Maurice Canady, CB
School: Virginia | Conference: ACC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22?
Height / Weight: 6-1 / 191 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 3rd or 4th round
NFL Comparison: Chris Cook
The Chris Cook comparison is not an accident or coincidence — Maurice Canady reeks of disappointment. He has an ideal physical frame for a DB in today's NFL, but much like Cook and Ras-I Dowling, both former Virginia cornerbacks who measured taller than six feet and were drafted early in the second round, he doesn't offer much more than size. Through 43 collegiate games, Canady managed just five interceptions, two forced fumbles and 26 passes defended. If his junior and senior seasons were swapped, would be a more intriguing prospect; instead, Canady enters the draft more than a year removed from his last interception.
- His size is what draws interest. At 6-foot-1 and 191 pounds, Canady has the frame to play physically with some of the top receivers in the NFL. He'll need to add some muscle, but that doesn't seem as though it'll be an issue for him.
- He does have a knack for big plays, and he is a verifiable weapon with the ball in his hands. He has ability to make people miss, and he looks good doing it. Check out the hesitation then sudden burst at the end of this return (and all the preceding jukes):
- On that note, he's got impressive acceleration. His speed in general is decent, but his first few steps are lightning quick.
- He often takes himself out of plays. As soon as he thinks he can no longer be an impact, he just stops everything and stands in place, and sometimes when he is put in zone coverage and there's nobody in his zone, he just sort of meanders aimlessly without making an attempt to contribute.
- He launches himself at ball carriers' feet, shoulder-first. It makes for some nice tackles, but it also makes for some missed tackles. The latter number will quickly overtake the former number in the NFL.
- Canady is built as a press corner, and whether through coaching, scheme or his own tendencies, he doesn't play a lot of press coverage. Rather, he tends to give receivers huge cushion as if every play is a desperation drive for the offense. This results in repeated short gains for the man he's marking, and if he misses a tackle, huge yards after the catch.
How He Would Fit on the Redskins
Canady is a player with a lot to prove, and while his size will likely intrigue a few teams, his production and positional skills leave a lot to be desired. He had a strong showing at the Senior Bowl, so that's a step in the right direction, and another positive outing at the Combine would send his draft stock soaring. He likely won't fall past the fourth round, or if he completely tanks at the Combine, he could slip to the fifth, but he has too much going for him physically to drop much further than that.
Canady is from the Richmond area and played at UVA, so the local ties are strong, and the Redskins would love to have another big, physical cornerback on the roster. But due to his limitations, it's tough to see him thriving in the average secondary, one like, say, the Redskins'. If Pete Carroll were to get a hold of him, it's certainly possible he could evolve into a top corner. But otherwise, I don't see him offering much else aside from plenty of value on special teams and potentially a decent fourth or fifth corner.
On the other hand, Canady strikes me as a player who needs a position switch. Plus 20 pounds of muscle and he's the perfect build for a safety, and his difficulty maintaining appropriate distance in coverage would be mitigated in such a role. Conversely, he might be worth trying out as a receiver. He's got a great frame for the position, and is a threat with the ball in his hands. He knows the routes and the movements well enough so that it wouldn't be the most difficult of transitions.