Josh Norman, CB, Coastal Carolina
Weight: 197 lbs
Arm Length: 32-3/4″
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.23 seconds
3 Cone Drill: 7.09 seconds
40 Yard Dash: 4.56 seconds
Bench Press: 14.0 reps
Broad Jump: 124.0″
Vertical Jump: 33.0″
Watch his combine workout here
NFL.com’s player profile page lists Norman’s strengths and weaknesses like this:
STRENGTHS Norman can play man and zone equally well and was a physical presence on the outside of the defense at Coastal Carolina. He understands when to take risks and when to play back, and he is physical when he makes his decision to come up. He supports the run well and is a reliable tackler. He works well to feel with his hands to stay on a receiver in-phase, and has the hip mobility to move with his man all over the field.
WEAKNESSES Norman has not faced top-level competition at Coastal Carolina and could have an adaption period early on. He will need to contribute on special teams to stick, which he hasn’t done much at Coastal. He is taller and can struggle with some hip/transitional movements moving to his left, but it’s not a major concern and surely will be part of the adaptation process.
Are you keeping track of #MockThree on twitter? This isn’t your standard mock draft. Each team has a general manager and two or three assistants that mock out the entire draft. Don’t worry non-twitter users, there is a website set up that you can use to following along as well. Why mention #MockThree here? After some trades netted the Lions an early third-round draft pick, we “brought” Josh Norman to Detroit.
The third round is a realistic spot for Josh Norman to come off the board and depending on who you believe, could represent a really good value. The National Football Post’s Wes Bunting has Norman rated as the number 47 prospect in this draft class (ninth best cornerback) while ESPN has Norman ranked 88 overall (12th best cornerback).
At this point in his career Josh Norman gets by with his physical style of play and impressive ball skills. He is regarded as solid in coverage although some not a tendency to be late in recognizing routes and prone to mental lapses. The need for some refinement in his game is to be expected from a small school prospect so NFL teams will likely be more impressed with what he brings to the table physically than scared away by a lack of polish to his game.
Many scouting reports list character concerns but the story found on ESPN’s page for Josh Norman suggests those might be overblown. He does have an arrest on his record from driving with a suspended license in October 2009 but the story says that a family member had promised to pay a fee but neglected to do so, putting Norman in a bad position. At any rate, the story will surely be something that teams will ask him about if they have concerns. Perhaps it is something he discussed with the Lions when he was in town for a visit.
The Lions are smart to strongly consider Josh Norman as a potential cure to their problems at cornerback because his strengths match up well with what they want to do. He is better in man coverage than in zone and shows a willingness to support in run defense. Jim Schwartz recently said that they are looking for corners that can do “everything” and Josh Norman might be their best chance to find that guy outside of the first two rounds.