In spite of his size, I really like this guy as a tremendous difference-maker on defense. He's undersized, but not much more so than some other guys, such as Earl Thomas for example. He can play cornerback or safety, if the 49ers need a terrific slot corner, he's the guy. He has very good athleticism, plays with high intensity, loves to hit, a very reliable tackler, a guy who simply goes after the football and shows outstanding natural instincts. Those blitzes that Fangio sent Rogers on repeatedly? Joyner has shown tremendous ability to get home and drop the quarterback too. He has the potential to be a similar type of player as Mathieu was for the Cardinals. Have him play in the slot, provide depth at safety, play on special teams....etc.
Breakdown from NFL.com
Given the combination of athleticism, skill and intelligence required to play the position, defensive coaches typically put their most instinctive and versatile corner in the slot when using sub-packages. With that in mind, I believe Florida State's Lamarcus Joyner will be a difference-maker as a nickel corner in the NFL. Here's why: Athleticism-Joyner is an explosive athlete with terrific short area quickness and burst. He flashes outstanding balance, body control and agility making turns and transitions in space. Although Joyner doesn't strike me as a straight-line speedster, his combination of quickness and burst allows him to shadow elite slot receivers between the hashes. Most important, Joyner's athleticism shows up in his ability to effectively play in man and zone in space. Some evaluators and teams will have issues with his physical dimensions -- Joyner is listed at 5-8, 190 pounds -- because of the presence of so many big-bodied receivers dominating the NFL. But there is always a need for explosive athletes between the hashes, especially when diminutive receivers such as Wes Welker and Danny Amendola own the middle of the field. Joyner has played every position in the defensive backfield after spending two seasons as a safety for the Seminoles before returning to cornerback this year. He will receive high marks for his athleticism and versatility. Cover Skills-Defensive coaches covet defensive backs with the athleticism, footwork and instincts to cover in isolated matchups. While most view those skills as essential traits for man-to-man coverage, nickel corners need to exhibit those skills in zone coverage based on the combination concepts defensive coordinators prefer in sub-defenses. On the perimeter, Joyner excels covering receivers on the perimeter in press-man but is equally effective playing off at seven yards and utilizing a shadow technique. He maintains proper leverage throughout the down, while also forcing receivers toward his help defenders (free safety or linebacker). By demonstrating a mastery of this technique as a collegian, Joyner should be able to play immediately in the slot, where defensive backs routinely work with linebackers and safeties on brackets and various "cut" coverage. Additionally, he shouldn't have any problems passing off receivers on crossing routes when assigned to play as a hook or curl/flat defender in zone or zone-blitz coverage. Given the complex nature of most NFL defensive concepts and coverage, Joyner's cover skills and awareness should serve him well as a nickel corner. Ball Skills-The top defenses in the NFL live and die with turnovers. Winning the turnover battle is the biggest deciding factor in games, which is why defensive coordinators covet defenders with a knack for stealing the ball. Joyner is a natural ball hawk with superb instincts and awareness. He anticipates throws in his area and is fearless attacking the ball in the back end. As a result, Joyner has snatched seven interceptions in his career, while also recording 15 break ups. Those numbers represent solid production for a cornerback assigned to play primarily in man coverage, where defenders routinely play with their backs to the ball. As a zone defender, Joyner exhibits outstanding awareness by making aggressive breaks on throws. He transitions quickly from his backpedal to come downhill on routes in his area, while also taking accurate angles to the break point. Consequently, Joyner get his hands on a ton of balls, which eventually leads to interceptions for him or his teammates. Tackling-Tackling is rarely discussed in cornerback evaluations, but the transformation of the NFL into a passing league makes it mandatory for defenders to be solid tackers in space. Joyner is a solid tackler on the perimeter. He has the quickness and agility to wrap elusive receivers in space, while also showing the physicality and toughness to nail running backs in the hole. Joyner's superb tackling prowess led to his position change early in his career at Florida State -- Joyner started 27 games at safety from 2011-12 -- and makes him an intriguing option as a nickel corner as a pro.
Taken from ESPN's profile on him.
"Instincts/Recognition-2-Above average overall discipline and makes sound reads when given deep responsibilities. Flashes the ability to get an early break on the ball. Reads quarterback and shows above average route recognition facing the line of scrimmage. Reads keys and quickly diagnoses runs."Intangibles-1-High-energy player with professional work ethic. Loves the game and it shows on tape. Moved from corner to safety in 2011 and named team's most improved player on defense. Strong student. Has a young son named Jamarcus.Run Support-2-Reliable open field tackler with above average body control. Squares up and latches on. Flashes the ability lower shoulder and deliver big hit. Flashes the ability to slip blocks in tight spaces but not big or strong enough to regularly line up in the box. Above average angles and effort help prevent against longer runs.
[ Edited by Phoenix49ers on Jan 24, 2014 at 2:23 PM ]