Donovan Warren

5’11, 193 pounds | Cornerback/Safety | Michigan

Agility: Doesn’t have the hip flexibility to stay as a man-coverage cornerback. Looks stiff in his movement and is easily beaten off the line by shifty receivers. Plays too high in his backpedal and loses a step because of his stiffness.

Ball skills: Although Warren doesn’t have the best hands, he has shown flashes of good ball skills. Lacks a good vertical leap and doesn’t time his jumps especially well. Doesn’t track the ball very well unless it’s right in front of him.

Preys on underneath throws where he can break on the ball or time his hits to disrupt a play. Times his jumps poorly. Started for three years.

Man coverage: Plays way too high in his backpedal. Played in a scheme that used a lot of off coverage. Shows a good short-area burst to close. Will get beat over the top by vertical receivers and doesn’t have the speed to recover. Needs help over top in man. Likes to get physical when a receiver is running his route. 
Size: Good enough size for a cornerback, but his arms are slightly short. Undersized for a safety, but plays above his measurables. Could even stand to get stronger and secure a transition to free safety.

Speed: Plays faster than he times, which was only a 4.62 40-yard dash at the combine. Still, his speed is lacking and Warren will get beaten deep.

Tackling: Warren is as good of a tackler as there is in this year’s cornerback class. He’s as reliable as they come in the open field and can really hit the ball carrier. He’ll need to learn to shed better, but Warren’s tackling is one of the things that makes him such a good prospect to move to safety. He wraps up correctly and drives through his tackles.

Zone coverage: Reads quarterbacks pretty well in zone to get a good jump. Breaks up more passes with his physical playing style, and less so his athletic ability. Has a tendency to hit the receiver before the ball arrives, and needs to become a little more disciplined.

Final word: We have Warren rated as highly as we do because he could move to free safety. He has a lot of the same deficiencies as Jairus Byrd did coming out of Oregon. His hips are a little stiff and he doesn’t have the speed to play as a man cornerback.

But if Warren adds some strength, he should easily transition to safety. He’s good at reading plays in front of him and has a better short-area burst than people give him credit for. Few players have been knocked during the offseason process as much as Warren, and some of it is unfounded. He’ll get underdrafted.