*Walt taking 2014 and 2018
Charlie Campbell, Senior Draft Analyst
Castro-Fields Compared to Marlon HumphreyUpdated Aug. 31, 2021
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
In recent years under head coach James Franklin, the Penn State Nittany Lions have produced a lot of good NFL prospects who are also rare specimens in tersm of size, speed and athleticism. From Saquon Barkley to Micah Parsons to Jayson Oweh, Penn State has generated some freaky athletes for the NFL. The 2022 NFL Draft should continue that tradition, as three Nittany Lions received high preseason grades from the NFL advance scouts. That trio consists of linebacker Brandon Smith, wide receiver Jahan Dotson and cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields. Left tackle Rahseed Walker is another early-round candidate for the 2022 NFL Draft. NFL team sources indicated they were very high on Castro-Fields and compared him to Baltimore Ravens All-Pro cornerback Marlon Humphrey.
Humphrey was the 16th-overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, and before the end of his rookie contract, Humphrey had been named to multiple Pro Bowls and an All-Pro team. Humphrey (6-0, 197) and Castro-Fields (6-0, 197) are identical in their listed numbers, and both players have natural cover skills, according to team sources.
“Castro-Fields is just like Marlon Humphrey to me,” said a director of player personnel. “They both are big, fast, physical, disciplined in coverage, good technique and prevent separation. In college, Marlon had some issues playing the ball downfield, but he’s fixed that at Baltimore. Castro-Fields plays the ball better right now than Marlon did at Alabama. As long as he stays healthy, I think Castro-Fields could be a corner comparable to Marlon.”
Castro-Fields’ best season came in 2019, when he had 52 tackles, two interceptions and eight passes broken up. Castro-Fields only played in three games in 2020 before going out for the season with an injury. Showing health and durability will important for him as a senior, but he has the excellent skill set to be a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.