Originally posted by OnTheClock:
I like Gaines a lot. He has a Tyrann Mathieu competitive fire in, without the pre-draft character flags. Bigger, and faster too. When you get into that 3rd tier of players, It's anyone's guess where these players can go, as players who are projected in the 4th can fall all the way to the 7th, or guys projected for the 7th go as early as the 4th.
With Pro Days still to come, it's difficult to pinpoint where Gaines would be projected. Before the combine, I tabbed him in the 6th. Afterwards, I could see a move up into the 4th as feasible. He's got the physical abilities, no doubt, but he's not a finished product and came from a lower level of competition at Rice. In a deep CB class, good corners are going to fall to places we may not expect.
Just as importantly, he's looked the part when he has stepped up in competition. When playing an SEC opponent in MSU, they stayed away from him most of the game and he made plays when they did challenge him. He stood out in the East West shrine game practices and (less importantly) in the game as well, and of course tested as well as any CB at the combine in terms of athleticism. He also looked smooth in the drills and displayed sure hands/ball skills.
For me, the one area he needs to work on is tackling as he didn't always wrap up and secure the runner. The effort was there, but he's got to work on tackling fundamentals. But in terms of pure cover ability, the speed to run with most WRs and the size/ball skills to make plays, IMO he's displayed enough to warrant 3rd round consideration.
[ Edited by GhostofFredDean74 on Mar 1, 2014 at 12:57 PM ]