This series will examine all draft prospects that have official invites to Valley Ranch. Previous research has shown these players are the most likely to be drafted by the Cowboys. For more explanation, read the opening paragraphs here.
Name: Vernon Hargreaves III
Height: 5’ 10 1/2 "
Weight: 204 LBs
First Team All-American - Consensus
All-SEC First Team
Thorpe Award Finalist
Bednarik Trophy semifinalist
First Team All-America - Sporting News, ESPN.com and CBSSports.com
Second-Team All-America - Associated Press, Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated and Walter Camp
All-SEC First Team
Third Team All-American - Associated Press
National Defensive Freshman of the Year - College Football News
First Team Freshman All-American - College Football News, Sporting News, FWAA, 247sports.com and Athlon Sports…
SEC Newcomer of the Year - Athlon Sports
First Team All-SEC - AP, Coaches, Athlon Sports and Sporting News
Freshman All-SEC team
pSparq Score: 137.2 Z-Score: 1.9 NFL Percentile: 97.3
pSparq is an approximation of the "Sparq Score" metric invented by NIKE (with the help of former USC and current Seattle Seahawks Head Coach, Pete Carroll), designed as a way to standardize athletic testing of High School athletes and interpret their athleticism with a sport specific formula. By standardizing a single metric composed of multiple athletic test results, it becomes possible to compare players to the athletic testing scores of players in past draft classes, and to provide context as to how a player will compare athletically to his peers at the NFL level. The Z-Score represents the number of standard deviations (sigma) above or below the mean at a particular position that player falls, 84% of players will have a Z-score of less than 1, 98% will have a Z-score of less than 2, and 99.87% will fall below a Z-Score of 3. There are currently a total of four players who are "3 Sigma Athletes" in the NFL, JJ Watt, Byron Jones, Evan Mathis, and Lane Johnson. For more on pSparq,(and the man behind the math Zach Whitman) check out 3sigmaathlete.com
Measurables vs others at his position:
Note: This spider graph provides a visual representation of a players’ measurable traits, and combine results. The filled in area of the chart, as well as the number in the light grey circle represents the percentile among the player’s peers by position. A score of 85 here represents that out of every 100 players at his position, the player has a better result in that test than 85 of those 100.
Games Studied: New Mexico St., Kentucky, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Alabama.
Vernon Hargreaves III played outside corner at Florida, on both the left and right side, and to the field and the boundary. In the Gators’ scheme Hargreaves played plenty of man and zone coverages, from press and off alignments. A smooth athlete with loose hips to transition well into and out of his backpedal, Hargreaves is a very sticky man-coverage player. Additionally, he has the football intelligence and understanding of offensive concepts to make him comfortable passing off routes in space in various zone coverages. He has high level ball awareness and the "my ball" mentality to play above the rim with the ball in the air like a much taller player. In spite of his size, Hargreaves is not intimidated by bigger receivers, and will play physically with them at the line of scrimmage, and at the catch point, although there are times where the size disadvantage will catch up to him, and he’ll lose those physical matchups.
Hargreaves definitely has the right mentality to be a fill corner in run defense, but this is really the area where the size concern comes into play. Often he’ll struggle to get off of blocks, and will get washed out of the play opening lanes for outside runs. When his effort does get him clear of blockers, he is not a square up and wrap tackler. When Hargreaves comes down hill he typically drops his head and dives shoulder first at the legs of the runner. This often leads to missed tackles, and allows extra yardage to his opponents.
Conclusion/Cowboys Projection: Vernon Hargreaves III is arguably the best pure coverage corner in this draft. His athletic ability and football intelligence give him the opportunity to be in position to make lots of plays. He is a very interesting evaluation from a Cowboys perspective because we believe strongly that the team has height and arm length thresholds for the corner position that Hargreaves fails to meet, however he scored very well athletically which we also know the Cowboys value very heavily. He will likely be selected in the top-half of the first round and could be an option for the Cowboys in the event they trade away from the fourth-overall pick.