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2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Ennis Rakestraw Jr. (CB – Missouri)

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Ennis Rakestraw Jr. (CB – Missouri)

FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL Draft scouting reports before the Combine in March. Here’s a look at Missouri cornerback Ennis Rakestraw Jr.

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Ennis Rakestraw Jr.

Ennis Rakestraw Jr. (CB – Missouri)

6’0″ – 188 lbs.

Background:

Started all 10 games as a true freshman, allowing 29/52 passing (55.8%) for 374 yards, five touchdowns, and six breakups, then tore his ACL four games into the following year, redshirting. Returned in 2022 and made a big jump forward, with 30/51 passing against (58.8%), 395 yards, three touchdowns, one interception and 10 breakups when targeted. Played in nine games this past year, allowing just 18/28 (64.3%), 197 yards, one touchdown and two breakups.

Positives:

Three-year starter who’s shown significant improvement over the past two seasons. Relatively tall corner who appears to have good length. Usually the field-side corner, but will be used on the short side and even from the slot as well. Typically plays a lot of off-coverage (often from a shuffle technique), but you’ll occasionally see him in press-man. Shows good balance and clean, quick footwork out of his stance. Able to place his hands at the line when pressing, and matches releases relatively well. Uses his length to pin opponents to the sideline. Smooth mover who glides to depth. Has the speed to carry receivers down the seam without getting out of his shuffle. Loose hips allow him to stay connected through the stem in man. Has pretty quick reaction times, with nice transitions from backpedaling to driving and solid closing speed. Good communicator from zone, and appears to process routes effectively. Gets good extension to lock out stalkers. Despite being on the small side, has shown himself to be a reliable tackler, and is willing in run support.

Negatives:

Has a thin frame and will need to continue adding bulk and strength. Could use his hands more to feel routes when working in man. Actual on-ball production is somewhat limited, with just one career interception and 21 breakups, 10 of which came in 2022; however, does play in a very conservative defense, and was rarely targeted when playing more aggressive man coverage. Can struggle to hold the point of attack in the run/screen games. Occasionally lapses into throwing a shoulder when tackling running backs.

Summary:

A lanky, smooth, and experienced corner who appears poised to be part of the first-round conversation, even in a relatively deep class at the position. Has the feet, hips, twitch, and route recognition skills to work effectively in man coverage, and also does a nice job of keeping the play in front of him and limiting big plays from off/shuffle. That schematic versatility should allow him to appeal to teams across the spectrum defensively. Graceful player with starting-level traits.

Projection: Round 1-2

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