2021 NFL Draft Prospects: Caleb Farley

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Today we are looking at Caleb Farley, a 6’2″ 207 lb. cornerback from Virginia Tech who famously became back in August the first high-profile college football player to opt out of the 2020 season in order to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft.

Strengths: Farley is a true physical specimen. He is a big, physical CB, but unlike the vast majority of corners with his size, he possesses high-level speed, quickness, change of direction, and fluidity. This rare physical makeup gifts him fantastic mirror ability in man coverage, as he stays glued to his man. Farley excels in press, landing a solid jam and staying in phase down the field. He simply does not get beaten downfield, with man coverage talent that truly qualifies as elite. Farley also possesses top-notch read and react ability. The second he recognizes a route or pattern he closes to the play instantly and often makes a play on the ball. The former Virginia Tech corner possesses high-level instincts, which adds to his playmaking ability. Farley, having played WR until his ACL tear his freshman year, has elite ball skills, making him a significant turnover threat. 

Weaknesses: Farley is a liability against the run, which is unacceptable at the next level. He struggles to get off blocks, and it is often a matter of disinterest. The same goes for his tackling: he exhibits proper technique, but at times it seems as if he doesn’t want to tackle the ball carrier. His blitzing also lacks high effort. Farley is very inexperienced and underdeveloped in zone coverage, which shows when he reacts a little too late or deviates from his assignment to jump a different route. Double moves can trick him at times. He tends to be grabby too, which will translate into penalties in the NFL. 

Bottom Line: Farley is elite in man coverage, using his rare physical profile to match downfield with any wide receiver he faces while possessing the ability to make plays on the ball. Farley’s primary issues cannot be overlooked, as his lack of effort against the run is concerning considering how that could lead him to be at fault for chunk plays at the next level, and his zone coverage is simply not at a high level at this stage in his career. If Farley wants to realize his potential, he must show newfound willingness to defend the run. If he can do so, a team that uses man coverage heavily could see him become an elite corner. 

Draft Projection: Top 15

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