Taveze Calhoun, CB
School: Mississippi State | Conference: SEC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 23
Height / Weight: 6-0 / 192 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 5th or 6th Round
NFL Comparison: Casey Hayward
Tavaze Calhoun is referred to as the "heart and soul of the secondary" on Mississippi State's website. Calhoun's effort and passion on the field and his teamwork with future draftee Will Redmond led to a lot of positives on the field for the Bulldog's defense. He's smart too. Calhoun can play on the field starting 36 games over the past 3 years but he also takes his studies seriously as he was consistently on the honor roll and a finalist for the academic Heisman.
Calhoun has good size and I think is slightly underrated in this draft class. As with pretty much every young player consistency is key but when Calhoun combines his smarts and athletic ability on the field he can make some nice plays. He's a willing and able tackler though you would like him to improve his strength once in the NFL. He can play man to man and zone coverage and he knows how to diagnose plays. If he see's something developing he is all over it to break up the pass or put himself in a position to stop the play.
A criticism of him is that he plays too off in his zone coverage. There is a reason he rarely gets beat deep. He also has some key technique issues regarding his fluidity out of breaks and ability to change direction. He lacks the body control you want to see out of the player playing one of the fastest positions in the game. Speaking of speed Calhoun isn't a burner either but he has adequate speed. I encourage everyone to watch this young man. Everything I listed above and a couple other things show up on tape and because of it Calhoun is considered by some to be a candidate moved to FS in the NFL.
- Sticky in man coverage and can close in zone rarely get's beat by a long pass.
- Aggressive when he see's a play can be made. Will jump routes, add the little bit of burst to break up a pass, or run in to stop the run.
- Good teammate and leader.
- Great at diagnosing plays and overall field vision.
- Lacks ideal speed.
- Body type is long and slender and doesn't possess the strength to get off blocks and always goes for the legs when tackling.
- Real technique issues regarding transition, fluidity, and balance, it's why some recommend he play center field.
Let's see his work:
Taveze Calhoun. I watch this tape and think, "this is the smartest CB in this draft." Look at his reads: https://t.co/yzeL0vaO3X— Jared Stanger (@JaredStanger) March 17, 2016
Could do a lot worse than Taveze Calhoun in the mid rounds. https://t.co/jtPT5rgQ1h— John Breitenbach (@PFF_John) February 23, 2016
Never understood the Will Redmond love. I don't think he's even the best CB on his team. Give me Taveze Calhoun over him any day.— Ethan Young (@NFLDrafter) January 26, 2016
Miss State CB Taveze Calhoun.. Not a big fan of his man/man skills but kid showed some serious range/speed on backend of zone— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) January 15, 2016
Taveze Calhoun is a fluid but by no means dynamic athlete. Struggles getting out of pedal and lacks vertical speed. Disciplined eyes doe— Paulo Figari (@Paulo_FigariNFL) January 6, 2016
Taveze Calhoun is a guy I like at safety more than CB, but a 4.55 is nice for him.— Alex Reno (@alex_reno) February 29, 2016
Yes, I'd put Cordrea Tankersley at FS in the NFL. As I would with Taveze Calhoun and Kendall Fuller. #VaultMe— Jonah Tuls (@JonahTulsNFL) November 18, 2015
What a play by Taveze Calhoun. https://t.co/rhGXJVX39Q— John Breitenbach (@PFF_John) October 25, 2015
How He Would Fit on the Redskins
As a late rounder I think Calhoun should be considered by the Redskins. He has a foundation that is coachable and is a smart and reliable player. I think it says a lot when you can be the leader of your team, perform on Saturdays, and do well in your academics. It shows dedication and passion for what you are doing. Calhoun has the size of a prototypical corner nowadays and with some seasoning behind vets like Breeland, Blackmon, and Cully he could grow into a more prominent role outside of special teams. The conversion to FS is more of an idea as Calhoun never played safety at Mississippi State but it would be an interesting development if the staff felt it necessary to try him there during camp.
All in all, Calhoun strikes me as the type of player that will work hard and dedicate himself to improve his talents and his weaknesses. I think he's a kid worth taking in the later rounds to develop as cornerback depth and the Redskins need it.