April 6, 2013; Gainesville FL, USA; Florida Gators defensive back Marcus Roberson (5) during the spring practice for the Orange and Blue Deput at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
When people talk about the top cornerbacks in this year’s draft class, they sometimes forget to mention Marcus Roberson.
While Roberson won’t be drafted as highly as some of the other big name prospects, he is almost assured to have his name called on day two of the draft, most likely somewhere in the second round.
His size and athletic ability stand out when you watch him on tape. He has the speed and size that most NFL teams are looking for in a pass defender. Sadly, his stock may take a huge hit because of trouble staying healthy. Multiple injuries to his knee and ankle caused him to miss five games alone last year for the Gators. Another concern for teams is his off the field antics. He got a one game suspension for violation of team rules and was also investigated after an alcohol related arrest in 2011.
He stands 6′ tall and weighs in at 191 pounds. This offseason, Roberson vowed to hit the weights and get stronger, but a weak showing at the combine where he only put up 8 reps was very disappointing. There was also concern at the combine when he ran a somewhat disappointing 4.61 time in the 40 yard dash.
Despite these red flags, Roberson has a lot of redeeming qualities. How he uses his body can really disrupt wide receivers and he isn’t afraid to be physical. Sometimes a bit too physical. He seems confident even when taking on high levels of competition and exudes a winning persona on the field. Taking on extra responsibility isn’t something he is afraid of either, since he acted as a punt returner as well.
Here are his statistics over 3 years at Florida:
Nov 9, 2013; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators defensive back Marcus Roberson (5) against the Vanderbilt Commodores works out prior to the game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
30 games played
46 solo tackles
56 total tackles
20 passes defended
1 forced fumble
16 punt returns
210 punt return yards
- Uses body well in coverage
- Plays bigger than he is
- Great acceleration
- Patient in coverage
- Breaks up plays regularly
- Can be too physical at times, resulting in penalties
- Needs to work on tackling technique
- Durability issues – injury history
- Off-field problems
Fit For The Vikings
Minnesota will be taking a cornerback early in the first couple rounds of the draft. Filling a hole opposite Xavier Rhodes is a must.
While Roberson is an interesting prospect and would fill a need for the Vikings, it would be hard to risk an early second round draft pick on a player with so many conerns. If he slides in the draft, Minnesota should look to their first pick in the third round to take him.