Morris Claiborne, CB, Louisiana State
5-foot-11, 189 pounds
Draft projection: Top 10
Lowdown: Claiborne started 26 games over the past two years against the top competition in the country and helped LSU to the national title in January. Claiborne had six interceptions, was SEC defensive player of the year and a consensus first-team All-America. He had five INTs as a sophomore. He has great ball skills, and he’s a good return man. He averaged 26.1 yards on 17 kickoff returns in 2011. He had a 99-yard KO return for a TD at West Virginia. He ran a quality time of 4.47 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine.
In comparing Claiborne to Alabama first-round prospect Dre Kirkpatcik, Mike Mayock of the NFL Network said: “Claiborne is more a more natural man-to-man defender. Kirkpatrick has tremendous zone awareness. Some people think he can be a free safety. I think Claiborne, you can plug in and play in just about any defense. He has a better overall package then Kirkpatrick.”
(The News is profiling 50 prospects in 50 days leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft.)