receiver on this play.
Strength is not a concern as Corker led all Safeties at the NFL combine with 23 reps on the bench press. Knocking down opponents won’t be an issue, but the tackling needs work.
Corker’s style of play could become an asset for an NFL team. Improving as a tackler is a must as this will cause coaches on his sideline heartburn. Once again though there are moments of wrapping up and creating highlight worthy tackles. Harnessing his initial reaction to plays is also something which could use refining. Opposing offenses can and will use his initial instincts against him. Coverage skills look very natural as you can see why he was rated highly as a CB in high school. This past season alone Corker was targeted 40 times in coverage with just 20 receptions allowed. Rarely was he asked to line-up wide as a true CB during his time at Kentucky. He does appear to have the versatility to take slot coverage responsibilities as well when watching reps.
Regarding a comp, Corker reminds me and looks like a young Adrian Amos with Chicago. Amos came in and handled Free Safety assignments more so than in the box and has evolved during his career to become valuably interchangeable. Amos also had a high missed tackle rate early in his career and has since been much more reliable. For the feel for which Corker plays, a football fan and future coaches would love to see the same type of career arc as Amos.
Projection: Day 3 Pick – Could very well go before the 5th round but might slide
Depot Draft Grade: 7.1 (4th or 5th Round) – Raw Traits w/Upside and can fulfill Backup & ST role
Games Watched: at Georgia (2021), vs Tennessee (2021), vs Iowa (2021), vs South Carolina (2020)