Drafted: ROUND: 3 - Pick Number: 68 (CLE)
Draft Profile: BioMartin Emerson went to Pine Forrest High in Florida and as a senior, finished third on the team with 91 tackles, adding 2.0 tackles for loss, four pass breakups, one interception, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. His Junior year was only full season playing defensive back where he totaled team-high 58 tackles and five pass breakups and helped his school to the Florida High School Athletic Association 5A region quarterfinals. As a result, he was rated as a three-star recruit and opted to join Mississippi State in 2019.
As a freshman, he appeared in 13 games with five starts playing on a total of 398 snaps. He totaled 31 tackles and a QB rating when targetted of 98.1 for the year.
Emerson in 2020 started all 11 games while making 72 tackles and giving up a and a QB rating when targetted of 76.1 and as a result was awarded with a 2020 PFF Second-Team All-SEC spot.
As a junior, he played in 13 games making 49 tackles and gave up a less than impressive QB rating when targetted of 100.3.
Scouting Report: Strengths
- Nice athletic ability twitchy athlete with ideal length (6' 2") and size to dominate smaller receivers
- Willing and successful blitzing off the edge. Consideration for a move to safety with a combination of range and sure tackling.
- Good man/press defender who is very aggressive and able to handle bigger tight ends over the middle
- He has good football intelligence - can diagnose pre-scripted offensive play-calls
- Tough and scrappy with forceful nature to be physical at all levels of the field. Has good bulk on his frame to be aggressive in run support.
- Big hitter and a very good tackler who rarely misses and generally takes good angles to the ball
- Flashes intimidating attitude and will crush tiptoeing receivers across the middle.
- Strong hands to make plays on the ball, effective blitzer who shows well-coached technique and awareness
- Has versatility to play both as a corner and at safety - was recruited as such coming out of high school
- Trusts his eyes with very good awareness. Has very good reaction skills to break quickly on the ball.
Scouting Report: Weaknesses
- Needs to improve his footwork and balance in coverage. Transitions out of his backpedal too early and doesn't always look natural moving in reverse
- Throughout his college playing career has put up a far from elite 88.9 QB rating when targetted - not what you look for in a lockdown corner
- Lacks elite speed to recover if beaten on a double move. Ducks his head and swipes too often on open-field tackles.
- Looks to us like his ideal position is safety as he's not instinctive as a cone corner and can take too many risks in man coverage to be a lockdown corner
- Questionable technique and he gets lazy with fundamentals, sometimes getting high in his backpedal and will breach the coverage call seeking flashy plays
- Is a bit handsy and too aggressive - will likely see a lot pass interference calls in the NFL
- Has a high backpedal and loses a step in transition. Plays with adequate speed but there are concerns about his ability to handle the truly explosive speedsters of the NFL.
Scouting Report: SummaryMartin Emerson is a big tall defensive back with perfect size and length, nice press coverage skills, impressive tackling ability, and is a major contributor in run defense.
He however hasn't really impressed consistently in coverage, is too often is overly aggressive, and gets caught out by shiftier receivers, he also has questionable deep speed - something he will need to clear up at the combine in March.
We consider Emerson to be a third-round value corner prospect but who looks ideally suited to safety - the position he was originally recruited for and where his skill set is a perfect match. If he were willing to switch positions he'd be good value as high as the early second round in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Martin Emerson percentiles vs other Cornerback's (NFL Combine historically - higher value represents better perfomance)
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