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 Post subject: Mistral Raymond, FS, South Florida
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 3:03 pm
Posts: 25929
Location: North Carolina
MISTRAL RAYMOND
6-1/196
South Florida Senior
40: 4.64

PROS:

Does a good job on short zones, able to read QB, jump route and shows ball skills to make a play. Is good when he can keep things in front of him and quick to come up and defend the run on the edge. Shows ability to make the stop in the open field with nice closing burst. Can work in the slot and comfortable in press coverage.

CONS:

Doesn't have the hips and burst to match up in man coverage. Comes out of his backpedal high and has difficulty driving on the ball upfield. Struggles to turn and run with receivers and lacks make-up speed. Gets caught looking in the backfield too often, allowing receivers to get behind him for big gains. Tackles a bit high and needs to get stronger there. Doesn't always break down well in space.

OVERVIEW:

Raymond is a big corner that shines in zone coverage, but doesn't have the hips and burst to play in man coverage. He'll either have to play as a pure zone Cover-2 corner at the next level or move to free safety. He was a walk on at USF, after spending time at Ellsworth CC. As a junior, he started 4 games at safety and nickel corner, tallying 40 tackles, 2 for loss, and 1 interception. Came back as a senior, starting 11 games at cornerback where he had 56 tackles, 4.5 for loss, 1 INT, and 7 pass breakups.

NFL FORECAST:

Raymond is not a great candidate to come and stick right away. He's going to need to bulk up some more if he wants to stand a chance as a safety. I doubt he gets an opportunity as a corner. In a pure zone Cover-2 scheme, he can add depth, but you can get better corners in that scheme, that are a bit more versatile on the occasions you do play man coverage. Instead, he'll have to be converted to a safety in most schemes. He could earn a practice squad position, and if he can get bigger and stronger and show more discipline in deep coverage, then he might be able to stick as a reserve safety at the next level. But his lack of ideal speed and range will limit his upside and he'll probably never be a super-reliable run defender. So his value long-term will depend on his ability to play special teams. He has tools to stick in the pros, but he's a project and longshot that lacks upside to be anything more than a No. 4 guy. So unless he becomes an ace special teams player, he'll have a hard time sticking long-term.

ATL FORECAST:

Raymond is mostly a body in Atlanta that can push for a depth role. If the team likes his ball skills and ability to play on specail teams, he stands a shot at making the practice squad where he can get the needed time to add muscle and get more used to being a pure NFL safety. HIs experience at corner can give him a leg up somewhat against other competition, but again his lack of upside will make his long-term value in Atlanta highly dependent on his ability to produce on special teams.

VALUE:

Raymond shouldn't be drafted, but can be a nice option as a free agent pickup for some team looking to bolster their depth and competition in camp.

SKILLS
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

Speed: 2.5
Tackling: 2.5
Coverage: 2.5
Ball Skills: 3.0
Range: 2.0

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