With the Redskins in a position to possibly take a cornerback in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, Florida's Vernon Hargreaves III is the latest player to be linked to Washington in mock drafts.
Cornerback has been one of only a few positions that NFL Draft pundits believe the Washington Redskins will target in the first round this year.
At first, most had the Redskins selecting Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander, paring him in a defensive backfield with former college teammate
Others have also looked at the possibility of Ohio State’s Eli Apple or even Virginia Tech’s Kendall Fuller being selected.
CBSSports.com’s Pete Prisco thinks the Redskins will take University of Florida Vernon Hargreaves III in his most recent mock draft.
“They have to get better outside in coverage and this is a player who excels in man coverage,” Prisco writes. “He would step in and start right away.”
Indeed, Hargreaves III was one of the best cornerbacks in college football over the last three seasons, especially during his junior season when he totaled 33 tackles with four interceptions and four passes defensed.
Hargreaves III got off to a hot start in his final season with the Gators, as he recorded an interception in three of the first four games of the season, racking up 132 interception return yards in the process.
The 5-foot-11, 199 pounder was a first-team All-American selection by three different publications during his sophomore season, along with being a unanimous first-team All-SEC selection, in 2014, as he recorded 50 tackles with 13 passes defensed, three interceptions and two sacks.
As a true freshman in 2013, Hargreaves III was named to the Associated Press All-America third-team, as he collected 38 tackles with 11 passes defensed and three interceptions.
The 11 passes defensed tied him with current New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins for the most by a true freshman in program history.
According to his NFL.com draft profile, Hargreaves III is a “premier, quick twitch athlete with explosion pulsing through his hips and feet.”
“Instant click-and-close action to explode forward and attack the throw. Vertical springs to go up and over receivers at the high point. Smooth, controlled backpedal with ability to weave and mirror route progressions. Plays with outstanding body control and balance. Feet are electric. Can overwhelm lesser opponents across from him. Instinctive and urgent in his play. Excels from press, off or zone coverage. Fiery competitor with a strong desire to own the pass. Has quick, soft hands. Posted 38 passes defensed and 10 interceptions over last three years. Could see early kick or punt return action. Unwilling to stay blocked and doesn't hesitate for one moment in run support and against wide receiver screens. Chest-up tackler who runs through his target,” his profile states.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein believes Hargreaves is somewhat similar to another former Florida Gator: Joe Haden.
Haden is a two-time Pro Bowler and widely regarded as one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL right now.