40: 4.50 (estimated)
Has a nice feel for playing in zone. Shows some ball skills to undercut and jump routes to break up passes. Does a nice job keeping things in front of him. Shows some ability to come up and make the stop on the edge on the quick screen. Effective return threat with good speed and burst. Able to make the first guy miss as a punt returner and get upfield.
Needs to improve his footwork and has average hips. Receivers can just run by him. Struggles working in press coverage. At times will get turned around when working in the slot. Not a burner and doesn't have great vision as a kickoff returner.
Gilchrist is a better zone/off corner than man corner. In the former, he has a chance to be a decent role player, but in the latter he'd struggle to be anything more than a special teams guy. Started at safety as a junior, where he tallied 107 tackles, 1 sack, and 6 pass breakups. As a senior, moved to cornerback and had 62 tackles, 1 pick, and 10 breakups. He also returned 27 kickoffs for a 23.7 average and 23 punts for a 10.1 average.
There is some possibility that Gilchrist could move to safety down the road. But his primary value in the NFL, at least early on will be his contributions on special teams. He should be able to contribute as a returner, although he doesn't have the skills to really be a game-breaker in either area. Although he's probably a better punt returner going forward since he doesn't have the top speed to shine on kickoffs on a consistent basis. If he goes to a team that features quite a bit of zone, he stands a better chance of sticking. And eventually in such a scheme, I think he could be a nice nickel corner. I don't think more than that because he doesn't possess the top notch ball skills teams want in starters. On a team that plays a ton of man coverage, he'll be less valuable and probably never be a regular in the defensive rotation. Down the road, if he isn't progressing as a corner, teams may tinker with moving him to safety. I don't think he's great in run support, and probably would struggle if he was to start for extended periods of time, but his ability to play coverage and be a decent stopgap should make him a decent backup there. A nice player that should find a niche in the pros as a reserve or special teamer.
Gilchrist could add depth to the Falcons, but honestly they might be better off trying to start the immediate conversion to safety. He just doesn't offer a ton of upside to play corner in the Falcons defense. His experience playing in the slot is his primary asset. He's not a good enough returner to beat out Weems, and I'm not sure offers much to think he's going to rise above being a No. 4/5 corner in Atlanta long-term. At least as a backup safety, he could slide into the No. 4 hole vacated by Coleman and potentially develop into a decent backup if he can bulk up and get better in run support.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Man Coverage: 2.0
Zone Coverage: 3.0
Ball Skills: 2.5
Scouting reports of the cornerbacks in the 2011 Draft.
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