Summary: In the passing-driven NFL, there is always a demand for cornerback talent, and Ya-Sin put himself on the map for the 2019 NFL Draft despite only one season of play in big-time college football. Ya-Sin started out his collegiate career at Presbyterian, and his best year there came as a junior when he notched 49 tackles, eight passes broken up and five interceptions. After graduating from Presbyterian, Ya-Sin went the graduate transfer route to land at Temple for his final season of college football. As a senior, Ya-Sin totaled 47 tackles with 12 passes broken up and two interceptions.
Ya-Sin then was one of the prospects who really helped himself at the Senior Bowl. With his built-up frame and functional speed, he did a nice job of covering receivers and put on display his physical and gritty style of play.
Ya-Sin projects to being a capable press-man corner who can jam and battle receivers while running with them downfield. He is strong and has loose hips for a corner who has obviously done work in the weight room to give himself a pro build. Ya-Sin shows some ability to re-direct and stay with receivers. Ya-Sin is calm when the ball is thrown his direction and doesn't panic. He does a nice job of playing the ball rather than the receiver when he see the pass coming his direction.
The physical style of play extends to the ground game, as Ya-Sin is a willing run defender and won't hesitate to tackle. He does a nice job of closing on ball-carriers and sticking his nose into the play.
For the NFL, Ya-Sin does need some development in his technique due to being a raw player. His awareness could stand to get better along with the technical issues. That isn't surprising considering he played three seasons at a small school. Ya-Sin is quicker than he is fast, and deep speed could be a problem for him as a pro. He would be better off being protected from covering the shot receivers and getting matched up on the bigger wideouts.
Some team sources told WalterFootball.com they had Ya-Sin graded in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. For the NFL, they see him as a future starter.
Player Comparison: Kareem Jackson. Ya-Sin's built physique and gritty playing style remind me of Jackson. Jackson (5-10, 185) is strong and really competes with receivers. He has issues with deep speed, and Ya-Sin could have those same problems in the NFL. As a pro, I could see Ya-Sin developing into a cornerback comparable to Jackson.
NFL Matches: Tampa Bay, New York Giants, Denver, Washington, Carolina, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Houston, Kansas City, Philadelphia
On the second day of the 2019 NFL Draft, there are a lot of potential landing spots for Ya-Sin. At the top of Day 2, cornerback could be in play for the Giants. The position is a need for the defense after trading away Eli Apple, plus Janoris Jenkins could be a cap cut before long.
The Bucs need corner help as Vernon Hargreaves has disappointed and Brent Grimes is gone. However, Tampa Bay took a few corners early on in the 2018 NFL Draft, so the team may not take a corner in the early rounds this year.
Denver badly needs cornerback help this offseason. The Broncos signed Kareem Jackson, but they still have to replace Aqib Talib and find some other upgrades. If the Redskins are planning on cutting Josh Norman in a year or so, they could consider Ya-Sin on Day 2. Carolina has some quality cornerbacks, but could use a third one and depth. Ya-Sin could be in play for the Panthers on the second day of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Cleveland made a great pick in Denzel Ward last year and could use an upgrade to go with him. Corner is one of the biggest needs on the Browns' roster, so in that regard the team would be a nice fit for Ya-Sin. However, I'm not sure that Ya-Sin would be a fit for Steve Wilks' scheme.
Pittsburgh could use more corner talent, and Ya-Sin could help finish off a trio with Joe Haden and Artie Burns.
Cornerback was a weakness for Houston last offseason, and the tean swung and missed on an upgrade as Aaron Colvin was a bust. The Texans signed some pedestrian veterans in free agency, but could use more long-term answers. The Texans' corners were a liability in 2018, so adding more talent is critical.
Philadelphia has two second-round picks and needs cornerback help, especially if Ronald Darby is not in the long-term plans. The Chiefs need to upgrade their defense and could target a corner like Ya-Sin to help out their secondary.