PROS: Shows solid awareness and instincts in zone. Good on short zones, showing ball skills and can jump the route. Does a nice job keeping things in front of him. Likes contact and shows potential as a press corner. Shows decent closing burst on the ballcarrier and will wrap up in run support.
CONS: Lacks good hips and burst. Can't turn and run with receivers, and relies too much on hand checking to stay with receivers. Gives up too much cushion. Needs to take better angles vs. the run and tends to tackle too high.
OVERVIEW: Verner projects well in a zone-heavy scheme, but is completely overmatched in man coverage. His NFL future looks sort of bleak since there aren't as many teams nowadays that are zone-heavy as there were five years ago.
NFL FORECAST: I think unless he was allowed to play in a pure Cover-2 scheme that allowed him to press and then drop off into zone coverage almost every snap, he'd struggle. He could be a solid starter in such a scheme, but there aren't many teams that run as pure a form of that anymore. Otherwise, I think for most NFL teams they'll have to bulk him up and try to move him to safety if they want to get the most out of his abilities. Because if he has to play in man coverage, he's just not good enough to be anything more than a fourth or fifth corner that rarely sees the field, and mostly contributes on special teams. Because of that, his NFL future likely depends on him putting twenty pounds of muscle and moving to safety and/or being able to contribute right away on special teams.
ATL FORECAST: Verner is a good player, but he'd be overmatched in man coverage and likely to draw too many penalties because of how handsy he is. That is certainly not something that would really help the Falcons. So unless the Falcons envisioned him as a backup safety or wanted to find a special teams ace, he doesn't make a lot of sense.
VALUE: Because of how limited he is in coverage, Verner should be a late round pick for teams targetting depth rather than a future starter. The sixth or seventh round is the ideal place.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.