Has good size and speed to match up with receivers. Can be physical in run support. Shows good closing burst on the ball and has some hitting power there. Shows good hips.
Needs to improve his footwork and technique. Not great transitioning from his backpedal and gets turned around in coverage. Shows poor ball skills and rarely makes a play on the ball or in a position to make a play on the ball in the air. Gives up too much cushion to the receiver and too easily gives up the underneath routes. Tackles a bit high and seemingly gets by in run support because of his size and strength rather than being disciplined.
Chekwa has the physical tools to match up at the next level, but at this point I would consider him to be a more physical version of Chris Houston. He can keep up and cover quality receivers, but he isn't going to break up many passes or make many interceptions. Like Houston, he'll continually get beat by quality receivers because of this lack of ball skill. Teams will think they can coach him up, but after going through a stint with Houston in Atlanta, I'm not confident anybody can.
What I Want to See in 2010:
Ball skills. Pure and simple. He should be a guy that gets a lot more breakups and picks. Last year he had only 7 pass breakups and 1 pick. He isn't a guy that teams avoid, so he should be getting twice as many breakups and probably 3-5 picks if he truly had ball skills. The footwork and technique would be nice if they can be improved, but those things are coachable. Ball skills are not.
Chekwa is highly rated probably because of his size and speed. He'll probably clock a fast 40 (he runs track at Ohio State) and with his other workouts, he'll probably move up in the draft. I would definitely predict him as a potential Top 50 pick, but not because I think he has that sort of ability, but just because the demand for quality corners and his tools will make him that. At this point, I wouldn't consider him a better NFL prospect than Perrish Cox, who was a 5th round pick this past year. I doubt he falls that far, so at worst he'll be a third or fourth round pick.
The year's upcoming draft and the college game can be discussed here.
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