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Prospect Profiles: Chase Minnifield


TRIANGLE NUMBERS: 5-10 185, 4.5


National Football Post:

A tall, fluid, long-armed corner who exhibits a thin make-up and needs to add more weight/muscle to his frame. However, he has the natural size to easily do so and he improved significantly throughout the course of his junior year. Is a naturally balanced corner who exhibits the ability to sit into his drop, stay compact with his footwork and cleanly click and close out of his breaks. He exhibits a natural burst when attacking throws under him, doesn’t waste much motion out of his breaks and keeps his base down well throughout. Is also very fluid when asked to turn and run, exhibiting the ability to smoothly open up his hips, locate the football and show “plus” ball skills in all areas of the game. He has a tendency to get a bit upright on his transition taking away from his initial burst, however, he possesses good closing speed vertically and looks like a legit 4.4 guy who takes good angles to the throw and can make plays down the field. Feels his cushion well in off man, is patient in his drop, trusts his own footwork and is quickly able to flip and run, running with receivers vertically and tracking the ball well.

Improved his overall technique vs. press man as the year went on. I still want to see him get a bit stronger and be a bit more patient off the line, as he has a tendency to open up the gate prematurely and give up initial leverage. However, he improved on his punch and does a better job staying low off the line and not getting overextended into contact, which was a problem with him earlier in the year last season. He exhibits a good feel in zone coverage, displays a natural feel reading routes develop around him, clicks and closes cleanly out of his breaks and exhibits the burst and length to get his hands on a lot of footballs. Is a willing tackler who isn’t afraid to attack downhill and stick his face into a ball carrier. He takes decent angles and generates a little explosion because of his burst., but he isn’t real physical into contact. He gets a bit high into contact, more of a drag down guy only, and despite doing a solid job wrapping up, he isn’t a real jarring hitter. Will struggle to fend off blocks on the edge vs. physical receivers and just needs to continue to get naturally strong through his lower half.

Impression: A talented corner who can bend, re-direct, maintain balance out of his breaks and make plays on the football. However, had a tough go as a senior giving up a lot of plays and having a tough time maintaining balance when trying to locate the ball vs. bigger receivers. A potential starter only.

NE Patriots Draft:

Strengths: Decent height and length for position – Fantastic ball skills, locates the ball quickly and gets his hands on a lot of passes – Can play press, has solid technique and doesn’t try and do too much – Looks comfortable in zone, anticipates routes – Very fluid turning his hips and accelerating out of his breaks, allows him to close on ball quickly – Excels helping in the run game, sheds blocks quickly and while he isn’t a big hitter, he does have solid tackling fundamentals –

Weaknesses: A bit wiry, could add a few pounds in his upper body, might struggle against bigger NFL receivers – Seems to get a bit lost at times while running with receivers on deep routes, takes some interference calls – May run in the 4.4?s, but doesn’t always show off a 2nd gear – Knee scoped after the season.

FF Toolbox:

Minnifield is one of the more experienced players in college football, now in his fifth year at Virginia. He redshirted in 2007, played in every game as a freshman and sophomore as a backup on defense and a starter on special teams, and he has started ever since. The star cornerback picked off six passes in 2010, second best in the ACC. Through nine games this season, Minnifield has 5.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and two interceptions. He no longer returns kicks and punts simply because he is too valuable an asset for the Cavalier defense.

Minnifield has good size for his position, standing at 6’0” and 185 pounds. He generally runs in the 4.4s in the 40-yard dash and has been clocked as fast as 4.38 from that distance. The Lexington, KY native also has a great vertical leap, so he can play even bigger than his size suggests. Minnifield has a superb nose for the ball and is a big hitter, however he can sometimes get sloppy with his fundamentals and miss tackles. He works well in zone coverage but it remains to be seen if he can be a man-to-man shutdown corner at the next level. Minnifield could be a late first-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.


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GiantsGab Thoughts:

Chase Minnifield is an experienced cornerback prospect. Thin build and needs to bulk up. But has good technique. Good height. Can make plays on the ball, and offers versatility as a returner. Good tackler. Will struggle with bigger receivers. That said, seems to be a pretty safe pick and I think would be better suited for the slot. 2nd round pick. Giants need a corner. Minnifield might be a good choice. He has the height the Giants look for in corners. Plus, he can help on returns. His experience will allow him to step in immediately. Also decent against run. He’s a solid guy who will probably never be a star, but can come in, pick off some passes, help on special teams, and fill the depth void right away.



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