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Paranoidmoonduck
01-17-2010, 04:33 AM
I've been pondering this over and I wanted to hear what other people had to say.

I've been looking pretty hard at Berry lately, trying to figure out how I feel about the kid as a prospect. He's an excellent athlete who has a certain feel for the defensive game, but he plays wild and really didn't play a typical safety position for the Vols. From the game footage I've seen the last couple years, Berry has looked his best when swinging into man coverage in the slot or on the tight end. We all know that Berry can hit, but I'm not sure how I feel about his chances as a strong safety in the NFL. It's not his weight so much as his build. He's lanky and rangy and doesn't have the strong lower body of guys like Polamalu or Sanders. Realizing all this, I keep coming back to this thought: I think Eric Berry is a cornerback moving forward. Granted, he'd be just as raw as he would be coming into a safety spot in the NFL (depending somewhat on the scheme he lands in), but I think we could be talking about a guy with a massive ceiling as a cornerback, well above his ceiling as a safety.

I know that Berry gets the Ed Reed comparison a lot, and I don't think it's outside the realm of possibility that he could become a similar sort of safety. That said, Reed's rover position on that Baltimore defense is far from typical and I'm not really sure Berry plays the position with the same intelligence that Reed played it with coming out of Miami. Berry is aggressive, has shown talent in bump-and-run, has the competitiveness and athleticism to survive in man-to-man coverage (although he doesn't quite have the footwork yet), and already has tons of experience playing face up zone coverage in the short range game.

Thoughts?

GhostDeini
01-17-2010, 05:31 AM
Free Safety.

Saints-Tigers
01-17-2010, 05:36 AM
I like him deep, he can cover in the slot and was forced too this year, but I just like him deep.

Reed has grown into the film study guru, but he was a bit wild and running on instinct as well.

I dunno, there can be worse things than running on instinct, the problem is when you can't get the player to put in the hours to hone his technique(Lavar Arrington?)

PhinsRock
01-17-2010, 09:56 AM
Believe me...Being a Dolphin fan, a Tennessee Safety is a safety, ( reffering to Jason Allen).

Keep him at safety. I hate drafting guys in the top of the draft with the intention of converting them to another position.

I think, like you said, he is a little wild which concerns me about sticking him out in center field, but you have to keep him at safety. He reminds me of Antrel Rolle...FS with good man to man skills...can line him up anywhere, he can blitz etc. But keep him at S.

FUNBUNCHER
01-17-2010, 10:03 AM
Berry plays stronger and bigger than his weight/height, recall when he stalemated Tebow on a run earlier(?) this past season.

Because of Berry's versatility, I think he can be the kind of do-everything safety who makes an entire defense better when he's on the field.

Could he play corner at a high level? Of Course. But if I'm in a position to draft Berry, I'm looking at him strictly as the top safety prospect in the draft.

He's so dominant at safety I can't think of a good reason to switch him mainly to corner.
I could see him used the way the Skins used the late Sean Taylor; if there are teams where playing Berry primarily on one WR is an advantage, you do it. ST was often assigned to cover T.O. when the Skins played against the Cowboys and Eagles, because he had the one on one coverage skills, loose hips, and the size/physical play to take Owens off his game.

I hate falling in love with a player's prospects to be great in the pros, but if Berry developed into anything less than an all-pro, I would be stunned.

KCJ58
01-17-2010, 12:46 PM
I was thinking he could be a really good CB as well, I agree that Berry isn't there as far as footwork but I think give him time & a right defensive scheme for his abilitys I think he will shine no matter where he plays having said that I also kinda agree he would be better as a FS as opposed to SS. imo

RaiderNation
01-17-2010, 12:50 PM
Put him in the backfield and he will be a good player.

CashmoneyDrew
01-17-2010, 02:03 PM
Free safety all the way IMO. But not one that you have to worry about helping out in run support.

PhinsRock
01-17-2010, 02:08 PM
Berry plays stronger and bigger than his weight/height, recall when he stalemated Tebow on a run earlier(?) this past season.

Because of Berry's versatility, I think he can be the kind of do-everything safety who makes an entire defense better when he's on the field.

Could he play corner at a high level? Of Course. But if I'm in a position to draft Berry, I'm looking at him strictly as the top safety prospect in the draft.

He's so dominant at safety I can't think of a good reason to switch him mainly to corner.
I could see him used the way the Skins used the late Sean Taylor; if there a teams where playing Berry primarily on one WR is an advantage, you do it. ST was often assigned to cover T.O. when the Skins played against the Cowboys and Eagles, because he had the one on one coverage skills, loose hips, and the size/physical play to take Owens off his game.

I hate falling in love with a player's prospects to be great in the pros, but if Berry developed into anything less than an all-pro, I would be stunned.

I agree on all fronts. The only problem with him being used as a no-true-position safety, kind of just letting him move around in that secondary like you were saying, is that you need another one of those safeties in order for that to work.

Paranoidmoonduck
01-17-2010, 02:13 PM
See, I'm not fully sure I get the free safety talk. From what I've seen, what makes Berry so special is his short field reads and his man coverage, neither of which are tasks commonly asked of a free safety in any scheme. It's not like Berry wasn't a cornerback coming out of high school either...

brat316
01-17-2010, 02:17 PM
He is going to need an excellent defensive coordinator to make the most of his abilities, and size.

themaninblack
01-17-2010, 02:24 PM
I don't think it will necessarily matter much which safety position he plays. The best thing about him is his versatility and as mentioned before I'd be very surprised if he isn't excellent in the league. He would flourish in a situation where he's allowed to move around a lot.

I actually think he would work real well with our defense because Marvin seems to value this in his safeties(except for Roy Williams, obviously) but its very unlikely we get him.

katnip
01-17-2010, 02:25 PM
Free Safety

RealityCheck
01-17-2010, 03:16 PM
Free safety in Buccaneer red.

Scotty D
01-17-2010, 03:31 PM
What would your guy's reaction to Detroit drafting him at #2 with the intent to play him at cornerback?

RealityCheck
01-17-2010, 03:34 PM
What would your guy's reaction to Detroit drafting him at #2 with the intent to play him at cornerback?
I'd be like "Oh noez". Really, possible, but not gonna happen.

DreadedDatSkinsFan
01-17-2010, 04:29 PM
A FS in burgandy and gold...

Caddy
01-17-2010, 04:37 PM
Free safety in Buccaneer red.

We've already got an up an comer at FS in Tanard Jackson though...

RealityCheck
01-17-2010, 04:47 PM
A FS in burgandy and gold...
LaRon Landry?

We've already got an up an comer at FS in Tanard Jackson though...
Well, with Suh and McCoy gone, Berry is your last option.

Mr.KnowItAll
01-17-2010, 05:57 PM
This guy would exceed at any DB position he is just a dam good football player. If he moved to corner there would be a bigger transition, but CB are valued higher then S.

Da Big Harv
01-17-2010, 06:31 PM
I think the OP is dead on and I've gone over the same questions in my mind as well. Really comes down to finding the defensive scheme you can take the most advantage of his skills with. So first you have to break down his advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages: He's a 5'11 200 4.45 type athlete with elite hands and ball skills and tackling with a knack for the turnover(8 INT as a SO, 5 FF as a JR). He can go up against bigger bodies like the Jumbo TE/WR's of the world and hold his own in bump and run in man. He is quick twitched and is not affraid to take a big powerfull ballcarrier down in the open field (See hit on Tebow).

Disadvantages at each position:

Play him as a traditional SS who covers TE's and Plays a lot of deep coverages and drops to the flats or robber zone in Cover 1 if not matched up with a TE:

If he plays in this role you will have him getting his body hit a lot which will eventually take his tole on his body where most players in that position are 210 or 215+ and hes only 200 and lanky so probably wont pack on much more weight. Also in this role he won't be playing much zone at all takes away from his best attribute as a football player which is reading the QB's eyes and jumping routes and seeing things before they happen.

If you play him as a deep roaming centre fielder:

If he plays in this role he takes advantage of his instincts and big hitting ability and his elite coverage skills from a safety he won't get burned deep much and will play the role of a Ed Reed and be able to jump balls from the other side of the field and make truely impact plays. The disadvantages in this role are he will be avoided alot by smart QB's that can look him off and he won't be able to make a big impact on the game and prob put up 50 tackles and won't have a change to make a huge impact in the running game at all and if you are playing a guy 10-15 million a year thats a big waste.

Play him as a #1 corner:

In this role his big disadvantages are he has obviously never played this position as he was a QB in high school and Safety his whole college career so the obvious huge learning curve would be there for him. His best attribute is reading the QB's eyes and if you have him in man to man 75% of the time that takes away his #1 best skill.

The advantages is cornerback is arguably the most important position on the defense and you would have an incredible player at that position, the other plus would be instantly be one of the best run supporting corners in the NFL with his physical style and great block shedding and strength would all be above average for an NFL corner. He would also be able to play against any WR in the NFL as he would be fast enough to cover the speedy undersized elite WR like Steve Smith (panthers) and the Bernard Berrians but he would also be physical enough to hold his own on the jam against guys like T.O. and Calvin Johnson.

So in the end I think when you break it down to your getting an athlete that your paying 10-15 million $ a year too you need him to have a huge impact on your defense and I think he can do that at any of the three deep FS or enforcing SS or CB so I think it just matters on the situation and as the draft gets closer we will be able to tell easier who is going to be a player for him

I think there is no way St. Louis can go DB first overall and I think its possible Detroit does so I think it you can narrow down to the 2nd - 6th picks because I dont think he will fall further than that.

2 Detroit - Drafting a player that high would have to be for CB because of $
3 Tampa - same as above
4 Washington - 2 incredible corners so most likely for FS and have Landry go to SS
5 Kansas City - Either CB or deep roaming FS and have Pollard be compliment at SS who can play close to the LOS in cover 3 or cover 1 go against a TE
6 Seattle - Pete Carroll likes playing cover 1 a tonne so would think deep FS and have him roam because already have 2 very good corners

Mr.KnowItAll
01-17-2010, 06:43 PM
Another thing to add to Berry is he ran a 4.33 40 time coming out of high school at a combine.

FUNBUNCHER
01-17-2010, 07:29 PM
Um, the Skins don't really have 'incredible' corners. Just JAGs except for D. Hall, who's painfully inconsistent but did play better this year in coverage.

I wonder, if you're a team scouting Berry, do you ask him what position he would like to play, and does it have any bearing on your decision??

TitanHope
01-17-2010, 07:40 PM
No doubt in my mind that he can play CB in a Cover 2, but I like him best at S. Whether at FS or SS, it doesn't matter. To be honest, I see as much Bob Sanders in him as I do Ed Reed. I think he'll be successful no matter what, but I'd put him in the position to ballhawk and make plays. He's at his best 15-20 yards off the LOS, where he can read the QB for the INT or react to the RB and support the run. Whatever position in whichever scheme allows him to do that, then the more success they'll have with Berry.

DreadedDatSkinsFan
01-18-2010, 01:53 AM
LaRon Landry?

He needs to be moved back to SS my man..he played about as bad, if not worse than Stanley Richard this year. His best game was the Raiders game, where he played SS the majority of the game and even then McFadden tourched his azz...Put him in the box and let him read lineman and react...

He had 3 good games this year (SAD)...
1st Cowboy game
Saints game (not really a "good game"....he played decent)
Raiders game

Berry can have 3 good games in his sleep!

SenorGato
01-18-2010, 02:39 AM
I'd want to try him as a CB.