Has decent hips and burst. Shows ability and instincts to undercut or jump the out throw. Does a good job keeping things in front of him and makes the stop after the catch. Will deliver the hit on the quick screen and quick to come up. Shows burst off the edge as a blitzer. Shows good speed and closing burst in pursuit and prevents YAC on the crossing route. Does a nice job turning and locating on an errant throw or deep pass. Competes and is comfortable playing in the slot.
Doesn't have great burst out of his breaks. When he breaks on the out throw, doesn't come up with the interception. Comes out high out of his backpedal which he doesn't really use. Needs to polish up his footwork so that he can better drive on the ball. Gives up too much cushion on the comeback. Not a great tackler, ducking his head leading to some whiffs in the open field and after the catch.
Rutland has good size and speed, but isn't great in either. But he is a competitor, works hard, has nice instincts and ball skills. If he can just improve his technique and footwork, he can compete in a nickel role. He's not a guy you want matching up with premium competition at the next level, but he's good enough that he won't back down. A two-year starter that combined for 91 tackles, 6 for loss, 4 sacks, 5 picks, and 9 pass breakups in that span. Played some safety as a freshman.
If Rutland can improve his footwork and technique, I like his chances as a nickel corner. I don't love his chances, but he'll be a guy that can compete and with improvements in those areas, coupled with his ball skills, size, speed, and instincts he should be an effective matchup. But it's going to take him some time to develop there and he might not be a guy that does much his first two or so years in the league. In the meantime, he can play and produce on special teams where I think he'll be solid there. I think because of that special teams ability, he'll always have a role somewhere in the league and can add depth. The question will be whether his technique/footwork improve enough where he can get significant minutes on regular defense. He'll fit best in a scheme that is going to want him to play off coverage and keep things in front of him.
Rutland can compete down the road as a nickel corner in Atlanta. It would not be anytime soon, but his first two or so years he could play special teams, and then by his third or fourth he should be pushing for the nickel role if he makes the necessary improvements. If not, then he'll still be a valuable performer on special teams and decent No. 4 corner.
Rutland is a nice middle round pick, that I think would be ideal coming off the board in the fifth round.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Man Coverage: 3.0
Zone Coverage: 3.0
Ball Skills: 3.0
Scouting reports of the cornerbacks in the 2011 Draft.
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