2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Martin Emerson

  • Martin Emerson, 6-2/201

  • Cornerback

  • Mississippi State

  • Martin Emerson Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Instinctive
  • Excellent size
  • Long cornerback
  • Physical to jam receivers
  • Experienced
  • Has some quickness
  • Closing burst
  • Will dish out some hard hits
  • Good zone corner
  • Smartly covers up receivers in his area
  • Advanced vision
  • Disciplined
  • Adept at taking on big receivers
  • Can outfight defenders on contested catches
  • Gritty, physical defender
  • Has “dog” to him
  • Can play zone coverage
  • Athletic upside

  • Weaknesses:
  • Lacks ball skills
  • Only one interception in college
  • Could have some problems with deep speed

  • Summary: Not many good players go under the radar in the SEC, but that was the case with Emerson. Mississippi State has churned out a lot of good NFL talent and defensive backs in the past decade, and Emerson will continue that tradition. Emerson’s on-field debut came in 2019 when he had one interception and 31 tackles. In 2020, he recorded 72 tackles with 11 breakups. Emerson then racked up 49 tackles and three passes defended in 2021.

    For the NFL, Emerson is a big, long, physical corner who fits well as a press man or zone corner. He has good instincts and is adept at covering up receivers who come into his area. With his height, length and strength, he is skilled at defending big receivers and battling them on contested catches. He might be able to do some man coverage on receiving tight ends as well at the next level.

    Emerson is an ideal press-man corner with strength and physicality to jam receivers at the line. With his strong arm punch, Emerson is adept at stalling and re-routing receivers to disrupt the play for the offense. Emerson’s height and length give the ideal build for playing as a natural press-man corner in the pro, and he has enough quickness and athleticism to turn and run with big wideouts down the field. He is a good weapon to defend fade passes in the red zone.

    Emerson possesses enough speed to play corner and not move to safety, but he may not be a corner who his team wants to line Emerson up against a deep speed receiver like Tyreek Hill, Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle or Will Fuller. The super-fast receivers that stretch the field vertically could present a mismatch problem for Emerson, as evidenced by his 40 time at the combine. The speed issue is something to be cognizant of, but Emerson has enough speed to handle most NFL receivers, and he could develop into a corner capable of being competitive against bigger No. 1 wideouts like Mike Evans, Michael Thomas or DeAndre Hopkins. Emerson shows a closing burst and is a hard hitter in space.

    The biggest negative with Emerson is a lack of ball skills. He had only one interception in college and seemed to content to slap passes away rather than trying to bring down interceptions. In the NFL, Emerson needs to improve his ball production and that will be a point of emphasis for his future defensive backs coach.

    In scouting jargon, one of the best thing that can be said about a player is that he is a “dog.” That means he is super competitive, a fighter, and a player that wants to win at all costs. Team sources have told me that Emerson is a dog, and that can go along way to Emerson panning out in the NFL.

    In the 2022 NFL Draft, Emerson could be a late second-round or early third-round pick. He could end up being a quality starter with upside to potentially develop into a No. 1 corner for his team.

    Player Comparison: Carlton Davis. Emerson reminds me of Davis coming out of Auburn. Both were big cornerbacks with length, strength, cover skills, and a dog mentality. Davis was a second-round pick, and Emerson could end up going in Round 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft.


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