If the Arizona Cardinals draft a cornerback in round one, Marshon Lattimore would be a wise target
The Arizona Cardinals went into the 2016 season looking to solidify their second cornerback spot. After trying several different options through the season, they’ll go into the 2017 off-season looking to do the same thing.
Marcus Cooper was added via a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs just before the season started, and ended up starting 13 games across from Patrick Peterson. He played solidly at times, and finished the season with four interceptions, one of which he returned for a score.
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With Cooper entering free agency, and no other terrific options available, many experts are predicting that the Cardinals will use their first round pick in this year’s draft on a cornerback. It’s a strong position this year, and there are some strong options. The strongest might be former Ohio State Buckeye Marshon Lattimore.
The first thing to note with Lattimore is his size. At 6’0″ and 192 pounds, he has the length and body mass to handle the size of NFL receivers. He’s adept at playing up on his man and jamming him at the line in press coverage, but is quick enough to turn and run with them after that.
Lattimore does a great job of “flipping his hips” to stay with receivers, even as they change direction. This means he doesn’t leave much room for a quarterback to get the ball to his man when Lattimore is in coverage. He sticks tight, and has the ability to make plays when it comes his way.
Perhaps the biggest issue with Lattimore is his lack of experience. Injuries wiped out much of his time at Ohio State, and he basically has just the one season of playing time. The fact that he struggled with injuries could also be a concern, though he has been healthy for a while, and might have put those behind him.
Lattimore’s combination of size and quickness make him an attractive target for teams needing secondary help. He might find himself as the first cornerback taken, and long before the Cardinals even get to pick. He’s aggressive, he’s confident, and he’s productive. If he winds up being available when the 13th pick comes around, it might be hard for Arizona to pass on him.