By David Kang
Note: The format of these things are going to be more scouting reporty rather than articley mostly because I’m lazy. All HWS numbers are from nfldraftscout.
Summary: Averett has average height and weight for the position. He’s just a solid athlete at corner. He has buildup speed down the field and isn’t the most explosive in short areas. However, he has good fluidity in his hips and changes directions with relative ease. He has good bend throughout all of his movements, which puts him in position to change directions easily. Averett is a very technical corner. He doesn’t have an aggressive jam but rather a patient one. He does a good job of being square at the LOS to the receiver with good feet to mirror the receiver’s release. Eye discipline can be an issue at times. He’s got fluid hips to transition easily to bail and with very good hand usage to control and reroute using one arm. Great balance in his play. He’s got great football IQ and awareness of his responsibilities in zone. Passes off receivers and takes them on seamlessly. Aware of down and distance and anticipates routes well. Does a good job of stacking receivers and maintaining control with his hands. Prevents separation at the break largely due to hand use. Has solid but not great short area quickness to break on routes. Good speed but takes a while to build up, and receivers are able to get behind him if they get a good release. Not a ton of info on ball skills because he wasn’t thrown at a whole lot, but trending negative in small sample size. Does not find the ball in the air all that well or look natural in attacking the football. Makes good effort in the run game. Knows how to leverage blocks to force runner inside with adequate shedding ability. Tackling form needs to improve but brings down the ballcarrier at a consistent clip.
Note: Averett is the RCB in all these clips
Although he is not an overly explosive player, Averett plays with very good bend in the secondary and is fluid in his COD.
He got beat a little bit on the inside here on the release since they’re in zone playing outside leverage, but he recovers very well despite making one false step reacting. He remains in an athletic bent position, and his balance and positioning cover for the false step. He changes directions rather quickly without any stiff movements and never stopping. He does get a little bit grabby here to make up for the lost ground, but he remains in solid enough position due to his COD.
Averett is also a smart, heady player. He is aware of his surroundings and understands his assignments very well
Averett shows good eye discipline in the beginning of the play, focusing on the WR, but seamlessly peels off his man into the RB in the flat after the ball is thrown. This is likely to be helped by great coaching on Saban’s part of emphasizing communication on the defense, but this is great work regardless as Averett makes a great open field tackle in space, limiting the play to a 1-yard gain.
Look how well Averett anticipates the route here. It almost seems as if the him and the receiver are moving in unison. He likely knew what was coming based on awareness of down and distance and film study.
Averett is also a very technically sound defender. His movements are efficient, and he does a great job of disrupting receivers in various phases of their stems.
Averett is in tight man coverage and look how square Averett remains to the receiver as the WR tries to release. He stacks on top of the receiver to disrupt the receiver’s release and stem while also maintaining good position to follow whatever movements the receiver makes. He also uses his hands well to stick to the receiver and maintain great coverage throughout the play. He likely won’t have as much leeway in the pros with the hands, but he does it subtly enough here.
Balance to reset feet after receiver releases outside. Foot quickness and mirror ability to stay on top of the receiver as he releases. Outside arm extension while stacked to keep receiver at bay. This is textbook technique here
He falls for the inside move here, but look how quickly he recovers and how he uses his body to drive over top of the receiver to stack him get into the hip of the receiver.
I know this is a run play, but check out Averett’s patience. He is patient enough to stay square and not bail until the receiver’s stem. Once the receiver stems, then he reacts with quick feet to cover over the top.
Averett also has more than enough play strength at his disposal as he does a good job of staying balanced through press coverage and does not get moved at all when receivers try to bully him at the top of their stems.
The CSU gave Averett a hell of a stiff arm here to try and create separation on the hitch, but Averett maintains his balance through it and does not get moved.
Here is Averett giving a nice inside arm bar on the receiver to throw off the receiver’s stem whilst maintaining stack position on top of him, all while playing in an athletic bendy position.
Overall, I really like Averett as corner and see him as a solid starter on the outside at the next level. The Senior Bowl and the Combine are going to be big factors in the evaluation. The Senior Bowl will be good to test his ball skills and how he attacks the football as many teams chose not to throw to Averett a whole lot during the season. The 1 on 1s will be an opportunity to fully evaluate that skillset. The Combine will be important mainly to see if his athleticism checks out. I’m guessing he’s a high 4.4s to low 4.5s on the 40s, and a 3 cone in the ~6.90 range. His technique let him excel at the college level at the most part, but the margin of error will not be as great in the pros, so it’ll be crucial to make sure that he athletically belongs.