The highest rated cornerback in the 2015 NFL draft is Trae Waynes of Michigan State. Waynes is a 6’1, 182 pound shutdown corner who was a three year starter at Michigan State. In his time there, the Spartan defense was one of the best in the Country and Waynes is a big reason why.
Waynes caught 3 interceptions in each of the last 2 years. If that stat doesn’t impress you, keep in mind opposing QBs avoided him. Basically, Waynes shut down one side of the field. Waynes ability to turn and run with receivers is elite. Not only does he read the receiver well – but he can run with all of them. At the combine Waynes posted a 4.31 4o time.
Personally I’m not a fan of the term “island: to describe cornerbacks. This piece of dirt named Revis ruined the term for me. I imagine that if Revis Island is a real place they store medical waste and sewage film there. But that is not the point – the point is Waynes compels me to use the term “island”, because that is how Michigan State used him. They left him all alone with little to no safety help and Waynes mastered it.
Michigan State runs something called a quarters defense. It basically left Waynes one on one with the other team’s best receiver in each game. The quarters defense is more complicated than most college defenses and Waynes was required to communicate on the field with his teammates most of the time and again – he excelled.
Waynes pretty much excelled at whatever Michigan State asked him to do. But what Michigan State did not ask him to do a lot of, was play zone. That has caused some scouts to call into question whether Waynes can play in a defense that relies primarily on zone defense. I’m pretty sure that most great players can play in any scheme, and I don’t see any reason why Waynes cannot, but there is no question that heavy zone scheme would be new to him.
Waynes is a true blanket corner. He can take away the opposing offenses best weapon. For this reason, in comparing Waynes to a Alien Weapon of Destruction I chose the Orion Chamber of Despair. You can try to break free – but its over for you.
Check out his highlight clip