Iman “Biggie” Marshall, CB
School: USC | Conference: PAC-12
College Experience: Senior | Age: 21
Height / Weight: 6-1 / 205lbs
Projected Draft Status: 4th or 5th Round
NFL Comparison: Eric Rowe
Cornerback Iman Marshall is a big, physical corner who could help the Redskins solidify the backend of their defense. Known by his teammates as “Biggie”, Marshall was a five-star recruit coming out of Long Beach Poly High School. This is the same program that has produced the likes of Desean Jackson, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Jurrell Casey, to name a few. At the time of his recruitment to USC, Marshall was rated as the #1 cornerback and #4 overall prospect in the country by ESPN. Once he stepped onto the Trojans’ campus he immediately made his presence felt. During a stellar Freshmen campaign, Marshall logged three interceptions, including two picks off of future NFL QB Josh Rosen in their game against the UCLA Bruins. Marshall’s efforts as a four-year starter earned him All PAC-12 honorable mentions in 2016 and 2017 as well as Second Team All PAC-12 honors as a Senior in 2018.
Watching game tape of Marshall it is clear that he likes to get physical with opposing receivers. He often jams the receiver at the line of scrimmage with decent hand placement. He also appears to be more than a willing participant in the run game, coming up and laying hits on would be Backs trying to reach the edge. Where Marshall really excels is going up to break up passes, which is evident in the fact that he finished his college career second all-time in the PAC-12 with 36 passes defended.
The knock on Marshall is his inconsistent play in his final two years on campus. While he recorded three interceptions in each his Freshmen and Sophomore seasons, Marshall did not record a single pick during his Junior or Senior year. To his defense, Marshall did struggle with nagging injuries in his final two years, which included an MCL sprain. It was the inconsistent play over his latter seasons that will likely push him to Day 3 of the NFL Draft. That could very well make him a steal for some team.
- Has prototypical size for a Cornerback in the modern game
- Plays with plenty of physicality at the position and often jams his coverage assignment at the line of scrimmage
- Plays with open hips and fluidity, which he will need to put on display during drills at the Combine
- Shows no fear of coming up to support the run defense and actually appears to welcome contact
- Experienced player with four years of starting for a Power Five Conference program
- Needs to improve his tackling technique and the fundamentals of wrapping-up. This is something that hopefully can be corrected with coaching
- Has been known to take bad angles on open field plays
- Game film shows he often likes to continue contact after 5 yards from the line. This will need to get cleaned up to avoid leading the division in penalties
- He could stand to add more functional strength. While he does like to get physical, he doesn’t always get the best of larger receivers
Let’s See His Work:
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
At the time of the writing of this article, Defensive Backs Coach Torrian Gray has already been jettisoned and no replacement has been named. Embattled Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky has been given a stay of execution, for now, but it should be safe to assume changes to the defensive side of the ball are coming. With that being said, it is tough to gauge what base coverage scheme the Skins plan to deploy in 2019.
Enter Iman Marshall. Regardless of what scheme the Skins use or who is calling the plays, he is the type of Cornerback that can be used in a variety of roles. He can play press, off-man, nickel, and also has the size (assuming he was to put on a few pounds) and physicality to transition to safety if need be. He will allow whoever is running the defense to have added versatility on the backend. His skill set could allow him to be the eventual replacement for Josh Norman (if he doesn’t become a cap casualty this offseason). And it would only be a bonus for the team to not have to use a high draft pick to acquire his services. The only question is, will Bruce see enough of Biggie’s potential to make it happen? Stay tuned Skins fans.