2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Caleb Farley

  • Caleb Farley, 6-2/207

  • Cornerback

  • Virginia Tech

  • Caleb Farley Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Excellent skill set with size and speed
  • Good height
  • Fast
  • Can carry vertical routes downfield
  • Very good straight-line speed
  • Closing burst
  • Drives hard routes
  • Recoverability
  • Can run the route and prevent separation
  • Agility; has some athletic twitch
  • Good ball skills
  • Adept at picking passes off or slapping them away
  • Size to match up against big receivers
  • Projects well as a press-man corner
  • Can play off-man corner
  • Can play zone
  • Physical defender
  • Good at jamming receivers and rerouting them
  • Flashes tackling
  • Willing to help in run defense
  • Lots of athletic upside

  • Weaknesses:
  • Bad season of tape in 2018
  • One-year wonder
  • Sat out 2020 season, losing year of reps and development
  • Better athlete than player
  • Needs development
  • Technique could stand to improve
  • Can be late getting his head around to track the ball
  • Durability concerns
  • Already had one torn ACL
  • Had a serious back injury in 2019
  • Back surgery in 2021

  • Summary: Farley had a very unique college career after being a star recruit coming out of high school. He started out playing some wide receiver and missed the 2017 season with a torn ACL. Farley then had a rough 2018 season in coverage in which he recorded 36 tackles, two interceptions and seven passes broken up. In 2019, Farley was excellent, recording 12 passes broken up, four interceptions and 20 tackles. He then decided prior to the start of fall training camp to sit out the 2020 season.

    There is no doubt that Farley has an excellent skill set with very good height, length and speed. He has closing speed that gives him recoverability to eat up ground and delete separation. With his speed, Farley is able to run with receivers downfield and keep them from getting open in the deep part of the field. He has the agility and enough twitch to run routes and prevent separation. Farley showed vastly improved route recognition in 2019 and did a nice job of not biting on double moves.

    Along with being big and fast, Farley has some ball skills and is a threat to snatch passes for turnovers. He uses his length to make it difficult to get passes by him and has a nice ability to slap passes away when he can’t catch the ball. With his size and physicality, Farley shows a nice ability to jam wideouts and knock them off their routes. Farley could fit in any scheme in NFL because as he is capable of playing off-man, press-man and zone coverages.

    There are some things that Farley could stand to improve. He can be late getting his head turned around to track the ball in flight at times. Farley is a physical defender who flashes tackling and hitting ability, but he could stand to refine his tackling fundamentals for the NFL, as he does miss some tackles on occasion.

    Farley enters the NFL with serious medical concerns, so some teams could flunk him medically. Those issues were given fresh evidence when he underwent back surgery in the spring of 2021 and was unable to work out at the Virginia Tech pro day. Team sources say Farley has the best physical skill set of the cornerback prospects, but questions about durability could cause him to slide deep into the first round. With the medical issue uncertainty, there is a wide range of where he could come off the board, as Farley could go high in the first round and even slip to the second round.

    Player Comparison: Jimmy Smith. Farley reminds me of Jimmy Smith with his size, speed, and coverage ability. Smith (6-2, 210) has had an excellent NFL career and utilized his great skill set to be a versatile corner. Farley is almost identical in size, and like Smith, Farley should be a first-round pick. Smith went in the first round, but he would have been a high first-round pick if it weren’t character concerns coming out of Colorado. If Farley slides, it will be because of medical concerns.


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