Marshon Lattimore Scouting Report By Charlie Campbell
Very good cover corner
Runs the route with the receiver
Can cover up speed receivers
Has ball skills
Loose hips to turn and run with speed receivers
Can play press-man coverage
Can play off-man coverage
Can play zone coverage
Willing run defender
Tracks the ball well downfield
Successful against good college receivers
Should be able to play quickly
Prone to lots of injuries
A little hitch in his twitch
Hitch be seen in the top of routes and his transition
Summary: During the 2016 college football season, WalterFootball.com was first to report that Buckeyes safety Malik Hooker was being graded as a high first-round pick and that teammate cornerback Marshon Lattimore was being graded in the top 16. Both were new starters for Ohio State who were impressing from the start of fall camp as being freaky defensive backs with major coverage skills for the NFL.
Lattimore redshirted in 2014 before being a backup during his redshirt freshman season in 2015. With other Ohio State defenders moving on to the NFL, Lattimore took over as a starter for 2016 and formed a tremendous tandem with Gareon Conley. Lattimore totaled 41 tackles with nine passes broken up and four interceptions in his breakout season. Given the projection of being a high first-rounder, the redshirt sophomore decided to enter the 2017 NFL Draft. Lattimore then impressed at the NFL Scouting Combine with a superb 4.36-second time in the 40-yard dash.
Lattimore is a well-rounded prospect who does everything well. He is very good at preventing separation as he can vertically stay with speed wideouts and run the routes with receivers. Lattimore has the size and physicality to match up with big wideouts, yet possesses the speed to defend the vertical threats. Lattimore is a tough defender with excellent recoverability. He can jam receivers before using his ability to turn and run with them downfield. Lattimore has impressive ball skills to slap passes away and soft hands to make interceptions. He is a good tackler and willing run defender.
Sources feel there are a few flaws with Lattimore. The biggest is durability. He had lots of nagging injuries early in his career with the Buckeyes. Scouting sources said that the Ohio State coaching staff was constantly worried about Lattimore getting injured in practice and the coaches held their breath every time he went to the ground. Thus, durability is a real concern about Lattimore for the NFL. One top scout who has been phenomenal at evaluating cornerbacks said this about Lattimore, "He is a big guy with great speed. He does everything well and is a legit potential No. 1. The durability concerns me. He is generally pretty smooth, but has a little hitch in his twitch. You can see it at the top of routes and in transition, so that is something he will need to work on for the NFL."
For the NFL, Lattimore is a versatile corner who could be a No. 1 corner for his defense. He has ability to play press man, zone, or off man. Teams across the league have graded Lattimore as one of the top corners in the 2017 NFL Draft, and he should be a high first-rounder.
Player Comparison: Chris Gamble. In the 2004 NFL Draft, Gamble was the 28th-overall pick. He was a quality corner for the Panthers, overall, and had a good career. Lattimore has comparable size to Gamble (6-1, 200), and their skill sets are similar in terms of possessing the size to matchup against big receivers and the speed to take on fast wideouts. Lattimore will go higher than Gamble did, but Gamble could end up with the better NFL career because of Lattimore's durability factor. If Lattimore can stay on the field, I think he would be a corner comparable to Gamble.
NFL Matches: San Francisco, Chicago, Tennessee, New York Jets, Buffalo, New Orleans, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Indianapolis and Baltimore
There are a lot of potential fits for Lattimore in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. The highest he could hope to go would be with the second-overall pick to the 49ers as they need a true No. 1 cornerback. The Bears are in the same situation with the third-overall pick. With the fifth-overall pick, Lattimore could be a fit for the Titans as they need a No.1 cover corner for their defense. Sources with the organization really like Marlon Humphrey, however, so he could be chosen over Lattimore fifth-overall pick.
At the sixth pick, Lattimore could be an option for the Jets as they released Darrelle Revis this offseason and have a big need at cornerback. Staying in the AFC East, Lattimore could be in play for the Bills with the 10th-overall pick as they lost to Stephon Gilmore in free agency. Sources have indicated Buffalo likes Lattimore a lot.
The Saints could use more cornerback help for their defense, so they could consider taking Lattimore with the 11th-overall pick. Cleveland needs a third cornerback, and the Browns could consider Lattimore at pick No. 12.
If Lattimore gets to picks No. 14-16, he has three potential landing spots. Philadelphia needs multiple cornerback upgrades and a No. 1 corner. Lattimore could be in play for the Eagles in the first round. One pick later, the Colts need another corner to pair with Vontae Davis, and Lattimore could be a fit for them. The Ravens could use a corner upgrade to go with Jimmy Smith. Lattimore should go to one of the teams picking in the first 16.