Showcases good patience off the line in press coverage, doesn't open up the gate prematurely, does a nice job using proper hand placement when asked to get into defenders and has the ability to re-route off the line. Gets a bit leggy initially in his drop — this is when he will double over at times at the waist — and will allow himself to get a bit overextended off the line. However, possesses good fluidity in the hips when asked to redirect, regains balance quickly and displays a good initial burst to stay in receivers' back pockets out of his breaks and down the field.
Showcases good speed down the field. Has a tendency to lose balance at times, getting overextended in press when he is forced to let go and turn to run down the field, causing him to lose balance and give up some separation vertically. However, displays a good feel of routes off the line in press, is an instinctive corner and has the fluidity to open up his hips and run with explosive receivers down the field or redirect, maintain balance and close in the three-step game.
Displays the ability to make up for a false step and exhibits the coordination to go up and use his length to knock the football away at its highest point. Isn't overly physical as a striker, but has a willingness to stick his head in and is a solid wrap-up guy. Breaks down well after completions underneath and uses his length to wrap and bring his guy to the ground. Isn't as comfortable in off coverage at this stage because of his lacking technique and polish in his drop, doesn't have great click and close ability, but displays a good enough feel in his limited experience to warrant some interest as a zone corner as well.
Impression: For a guy who has only played the positions for two seasons, he did a great job vs. a very talented Boise State wide receiving corps, being physical off the line, turning to run and making plays on the ball down the field. He's still raw with his footwork, but has a lot of upside to his game and looks to me like a guy who could make a roster because he is a gifted size/speed kid as well."
Positive: Well-sized and athletic defensive back who is still learning the position. Remains disciplined with assignments, displays the ability to drive to the action out of his plant and possesses a burst of closing speed. Fluid pedaling in reverse, quickly changes direction and plays an aggressive brand of football. Fast up the field defending the run, mixes it up with opponents throughout pass routes, and physically defeats them to defend the throw.
Negative: Displays a poor sense of timing. Loses a sense of where he is in relation to the receiver he is supposed to cover. Not consistent with his defensive back mechanics.
Analysis: Marsh took a quantum leap last season and started to develop as a defensive back. He possesses desirable size/speed numbers for the next level but will need a lot of work before he's NFL ready."
Negatives: Is often late locating the football, does not get head around very quickly, especially when defending fade and seam routes... Looks a little thin for his height, could stand to add a few pounds of muscle, especially in the lower-body... Not very productive statistically, only recorded three interceptions in two seasons at corner... Will jump routes a little early when giving up position on the inside, leaving him susceptible to giving up a big play... Instincts are below-average, not a complete corner at this point, and only has two years experience at the position."
2009 - 32 tackles, 5 break-ups an INT, and a punt block.
2008 and 2007 - converted from running back.
Senior Bowl invitee - but pulled hamstring on first day
Strengths: Great speed, flexibility and anticipation in coverage. Moves well, and can read and react quickly in support of the run. Willing to make the hit.
Weaknesses: Sometimes too aggressive in coverage and draws the flag. Somewhat in-experienced, as he has only played the position since 2009.
Projection: 6th round."
Curtis Marsh is a 6-0, 194-pound, long-armed cornerback from Utah State. He’s only a one-year starter at the position following the move from running back after the 2008 season.
I will admit that coming into 2010, I never even heard of Marsh. However, as I was grinding my way through tape late in the year and was watching Utah State vs. Boise State, there was one guy who made it nearly impossible for Broncos wideouts Austin Pettis and Titus Young to consistently gain separation from. Sure enough that’s when I discovered Marsh.
Marsh did a great job of fluidly turning to run down the field vertically with Young – one of the few cornerbacks in the nation who was able to be successful with that task. He also displayed impressive make-up speed when he gave up a step vertically and was physical/balanced enough in press man to routinely re-route off the line.
Now, being a former running back and only making the move to corner two years ago, there are still some rough spots to his game. He still gets a bit upright and leggy in his drop at times, which causes him to waste some motion when trying to make plays on the football. And his overall feel for quickly snapping his head around and locating the throw at times is questionable. But again, he’s only played the position for two seasons and in my view has the ability to mature quickly in both areas with the help of some NFL coaching.
Plus, he’s an under-the-radar type guy who at Utah State didn’t receive nearly the attention he deserved. However, despite not playing at a big FBS university he still got an invitation to the Senior Bowl -- which he was unable to perform in due to a pulled hamstring -- and has been one of the main prospects that kept coming up in my conversations with West coast area scouts following the season.
The way I see it, at 6-0, 193 pounds, he’s got the size, length and body control to be an effective press corner in the NFL --being a great fit for a team like the Packers/Raiders-. And it’s at the Combine where I think he starts to really get a lot of media hype going his way and begins to see a spike in his stock. I expect him to run very well for his size, possibly in the sub 4.4 range. And if he’s able to do that I do think the second round is a distinct possibility for Marsh because of his upside and overall potential at the position.
In my view he could end up being one of the top corners to come out of this draft class if given some time to mature and projects as a good starting corner in a year or two for an NFL team according to our grading scale."
Curtis Marsh is certainly very raw: He's only played Corner for two years.
And that shows in his footwork, and his technique in general.
But the kid brings an outstanding fusion of Size + Speed to the table, and while his Verticity ~ Turn + Burn Acuity ~ is not what you want, at this stage, his Fluidity is excellent, and it's my thinking that, with good coaching and time, he will develop exceptional Verticity, that being the most vital skill of any Corner Back.
Better yet, he displays tremendous Instincts for a Corner of his brief experience. One can only imagine that those are only going to get much sharper, as he continues his rapid ascent.
All Draft Picks are gambles, and projecting a player with only two years of experience at the position is speculative, indeed. But when you put together perfect Size, blazing Speed, rapidly improving Instincts, and exceptional Fluidity, I believe that Curtis Marsh ~ who already made it happen in Real Time against the likes of Titus Young and many others ~ offers explosive upside. This is a potential #1 Corner, and he's projected for the Mid Rounds.
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