NAME: Trayvon Mullen
JERSEY: No. 1
RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star
WT: 190 lbs
Man Cover Skills –Can get turned inside out by crafty releases at the LOS. Does well to pin down receivers with his hands and shows great length to diminish throwing windows. Has plenty of burst to carry vertically and shows good feel for pending breaks when he’s working off the hip.
Zone Cover Skills –Can get stuck in between zones and he can take the cheese when the first route flashes across his face, both in C3 deep third and C2 manning the flat. He’s got great length to flash arriving late if breaking from overhead. Much better to play bail tech C3 than any other zone.
Feet/Change of Direction –A work in progress. He can get hoppy both at the LOS and when he’s squatting to break on the boundary. Got turned inside out (Alabama/Boston College) at the LOS in press reps by being over-aggressive. Ability to decelerate and collect himself is strong.
Ball Skills –He’s got great length and can influence through the hands of receivers as he arrives through trail position or in zone. Hasn’t generated a lot of ball production breaking in off coverage due to lack of spring but he’s pretty confident reacting to flashing hands.
Flexibility –Doesn’t have the loosest hips, he’s a bit of a sitting duck in flat footed reads. Much better in bail technique to flip his hips open before he gets momentum to drop off the LOS. Shows good knee bend and hip drop to collect himself in space for redirection.
Acceleration –Does not have the most dynamic first step because he’s got longer steps but when he’s given a runway he can produce quite a bit of acceleration. Little worries about his deep speed, particularly when he’s got hands on receiver.
Zone Spacing –Lack of elite burst can limit him when he’s splitting difference between receivers. He does well in over-top situations to stay over his man, particularly when on the iso side of the formation. Deeper zones are better thanks to ability to build speed to challenge vertical throws.
Competitive Toughness –Really physical dude. His hands carry quite a punch and he’s pretty stout when he’s pushing WRs off their spot on route stems. You can find him out in front of teammates on INTs to throw blocks. Would like to see him use his strength to shed blocks more in run.
Run Support –He hasn’t had a lot of success getting unglued from blocks, a frustrating development considering his size, strength and length. Isn’t due to lack of effort and he’s had some nice fills as an off-ball defender stepping up to harden an edge.
Tackling –Large tackle radius and shows good reach and extension to push into a tackle. Like his pop in his pads and when he’s able to challenge square he’s pretty stout. Will rip down receivers as he arrives to the catch point with good consistency.
BEST TRAIT – Man Cover Skills
WORST TRAIT – Feet/COD
BEST FILM – Duke (2018)
WORST FILM – Alabama (2018)
RED FLAGS – None
Trayvon Mullen projects well as a man-cover corner in the NFL. Mullen’s footwork is a bit awkward and inconsistent at times, yet his flashes in press man/from trail position are enticing. Mullen will need to iron out his technical lapses to reach his ceiling, but his ceiling is notable in a man system. Mullen has great length, super physicality and when clean in his transitions he can be very sticky on the hip of receivers to turn and run. Year 3 projection is more favorable than year 1.
Playing behind one of the College Football’s best front sevens, Mullen is part of a veteran Clemson secondary primed to feast on desperate throws from pressured opposing quarterbacks. Given some of the inconsistencies from his fellow cornerbacks on the roster, Mullen is likely to fill the No. 1 corner role and tasked with lining up against opposing team’s top target on a weekly basis.
Mullen is a long and physical corner that functions best in press and zone coverage. It’s those techniques where his physicality, length and ability to read the backfield are accentuated. Mullen plays up to his frame in terms of play strength and assertiveness as a tackler and in coverage. He flashes moments of outstanding ball skills and his long arms allow for recovery and margin of error.
The concerns I have with Mullen are a lack of ideal short area quickness, recovery speed and tight hips. His ability to turn and run in man coverage and remain in phase can be problematic. On account of those shortcomings, Mullen is extremely grabby and has a tendency to arrive off-schedule at the catch point. Mullen thrives playing closer to the line of scrimmage when he is able to use his play strength and physicality in the legal contact window. A move to safety or a scheme-specific label appear likely when projection Mullen to the NFL as it stands.
Mullen is an intriguing prospect with appealing physical traits that are useful in today’s NFL. He has a big opportunity ahead of him as a junior to showcase improvements while building on his strengths to improve his draft stock. Mullen can easily find himself as an ascending prospect with growth in his junior season.