Yusuf Corker

  • SAF Wildcats
  • Senior
  • #288
  • 6'
  • 197lbs
  • Prospect
  • Southeastern

2021 Season

INT

0

PD

0

TACK

33

TD

0

Prospect Summary

Kentucky safety Yusuf Corker enters the NFL draft process after a lengthy and successful career with the Wildcats. He came to Kentucky as a 4-star recruit as both a receiver and defensive back and has closed his career with 50 games played and 37 consecutive starts for the Wildcats. Corker has most frequently been implemented as the boundary safety in Kentucky’s two-high shells, but he was charged with late rotation and pushed to play the high post intermittently and he fulfilled that role fairly well throughout the course of his career for the collegiate level. I don’t think Corker has the kind of coverage ability to do the same at the NFL level, but his role as a strong safety and his ability to step down and fill the run will make him someone who could potentially, with further development, be a box defender. At the very least, his experiences against the run and filling to tackle make him a viable special teams candidate at the NFL level. I didn’t see high-level athleticism from Corker relative to his peers in this year’s class, but I have little doubt that you could put Corker on the coverage units and he could get down the field plenty quickly to help cover kicks.

Ideal role: Developmental safety and special teams coverage defender

Scheme tendencies: Split safety shells; potential three-safety defensive concepts may allow him to play low in the hole and alleviate him of coverage stress

FILM EVALUATION

Written by Kyle Crabbs

Games watched: Missouri (2020), Alabama (2020), North Carolina State (2020), Georgia (2021), South Carolina (2021), Mississippi State (2021)

Best Game Studied: Missouri (2020)

Worst Game Studied: Alabama (2020)

Football IQ: Corker appears to see the field well and he’s a reliable presence on the back end to prevent leaks from within the box. I didn’t see a lot of rare anticipation or ability to cheat himself into plays, though. I think he’d be best as a complementary piece as compared to trying to feature him in a starring role—I don’t think you’ll get a lot of ROI on him as an impact player.

Tackling: I can definitely appreciate Corker’s ability as a tackler to step down to the LOS and wrap up ball-carriers. Corker has led the team twice in his three seasons as a starter in tackles, a testament to both his consistency in this area and ability to step down. Open-field tackles and his consistency there are predicated on whether or not he’s trying to close down and chase with an angle (where his speed can be a limiting factor) or if he’s over top of the play and able to come to balance and square up.

Versatility: Corker has better value in the run game as compared to the passing game as evidenced by his production. I think he profiles as an NFL special teams staple and that ability to contribute there is going to prove to be critical for his projection.

Range: Corker made a handful of nice plays down the field but I wouldn’t consider this one of his hallmark traits. He’s got modest mobility and range as a high defender and even in short spaces, I wouldn’t consider him a quick-twitch athlete to suddenly trigger and rapidly close throwing windows underneath. He’ll need to rely on anticipation to position him for ball production.

Ball Skills: Corker leaves Kentucky with three career interceptions and only a handful more passes defensed in coverage. He addressed the football well in the air during his opportunities to make plays, including a sideline interception against NC State in the 2020 bowl game, but his range and short-area quickness don’t often position him to serve as a ballhawk.

Run Defending: I’d consider this one of his best qualities. He’s confident with his drop down into the box, offers good anticipation of how to flow and contest the ball-carrier, and has illustrated a fair amount of consistency as a finisher as a wrap-up tackler.

Functional Athleticism: I would say Corker has sufficient athletic ability. I don’t necessarily believe he has the turn-and-run skills to play on an island for Cover-Zero-heavy defensive systems and I don’t love the projection to playing on an island in Cover 1—consider him a half-field safety or less, and even then I’d ideally like him low in the hole better than covering vertically.

Competitive Toughness: Corker is well built for the secondary and despite the fact that he doesn’t have surreal weight or length, I think he does a nice job of playing physically and finding an impact in the box. His effort is consistent, even on the backside when plays hit to the field and are stretched to the perimeter.

Flexibility: I didn’t see a lot of dynamic body control from Corker and as a result, his transitions and change of direction are only modest. His contortion skills to attack the football in the air seem sufficient but don’t offer any dramatic appeal for being able to undercut or extend through the frame of receivers to combat the ball.

Special Teams Ability: I like the potential here, especially given Corker’s aggressive play style as an attack player on defense. He’s got sufficient athleticism and effective tackling, so if he latches onto assignments specifically he could force a team’s hand and claim an active roster spot.

SCOUT GRADES

TDN Consensus: 68.00/100 (Sixth Round Value)

Crabbs Grade: 68.50/100

Sanchez Grade: 67.50/100