Pros: Has nice speed and shows decent quickness and hips. Does a nice job keeping things in front of him and shows decent awareness in zone. Willing in run support and shows good ability coming off the edge as a blitzer.
Cons: Has just okay hips and could be quicker out of his breaks. Will miss some stops in the open field and lacks size as a tackler. Cuts guys more than he wraps. Gives up too much cushion to his assignments and can be a step too late breaking on the ball.
Overview: Lacks size, speed, ball skills, and hips to be a great prospect, but you watch him go up against top wideouts in the Big 12, and he never backs down from a challenge. A guy that works hard and is a nice overachiever. Had 3 picks and 25 pass breakups in his two seasons as a starter.
NFL Forecast: I doubt he'll ever be a starter. He's just too small, slow, and doesn't have the top ball skills that NFL starters have. But he's a guy that will bust his butt as a nickel corner. Has the toughness and fortitude you like in that role. Will always be a match-up concern due to his lack of ideal size and speed (although he's faster than he times), which will mean you want to limit his exposure. If he can play well on special teams early for a few years, he'll get an opportunity to contribute on defense down the road as a reserve corner. But he won't be a starter, and would fit best in a zone scheme since he lacks the hips to really be a factor in man coverage.
ATL Forecast: Palmer could push for time in Atlanta, but at best he'd be a decent No. 4 corner that can push David Irons and Brent Grimes for a roster spot, but isn't likely to unseat Jackson, Houston, or Hutchins from a job anytime soon. In time, if he continues to stick on special teams, he might eventually work his way down the road into a nickel spot, but more than likely that will be short-term, as the team would look to get someone that can match up better in there.
Value: Palmer is worth drafting for a team looking for depth, but probably just a seventh round pick at best.
Scouting Reports of cornerbacks in the 2009 NFL draft.
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