Brandon Ghee (Wake Forest)
Height : 6′ Weight : 189 40 Time : 4.45
Ghee has watched his draft stock fall of late, but his performance in practice at the Senior Bowl helped to restore confidence in the eyes of the pro scouts that this young man can play football.
He isn’t the most athletically-gifted corner to enter this year’s draft, but the upside of the former Demon Deacon is what will make him attractive to prospective ball clubs. He will likely be a better NFL player than he was at the collegiate level.
Faster than quick, Ghee has trouble in certain man coverage scenarios. He has excellent straight-line speed to keep up with receivers on the sidelines but struggles at times to keep up with routes that turn in or out sharply.
Ghee’s long limbs are a blessing and a hindrance. His long legs don’t allow him to properly mirror the smaller, quicker wideouts but his long arms allow him to stay off the ball in zone coverage and reach in at the last minute to cut off the ball.
In zone coverage, Ghee has the awareness to keep a close eye on the underneath routes and keep a blind eye on the cushion behind him. His backpedal is quick, but his size keeps him too high and no amount of hip movement will make up for the speed of NFL receivers.
He has a tendency to go for the big hit rather than make the play midair. His willingness to put a shoulder into the runner makes him a more attractive safety than a cover corner at the next level, but his awareness and high football IQ keeps his versatility intact.
As a tackler, Ghee looks the part of the hard-hitting NFL safety, cutting through weak receiver blocks and contributing to keeping the opposing backfield in check. His hands are a little suspect at times, but his natural athleticism allows him to break up the play when he needs to.
Ghee provides run support better than any other corner in this year’s class. He is aggressive at the line and unafraid to take a rough block. He knows how to use his hands in open field and does well to jar unprotected balls loose.
It’s Ghee’s confidence that will set him apart from the rest of the corners in his class. Despite never having been named to an all-conference team in three years as a starter, the cornerback believes he has the ability to be competitive in the NFL.
After fellow Wake Forest defender Alphonso Smith left for the NFL, Ghee was allowed to truly showcase his abilities and amassed decent numbers in a run-heavy conference.
There is concern over a nagging ankle injury that kept Ghee off the field for a while in ’09, but his level of comfort in man and zone coverage as well as his versatility in the backfield will make him an attractive prospect come April.
Look for a team like Detroit to utilize an early to mid-round pick to get Ghee and bolster up their defensive backfield. With more than a few starting defenders possibly departing through free agency, the Lions will need Ghee’s youthful athleticism to keep their defensive squad competitive in the NFC North.
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