Pros: Has good hips and shows nice potential in both man and zone coverage. Has good awareness and ball skills. Plays the deep ball very well, much like a receiver. Has a knack for making plays.
Cons: Has a thin build and it shows in run support as he gets run over too often. Can be tentative about getting after it in run support. Will give up too much cushion at times.
Overview: He's better in zone than he is in man, but due to his athleticism, you see his potential in the latter. A four-year starter with 14 career interceptions.
NFL Forecast: Mickens has potential to be one of the top corners in the league, particularly if he makes the necessary improvements in man coverage. Just wonder if he has the discipline to get better there. Right now, he'd make a solid starter in a zone scheme, and probably could start right away. He'll need to get stronger so he can have more of an impact in run support, but that will probably never be a strength. Instead, you draft him and develop him to be the caliber of corner that can match up with the elite receivers in the league. And I believe if he improves in man coverage he can become that guy.
ATL Forecast: Mickens would be a nice addition in Atlanta, and is the caliber of player that could immediately push Houston or Jackson for a starting job. And it would not be surprising to see him starting by year's end. I'd expect him to be a starter by no later than the end of his second season. He'd be drafted to be the guy that locks up with Steve Smith and Marques Colston for the next several seasons. And could potentially be a ﬁxture on the Falcons defense as they try to build to a championship- caliber team.
Value: Mickens has ﬁrst round potential, and it wouldn't be too crazy if he snuck into that round at the end. But a better value for him would be as an early-to-mid second round pick.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
MAN COVERAGE: 3.0
ZONE COVERAGE: 4.0
BALL SKILLS: 4.0
Scouting Reports of cornerbacks in the 2009 NFL draft.
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