Lacks elite speed vertically down the field when asked to turn and run, will allow receivers to get behind him and doesn't possess the type of second gear to routinely make up for a false step. Possesses natural fluidity in his hips, is able to cleanly change directions and looks really comfortable smoothly getting out of his breaks and closing on the throw. Is an improved tackler from last season, has a physical element to his game, breaks down well and will stick his head in and wrap up.
Looked a lot more poised when asked to play in press coverage in 2010 as well. Did a much better job being patient off the line, using the proper hand to initially press with and was able to sit into his stance and maintain balance laterally through the play. However, doesn't play as physical vs. bigger, stronger wideouts at times and gets content playing press-bail, which will get himself in some trouble trying to play more like a finesse corner. Is fluid when asked to turn and run and his combination of balance, footwork and strength off the line makes him really difficult to separate from even initially into routes. However, he does get a bit grabby at times down the field and will get caught stopping his feet when looking back for the football, allowing receivers to get behind him.
Impression: A fluid, balanced corner who possesses only average deep speed, but looks like a guy capable of starting at a number of spots in an NFL secondary. However, I don't think he will ever be a real blue-chip corner."
Man Coverage: Perfect NFL press cover corner with his combination of size, strength and speed. Is patient in man coverage, reading the receiver's move and reacting quickly. Quick feet and smooth hips to turn and run, maintains contact with most any receiver down the sideline. Closes well when playing off the line, attacks midsection and wraps to tackle. Plays very physically within (and past) the five-yard area and is difficult for most receivers to shake. Has the lateral movement to shadow jerk routes. Maintains cushion in his backpedal.
Zone Coverage: Owns the prototypical man-press build but has the closing speed and physicality to excel in zone coverage. Excellent anticipation of underneath throws, cuts under receiver to make a play on the ball. Comes off deep routes to support shorter patterns to his side. Secure tackler who rarely gives up yards after the catch. Has dropped interceptions not thrown in his breadbasket. Fair foot speed in his backpedal, but needs to stay over his feet instead of leaning backward.
Closing/Recovery: Excellent closing speed for his size. Changes from pedal to forward motion quickly, plants hard and has a burst to the ball. Good recovery if frozen by double move, can get back into the play (and make a play on the ball) when trailing using his length, straight-line speed.
Run Support: Has the size and aggressive nature to excel in run support. Willing cut tackler, gets into the thigh of the running back. Good strength to rip off receiver blocks, could be more consistent using his hands to disengage. Sticks his nose into piles and stands up against backs coming with a head of steam.
Tackling: Excellent strength for the position, effective wrapping up receivers after the catch or cutting down backs in run support. Breaks down in space to avoid missed tackles. Will attack the shoulder pads of running backs to bring them down or force them out of bounds. Very effective cut tackler whether attacking the thighs of running backs or violently taking out the legs of receivers in the open field. Even when he does not bring down the ballcarrier, he gets enough to slow him down so help can arrive. Also helps teammates finish off tackles in space. Could be more consistent getting off receiver blocks.
Intangibles: Spiritual man, involved with Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Has matured greatly since arriving on campus, applying himself on the practice field and the film room more diligently since 2009. Parents are from Nigeria."
Ball Skills: Plays the ball well. Able to locate and track the ball. Plays mostly with his back to the quarterback, but shows an ability to flip and find the ball. 5 interceptions in 2009 may seem minor, but few teams challenged Amukamara, so this number is much more impressive.
Body Control: Has the balance and quickness of a running back. Shows great foot speed and burst. Very balanced and aware of his body. Able to adjust to the ball in flight. Very impressed with his ability to shuffle his feet and sprint.
Instincts/Recognition: Although under-experienced, Amukamara’s instincts are top-notch. Has a good ability to read the receiver and jump routes. Anticipates the route well. Reads the quarterback when given the ability to play with his face to the passer.
Man coverage/turning ability/press skill: Very good at re-routing receivers. A physical corner, Amukamara is at his best in man coverage. Excels at bump and run against college receivers, but may not be as dominant against NFL level receivers. Shows a good press at the line. Is quick enough to recover if his press fails. Detractors will point at the excellent Nebraska pass rush and the fact that Amukamara was not asked to hold his coverage for long periods of time.
Pursuit: Very able and willing, but this is one area where his lack of elite speed does hurt. Will not catch receivers or backs from behind. Could benefit from taking better angles down field. Comes up to attack the run well and racks up tackles in run support.
Speed: Is more quick than fast. Great in short bursts, but may be outran by receivers. Fortunately he is able to use his vision, strength and agility to contend with receivers.
Tackling/Run Support: An able and willing tackler. Not afraid to play in the box and attack the line of scrimmage. Has been used on corner blitzes and shows great natural instincts when closing on the ball. Actually had 2 sacks in 2009.
Zone coverage: Shows the skills to excel in zone coverage, but has not been used much as a zone cover man. Is tall with long arms, which enables him to reach the ball at its highest point. Has the footwork to sink in to coverage, and the quickness to recover and come up to the ball.
Final Word: Only a two-year starter at Nebraska, he does not have the experience of other top cornerbacks in the class. However, Amukamara has more talent than those players. Although somewhat untested, he has gone up against top wide receivers in the Big 12 and is plenty battle tested."
Amukamara is among the elite corner prospects this year.
All jokes aside, there’s no doubting just how talented Prince Amukamara is. Coming out of Apollo High School in Arizona, Prince was an All-State running back, and a standout corner. Prince started three games his sophomore year after getting minimal playing time in 2007 performing mostly on special teams.
Amukamara built off of his solid playing time from his sophomore season to start as a junior for the Cornhuskers. In 2010, Amukamara was highly touted by many members of the sports media, as he has become the prototypical lock down receiver. Teams in the Big 12 learned to throw the opposite way of Prince, as their receivers failed to create separation thanks to Amukamara blanketing them.
Amukamara’s instincts as a true cornerback are what make him a special corner. He’s quite physical, playing well in press coverage, and jamming the receiver at the line of scrimmage. He doesn’t get caught staring in the backfield, often reading the receivers hips to keep them in front and beside him. He does a great job of looking back for the ball, and getting in the right position to swat the ball down, without getting an interference call. Prince has excellent agility, having quick hips with an excellent backpedal, and does well in changing direction. He’s an exceptional tackler, breaking down in the open field and wrapping up. He makes a straight line to the quarterback on cornerback blitzes.
As we saw in the Oklahoma State game, Prince struggles with fast, vertical threats. Amukamara doesn’t have great straight line speed, and struggles to recover once beaten. He is susceptible to giving up quick slants to speedy receivers if he can’t punch them off of the line. At times, he gives too much cushion, allowing receivers to take advantage of him running shorter routes, as the quarterback attempts to dink and dunk on the defense. He needs to work on getting off of blockers in run support. However, despite not having great straight line speed, that can’t stop him from being a lock down corner at the next level. Comparisons of Joe Haden may arise at the combine, as Haden was another guy with a shaky 40 time, but managed to have an exceptional rookie season.
Amukamara is nearly a lock to be a Top 10 pick. If he slid to the 11-15 range, I would be extremely surprised. He has very few glaring weaknesses, and is one of the most fundamentally sound corners in the 2011 NFL Draft. Teams like Dallas, Buffalo, Denver, Arizona, San Francisco, and Cleveland will all take a hard look at him in the Top 10. There’s a small chance that he could be taken ahead of, fellow cornerback standout, Patrick Peterson, if a team prefers Prince more.
NFL Comparison: Nnamdi Asomugha"
Positive: Polished cornerback with the ability to shut down opponents on a regular basis. Intelligent, effectively diagnoses the action, and displays good instincts. Jams receivers at the line of scrimmage and is physical throughout routes. Quick flipping his hips off the line and shows a burst to the ball out of his plant. Fast up the field to defend the run, aggressively puts his shoulders into ball carriers, and wraps up tackling. Sells out on the blitz. Not afraid to take chances for interceptions. Displays good route recognition in zone coverage.
Negative: Ran well at the combine but has not shown great deep speed. Struggles staying with opponents downfield at times. Solid footwork but not explosive in reverse.
Analysis: Amukamara has been a tremendous cornerback the past two seasons and has opponents purposely staying away from him. He possesses the physical skills to productively play in a variety of defensive systems. Amukamara may not be the best athlete of the defensive back class, but he has starting potential at the next level and will be an asset for any team."
Negatives: High backpedal... Is more quick than fast... Lacks explosiveness into breaks... Can lose momentum when switching direction... Can struggle to disengage from bigger receivers on running plays... Needs to rely on being physical to give receiver a slow start off the line... Needs more experience and coaching to reach his full potential... Needs to prove he can play at an elite level for two straight seasons... Did not play much as freshman or sophomore"
2009 -- Started all 14 games at CB. All-Big 12 selection by nearly every outlet except the AP (Second-Team selection).
Strengths: Elite athlete and talent. Big and strong with long arms, yet very fluid and athletic. Loose hips and great feet. Can stay hip pocket with any receiver in the nation. Comfortable in both zone and man schemes. Gets a great jam when up tight in bump coverage. Anticipates well and breaks up many passes. Aggressive tackler and hitter, and comes up hard in run support. Plays on special teams.
Weaknesses: So good he sometimes gets lazy and loses focus. Forgets from time to time to look back for the ball. Will bait quarterbacks into throws which occasionally backfires on him.
Projection: Great player and person and will be an instant success as a top-ten pick. If he were a return man he likely would be chosen over Patrick Peterson, but I believe he is a better corner than Peterson and will be more effective in the secondary."
Amukamara is not putting up great numbers so far in 2010, but his presence alone has made this a great defense. The opposition cannot afford to throw anywhere near the 6-1 corner. In part, that has led to 11 interceptions for his teammates, but none for Amukamara. He does lead the team with seven pass break-ups, but do not expect Amukamara to put up great numbers again this season…the Big 12 knows better.
No matter what the numbers are, Amukamara is the best cornerback coming into the draft this season and should not last long on draft day. He could easily be a top three or four selection in April barring a major injury or some very disappointing workouts leading up to the draft."
While Ndamukong Suh deservedly got most of the attention for Nebraska’s run to the Big XII Championship game, to think the Cornhusker defense was simply a one-man show would be a huge mistake. Cornerback and soon-to-be-senior Prince Amukamara (pronounced ah-moo-kuh-mara) was a key cog as well, one blessed with the tools to develop into an exceptional NFL player. The first team All-Big XII performer uses his exceptional size, burst, length, fluidity, quickness and instincts to get the job done.
While he lacks top-notch long speed, Amukamara possesses exceptional footwork and quickness which, when combined with his stellar hip fluidity, gives him the ability to stop and go without losing momentum. In man coverage, the Arizona native stays in the receiver’s hip pocket during hard cuts and double moves. Amukamara’s size also allows him to lay nasty jams on wide receivers as his arm length and natural strength make it very difficult for receivers to get off the line cleanly."
Although he tends to play a bit flat-footed and squat on routes, which gets him in trouble against double moves, he shows the ability to recover. Evaluators who have passed through the program say he is every bit as good as advertised and have stamped top-10 grades on the senior. Those who watch tape of him attempting to cover Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon and see him increasingly clutch and grab will have more concerns."
"Prince" Amukamara doesn't play nearly as fast as his "40" time, it seems to me.
Mind you: He displays excellent Instincts, tremendous Fluidity, and outstanding Verticity ~ Turn + Burn Speed.
He projects to be a very damned good Corner in this league...But I believe that his Top 10 projection is FAR above his true value.
As always, the preceding thoughts were regurgitated, derivative tripe, adding no value whatsoever, while in fact obliterating intelligent thought and offending the spirit of all decent men. You are now stupider for having read it, and are encouraged, in the strongest possible language, never to expose your eyes to this Site again.