Nothing is ready in stone. However for now, the battle for 2021 CB1 within the NFL Draft seems to be a race between three gamers: Patrick Surtain II, Jaycee Horn, and Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley. The distinction between Farley and the others? Farley didn’t play any soccer in 2020. Even after opting out of the 2020 season attributable to well being considerations, Farley stays a bonafide first-round prospect and a reputable contender for CB1. He maintains this status by advantage of a uncommon athletic profile, which might be the kryptonite for contemporary offensive innovation.
Caleb Farley NFL Draft Profile
- Top: 6’2″
- Weight: 207 kilos
- Place: Cornerback
- College: Virginia Tech
- Present Yr: Redshirt Junior
Tony Pauline’s Caleb Farley Scouting Report
Positives: Wonderful-sized cornerback with excellent pace and ball expertise. Bodily, jams receivers on the line of scrimmage and mixes it up all through the route. Fast and fluid pedaling in reverse, simply flips his hips and loses nothing in transition. Stays on the receiver’s hip out of breaks, properly covers opponents on crossing patterns, and possesses an explosive closing burst.
Efficient backed off the road of scrimmage or dealing with the motion, stays disciplined with assignments, and infrequently will get challenged by opponents. Does a terrific job getting his head again round and finding the ball within the air. Works onerous to get off blocks and make performs up the sector in opposition to the run.
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Negatives: Misreads the motion and loses assignments every so often. Instincts run cold and hot. Possesses a skinny body and should enhance his taking part in power.
Evaluation: Farley was a terrific cornerback at Virginia Tech since his freshman season, and I’ve had him extremely graded since that point. Whereas I like Farley, I by no means noticed him be a constant shutdown nook throughout his time at Virginia Tech and consider he made a mistake opting out of the 2020 season. He’s extremely athletic, possesses good ball expertise, and comes with a big upside.
Farley comes with good scheme versatility for use backed off the road of scrimmage in a zone scheme or in man protection. Whereas he’ll in the end be a very good NFL nook, I consider there will likely be bumps within the highway earlier than he will get there.
Caleb Farley Participant Profile
Apparently sufficient, while you hearken to Caleb Farley, he doesn’t suppose his bodily attributes separate him from the pack. Farley as a substitute believes his psychological sport is what makes him totally different. Farley describes himself as knowledgeable and a perfectionist when engaged on his craft. Trying on the journey he’s taken to date, it’s onerous to disagree with him. His path has been outlined not solely by adversity however by resilience and perseverance by way of that adversity.
Farley’s journey from quarterback to cornerback
Farley’s resilience spans again to his days in highschool. At Maiden Excessive in North Carolina, Farley wasn’t a cornerback. He performed on the defensive aspect of the ball often, however he was a quarterback first. He handed for 4,511 yards and 50 touchdowns in his profession and ran for five,529 yards and 71 touchdowns. Farley put up huge totals on the bottom in his senior season, accumulating 178 carries, 2,448 yards, and 35 touchdowns in simply 11 video games.
Farley had aspirations to be a dual-threat quarterback, however his passing means attracted little curiosity. Nonetheless, the Virginia Tech Hokies noticed potential in Farley’s athletic means, they usually approached him to transform him to vast receiver. Farley dedicated to Virginia Tech in April of 2016 and enrolled early in 2017.
Caleb Farley’s profession with the Virginia Tech Hokies
Farley’s transition to the school soccer stage was marred by adversity. Farley misplaced his mom to breast most cancers within the span of that one yr and missed his true freshman marketing campaign with a extreme knee harm, tearing his ACL earlier than the season. It took a variety of will energy not simply to come back again the following yr however to come back again robust. Not solely did Farley do this, however he additionally underwent one other place change, this time flipping to the opposite aspect of the ball, to play at cornerback.
Farley lined up at cornerback in 2018 and instantly made an affect as a redshirt freshman. The consistency wasn’t fairly there but, however Farley made performs on the ball even whereas studying the place. He put up two interceptions and 7 move deflections, and his triumphant return to the soccer discipline could be a springboard for a good higher 2019 marketing campaign.
Caleb Farley’s breakout 2019 season
In 2019, Farley dominated. The Virginia Tech cornerback allowed a completion on lower than 50% of targets that got here his means, and he was tireless in his disruption on the catch level, logging 4 interceptions and 12 move deflections in simply ten video games.
The convention named Farley a first-team All-ACC honoree. A again harm prevented Farley from taking part in in December, however by that time, the mission was full. Farley was formally a premier expertise on the school soccer stage, and scouts circled him with Sharpie forward of the 2020 season.
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Farley initially meant to return for his redshirt junior season, however the worldwide extenuating circumstances modified issues. The Virginia Tech cornerback already misplaced one mum or dad to well being considerations, and that weighed closely on his resolution to as a substitute decide out. Farley made the choice to decide out with well being in thoughts, but it surely turned out to be a strong strategic resolution as properly.
Farley left school soccer on a excessive be aware together with his 2019 season, and he didn’t must do the rest to show he might play.
What makes Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley a first-round 2021 NFL Draft prospect?
Usually, the perfect top for cornerbacks is between 5-foot-10 and 6-foot-1. Cornerbacks under 5-foot-10 may be quicker, however they typically have size and dimension deficiencies that affect their means to make performs on the ball and exert their physicality. Cornerbacks above 6-foot-1, in the meantime, are sometimes much less cell. In opposition to the elite athletes of the fashionable NFL, this isn’t perfect.
With that being mentioned, Caleb Farley breaks the mould at cornerback. Farley stands at 6-foot-2, and he performs like he’s 6-foot-2, however he strikes like he’s three inches smaller.
Farley has nice explosiveness off the road, and he has awe-inspiring pace for his dimension. Whereas different cornerbacks lack the tempo to maintain up with receivers, Farley’s closing pace is borderline elite. That closing pace not solely permits him to hawk on in-breaking routes, but it surely additionally permits him to get better downfield, the place he can use his monitoring means to disrupt the move.
Appreciating any potential downfalls of Farley’s sport
Farley is a bit of stiff together with his hips at occasions, however he nonetheless provides greater than sufficient fluidity and lateral freedom to reflect receivers in man protection. He additionally has good positioning consciousness. This helps him in zone protection as properly. He can use his closing pace and processing means to clamp down on routes in his proximity, and when on the catch level, he has the size and exact hand coordination to interrupt the catch course of.
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Farley can work on turning his head extra typically in downfield conditions, however he’s a prospect with few flaws total. Farley’s harm historical past is notable: he tore his ACL in 2017 and wanted surgical procedure for his again harm late in 2019. However Farley was capable of return from his ACL harm and displayed no notable losses of athleticism. Thus, he avoids the purple flag on his file.
Caleb Farley’s most closely fits within the 2021 NFL Draft
Caleb Farley checks nearly all of the bins at cornerback. He’s athletic, he’s lengthy, he’s bodily, and he’s proactive as a playmaker. Some cornerbacks anticipate the play to come back to them, and that passive protection can get them beat. Farley, nevertheless, stays keyed in on the catch level, and each time the ball comes his means, he performs the ball and tracks it with feverish focus.
Mock drafts predictably have Farley as a lock to go Spherical 1. The query is the place he’ll find yourself. Farley’s athletic testing numbers ought to match the explosiveness and vary he reveals on movie. His bodily profile would possibly greatest emulate the CB1 mould.
Subsequently, groups on the lookout for a boundary starter within the 2021 NFL Draft needs to be considering buying Farley’s skills. Groups just like the Cowboys, Panthers, Falcons, Eagles, and Giants all have wants on the boundary and choose inside Farley’s vary. But when Farley drops a bit, as Tony Pauline predicts, groups just like the Washington Soccer Crew, San Francisco 49ers, and the New England Patriots is also good suits.
Farley’s enchantment derives from his probably dominant ability set at cornerback. That’s one thing each workforce needs on their roster.
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