In reviewing corner Steven Nelson, I stumbled across two corners who are actually better fits for the Detroit Lions. The first one that I am going to profile is Utah corner Eric Rowe. Rowe fits what the Lions like in terms of corners with size. He is 6’1 and 205lbs. He is a versatile player having played both corner and safety. Not only does he have that experience at both positions, scouts think he could be a solid player at the NFL level at either position. Not only does Rowe look like a corner the Lions would like, they held a private workout with him which shows that they have an interest in him.
Breaking down Eric Rowe, I want to look at his strengths first. He is a tall corner, much like the man he would replace in Rashean Mathis. Rowe is very good at jamming and disrupting receivers at the line of scrimmage. He is a good tackler and is not afraid to help in run support. Eric Rowe plays the ball well in the air to disrupt the receivers ability to catch the pass. He was a 3 year starter at safety and started at corner his senior year. He breaks on the ball well and plays the zone coverage scheme very well.
Looking at his weaknesses, he does not have the speed for deep passes in the NFL. He struggles in man coverage, has acceleration issue, and does not change direction well.
The concerns that scouts have with him do not seem to mesh well with his combine showing. He was grouped with the safeties in the combine, but his numbers are pretty good. Below is a chart with the full details of how he performed.
|40 Yard Dash
||3 Cone Drill
||20 Yard Shuttle
As a safety, Rowe was a top performer in every area he tested at. While his top end speed for a corner is not the best, he was the 7th fastest corner who ran the 40 yard dash at the combine. He should not be a first round pick, but he may be a target in the second round depending on how many corners go in the first round. Scouts see him as either a Tampa-2 styler corner, or a Seattle Seahawks style corner. NFL.com has him as the 14th best corner prospect whereas cbssports.com has him as the 6th best corner.
All in all, I feel as if Eric Rowe is a very good corner prospect. He is the type of player that you can draft as a corner, and if he does not work out as a corner, you know he will as a safety. Teryl Austin , in working him out privately, likely saw some things on tape that he liked and that is leading their desire to learn more about the 6’1 defensive back, and how he fits into the Detroit Lions defense