South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore has a strong blend of physical attributes and impressive intangibles to make teams covet him in the 2012 NFL Draft.
He racked up 46 tackles in 2011 and 79 as a sophomore the year before. Gilmore has four forced fumbles, as many recoveries, and eight interceptions to his credit in three collegiate seasons.
Experienced with upside
- Capable in run support - doesn't shy away from contact
- Experience in zone and press-man coverage
- Quick feet and closing speed
- Great attitude; hard worker with the respect of his coaches and teammates
- High-effort guy with a fierce style of play
- Heady player that studies film religiously
- Athleticism, size (6-foot 1/2, 190 pounds) and speed (4.40 seconds in 40-yard dash)
- Aggressive tackler with blitzing experience
- Special teams coverage and punt return experience
- Considerable upside
- Started 40 games in three years
- Lacks experience at the position after playing wide receiver through his high school career
- Overly aggressive on occasion
- Needs to improve technique and recognition skills
- Anticipatory skills barely adequate
- Small hands (9 1/4 inches) may help explain his lack of ball skills
Expected draft placement
Gilmore should draw plenty of attention in the latter portion of the first round, but he may fall into the early second based on how everything shakes out at the position.
The Detroit Lions (No. 23) could be considered the top destination for him based on their obvious need for the position. The Cincinnati Bengals (No. 17, No. 21), Denver Broncos (No. 25), New England Patriots (No. 27, No. 31) and Green Bay Packers (No. 28) all make sense in the first round. The St. Louis Rams, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers and Miami Dolphins are contenders for Gilmore if he is available in the early
About Cory J. Bonini
Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.
Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.
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