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2023 Steelers Player Profiles: CB Luq Barcoo

A scouting report on XFL cornerback Luq Barcoo, who recently signed with the Steelers.

#1 Luq Barcoo/CB San Antonio Brahmas (XFL) – 6010, 175

The Good

— Height and length for the cornerback
— Comfortable as a press/tight man coverage corner
— Tracks ball well in the air with great college ball production, finds it and makes plays at the catch point
— Carries vertical routes well
— Shows hands and ability to finish the play, fights hard to win with the ball in the air
— Patient in press, doesn’t need to get hands on and doesn’t open up his hips early, makes WR declare his stem first
— Willing tackler who flashes some hit power and authority
— Experience as left/right corner and primarily played on the field side
— Has experience playing off/bail technique and can midpoint

The Bad

— Lean frame that could use more weight and fill out upper body
— Inconsistent tackler and technique, goes too high and will fall off and miss
— Needs to improve angles on underneath throws, can gamble and miss
— Lacks great long speed and can give up deep ball against speedy receivers, doesn’t play to reported 40 time
— Shows more tightness in turn when playing off
— Works hard to dip blocks in run game but has trouble shedding them when he’s engaged
— Needs to show more authority closing from off-coverage on downhill/in-breaking throws, will be too hesitant and make the tackle instead of running through the receiver

Bio

— Turns 25 in July
— JUCO transfer who committed to San Diego State for 2018 and 2019 seasons
— 2019 at SDSU: 55 tackles (5 TFL) 0.5 sacks, 16 PDs, 9 INTs; PDs and INTs led NCAA that season
— Had INT on three straight opposing offensive plays in a 2019 game against Colorado State
— Played WR and DB in two years at JUCO, caught 35 passes and seven TDs in 2017; had three picks over his two years there
— Reportedly has 32-inch arms
— Played RB, WR, and DB in high school
— Born in Cleveland but grew up in California
— 2020 UDFA who signed with Jacksonville; played for five NFL teams before signing with Steelers
— Played 152 defensive snaps for the Jaguars in 2020, recording 10 tackles
— All-XFL selection in 2023, had 31 tackles and an INT
— Outside corner with little experience in the slot

Tape Breakdown

Barcoo wasn’t part of Pittsburgh’s rookie minicamp but reportedly had multiple NFL offers and chose the Steelers. The numbers show he’s a ballhawk with nine interceptions in 2019, his senior year of college, and it’s no surprise to see he has a wide receiver background. Barcoo finds and tracks the ball well in the air and with the XFL’s San Antonio Brahmas, he had some really strong performances. Facing Josh Gordon and Seattle in Week 4, Barcoo was incredible with repeated man coverage breakups. He does his best when able to squeeze receivers vertically and play the ball in the air.

Advanced metrics show Barcoo played a lot of press/tight alignment. Though he didn’t always jam and get hands on, he’s still able to slow routes with how patient he is. Barcoo doesn’t open his hips early and allow the receiver to declare without guessing. He looks confident and comfortable playing tight man coverage and that fits well with Pittsburgh’s scheme. Watch him at LCB, bottom of the screen, not guess on the release and then match when the receiver finally stems outside.

Barcoo is not the most technical tackler but there’s want-to and he flashes some hit power. There’s enough willingness there to work with.

On the negative, Barcoo’s tape was inconsistent, and he gave up his fair share of plays. Granted, most cornerbacks do but I don’t quite see Barcoo’s reported 40 time of 4.41 on tape, and he needs to improve his angles. I thought in off-coverage that he didn’t close with the authority you’d like to see and was too passive to give up the catch. Barcoo is not a particularly twitchy or explosive player.

Here, he’s not able to play to the upfield shoulder and can’t contest this pass in the end zone for a touchdown. He had a tough game against the D.C. Defenders.

As a tackler, he can aim too high. With a leaner frame and without a ton of strength, it can cause him to miss. Here, it costs his defense a ton of yards.

On tape, he’s also a little tight-hipped, especially in off-man and zone, because he’s thinner and lankier.

Overall, Barcoo has plus ball skills and is a good scheme fit with height and length Pittsburgh likes. The Steelers are very much building a type at cornerback just in the way they are along the offensive line. Barcoo also has a bit of NFL experience and that will help him this summer. This isn’t brand new to him, but I think he’ll have an up-and-down camp with some highlights and lowlights. An outside corner, he’s now part of a pretty large group – even minus Ahkello Witherspoon – that will be tough to crack and practice squad seems most realistic right now.

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