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Should the Commanders Take a Shot on Coby Bryant or Pass?

Hogs Haven takes a look at 2022 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Commanders

NCAA Football: Cincinnati at Houston Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Coby Bryant, CB

School: Cincinnati | Conference: AAC

College Experience: Senior | Age: ?

Height / Weight: 6’1” / 193 lbs

Projected Draft Status: 4th – 5th round

Player Comparison: P.J. Williams

College Statistics

Player Overview

Coby Bryant’s path to the NFL starts with his brother, Christian, who played at Ohio State and was drafted to the NFL in 2014. Coby, idolizing his brother, became one of the best defensive backs in Ohio. His brother’s relationship with Luke Fickell led to an offer from Cincinnati. Bryant established himself as a starter in his sophomore year and held that spot for three more seasons. While his teammate Ahmad Gardner gets a lot of attention, Bryant is a big reason why Cincinnati had the best pass defense in college football. It was Bryant, not Gardner, that won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s best defensive back in 2021.

Strengths

  • Experience in both man and zone coverages
  • Fluid and quick transitions
  • Active hands at catch point, using length to break up passes
  • Turns and locates ball; nine interceptions in five years
  • Willing tackler who uses good form and warps up
  • Team captain and special teams value as a gunner

Weaknesses

  • Lack of speed means he can be beaten over the top
  • Plays far off receivers, allowing a lot of catches in front of him
  • Opens hips early, putting him out of position to play receivers
  • Needs to fight to get off blocks

Let’s see his work

How He Fits On The Team

Coby Bryant is not just Cincinnati’s other cornerback. He has a lot of qualities to be a contributor at the next level. He’s got great length, is physical in coverage and run support, and gets his hands on a lot of footballs. There are areas where he’ll need to improve his technique, but my biggest concern with him is whether he has the athleticism and agility to consistently cover NFL receivers. Playing in a zone heavy scheme might mitigate some of these concerns.

The Commanders are set with its starters on the outside at cornerback in Kendall Fuller and William Jackson III, so Bryant would start his career as depth at cornerback and a special teamer. Because Washington has played a variety of coverages and likes to use personnel that helps disguise them, Bryant’s experience in both man and zone schemes should serve him well. Other than Benjamin St-Juste, I’m not sure there is another cornerback on the team that is clearly better or has more potential than Bryant. He should be a Day 3 consideration for Washington if they do not address cornerback earlier.