2011 NFL Draft Player Profile: Prince Amukamara
Nebraska football has been known for two things over the past few seasons: Producing great defensive talent, and producing talent whose names in which nobody can pronounce.
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.
Player Name: Prince Amukamara
40 Time: 4.37
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