5’11, 190 pounds | Cornerback | Florida
Agility: Displays elite high-point agility. Shows loose hips that he can open up to turn.You’d like to see Haden explode more when he opens up his hips, though. His change of direction ability isn’t as great as you’d like, but it’s serviceable.
Ball skills: Don’t mistake Haden’s eight interceptions in three years for ordinary ball skills. Where Haden’s ball skills are evident when he’s in the air with a receiver. He had 34 career passes defended and really came up his best here in big games. Haden’s ball skills are what makes him a true shutdown corner.
Body control: Haden flashes excellent body control when he’s in the air. Positions himself to get in front of receivers to make a play on the ball. Rarely got called for interference or illegal contact. Times his jumps nicely.
Instincts: Possesses extremely impressive recognition skills. Pump fakes don’t move Haden around and reads routes nicely. Very good at differentiating run and pass plays to break toward the line of scrimmage. Has good instincts when the ball is in the air.
Man coverage: Haden’s press skill is excellent and he can handle large receivers at the line. A picky defensive backs coach might want to work with Haden on his backpedal. He’s more of a side step, which gets him in trouble against shifty receivers. Once Haden is turned and running with the receiver, he stays right on them and uses his hands well here.
Pursuit: If he gets a clear lane, Haden shows excellent back-side pursuit against the run. Takes good angles, so long as he doesn’t get held up by a blocker. For a cornerback, Haden is a solid pass rusher. Had three sacks as a junior.
Size: Haden size is adequate for the position. He has decent bulk on his frame and long arms. Some question, though, if he is truly 5-foot-11. Plays much bigger than his measurables.
Speed: Shows that he has optimum playing speed. Stayed in stride with just about every receiver he lined up against, especially when running in a straight line. Is an explosive closer. Gets up to speed in an instant.
Tackling: Even though Haden doesn’t have the best size, he is strong supporting the run. His tackling skills are good. Although he could stand to get lower on his tackles, he wraps up properly and doesn’t let go.
Zone coverage: Improved his zone coverage skills as a junior. Did a better job of trusting his football intelligence and understanding where a route is going to develop. Before he would bite on combo routes and have to rely on his closing speed. Has the burst to close his cushion fast.
Final word: There is no better college cornerback than Haden. He’s come along this season as a complete corner capable of shutting down a side of the field and helping against the run. Although Haden struggles at times against shiftier receivers in man coverage, he has good speed and can out-muscle opponents.
Haden was a starter upon setting foot in Gainesville. He missed only one game in his career due to injury and started 40 games for the Gators.
Clearly the top cornerback available in the 2010 NFL Draft. Has the strength, tackling ability and closing speed to play free safety as well.