Vertical Coverage - Too many examples of receivers getting behind him to not be concerned about it. Can he make plays on the ball with his back to it? Flashes of good hand usage to keep from getting stacked and push receivers to the boundary, but need to be careful not to draw flags down the field. Not explosive and can give up some early separation he doesn’t erase.
Fluidity/Agility - Can struggle to stay connected and in-phase against sharp cutting receivers in close quarters. Does not have the natural sink, bend and burst to mirror-and-match against a diverse route tree. Fine mover in space and can change direction with ball carriers to position well for stops.
Ball Skills - Has shown high-point ability and natural ball skills as a zone corner. Breaks on patterns in front of him with eyes locked on the ball. Inconsistent at finding the ball with his back to it down the field. Needs to trust his instincts and consistently play fast.
Click-and-Close - Inconsistent, but the high-end flashes of ability to break on routes in front of him with tremendous burst to the ball belies that of a much smaller corner. Does his best work reading the 3-step game from a virtual standstill in off-man, can be clunky in his footwork to close out of his pedal.
Press Ability - Made frustratingly few strides in his press technique from 2017 to 2018, still failing to punch at the line of scrimmage and rarely disrupting opposing routes. Allows clean releases and doesn’t play assertive early, giving up some early separation off the line of scrimmage, especially on in-breaking patterns. Despite size and strength, he’s not at his best at the line of scrimmage.
Route Recognition - Flashes of unbelievable processing and reaction timing in zone coverage (big hit on Peoples-Jones vs Michigan, INT vs App State, INT vs Wisconsin). Can be hyper aware of routes developing around him while staying locked on the quarterback’s eyes. Frustrating lapses in focus/decision-making are evident when he freezes up in zone and in the occasional blown coverage (TD called back vs Michigan, dropped deep pass vs Maryland). Too loose with his Cover 3 responsibilities.
Tackling - Flashes of passivity as a tackler who doesn’t consistently play to his size. Drags down opponents and can get the worst of collisions. Has outstanding physical tools and length that typically gets the job done, even if it isn’t in highlight fashion. Targets low and comes to balance very well as a tackler.
Run Support - Mostly very good with a few shake-your-head moments. Processes quickly and will work up to the perimeter for stops. Strong run fills and won’t hesitate to set the edge with leverage and good positioning. Will also jump inside too early and give up the edge at times as well. Is it a focus issue? Has the length and strength to work off of blocks for stops, and typically approaches those situations with added intensity.
Competitive Toughness - Definitely wish he played with more of an edge and consistent urgency in his game. Has flashes of physicality but isn’t consistent. Told me in Mobile that the biggest thing he needs to work on is “remembering how big he is and consistently playing like it”. Still, effort isn’t an issue and puts in the work during the week as well. Military family background and conducts himself professionally.
Athleticism/Size - Outstanding size and build, doesn’t look like he skips lifts. Length is fine, but not as noteworthy as expected given his frame (sub 31.5-inch arms). All-around testing was good, not great for his position, although running 4.47 at 205 pounds was a big win.
BEST TRAIT - Ball Skills
WORST TRAIT - Mirror-and-Match
RED FLAGS - None
On the hoof Oruwariye looks like a Round 1 cornerback, and if you talk to him for five minutes you can see he’ll be an easy guy to root for at the next level. He didn’t earn a full-time starting spot at Penn State until his redshirt senior year, although he played a lot the year prior. Finding consistency will be the key in just about every aspect of Oruwariye’s game, as his tape is frustratingly up-and-down.
Oruwariye has terrific ball production with nine interceptions and 20 passes defensed, highlighting flashes of instincts and closing burst on the ball that could make him a splash player at the next level. Despite his size and athleticism, he really has not been at his best matching up in press man coverage, as his style of play is more mental and finesse than it is physical and urgent. There are things for Oruwariye to work on, but he’s schematically versatile enough to play early in his career at the next level, even if his ceiling is never that of a top corner.
Round Grade: 3rd