*Vernon Hargreaves III

CB Florida

5-10 1/2, 207, (O) 4.5, 

39" Vert! 10'10" Broad!

3.98 3-Cone, 30.5" Arm, 15 Reps

Tenacity.

By TOM

He is a smaller CB, but he is very tough and physical. He can be a great hitter when he can line guys up. He can power straight in front of his WR when the ball is tipped, pick it off, and go to the house. When he sees the throw, he can out fight the wide receiver, and leaps up in front of him and take the ball. He is a rare athlete moving backwards in coverage, and then leaping up and taking the ball. Excellent ball skills deep down field. Great feet moving backwards. Great swivel hips that he can snap across the field when the WR makes a surprise cut inside.

Great feet. Plays with an attitude. He has huge thighs. "[He] was outstanding in his positional drills," Brant said at his Proday. "He has everything you look for in a corner, quickness and cover skills. I think he just cemented his top-10 status in the 2016 NFL Draft." You can see he can play low and change direction with no problem at all. Great eyes. Great feet. Great COD. He sees and plays the way you want a Corner to see it and play it. Great quick feet. Great snap in his hips. He can really track the ball. No trouble catching it. Terrific turning and transitioning, and then going and getting  the ball. Such great feet in Pedal. He has a great transition in W-drill. He has some suddenness moving backwards. So sooth in W-drill. He has some suddenness in his shoulders when he has to bail.

Elite movement skills on the field. "If there is a plug-and-play corner in this draft, and say 'this is your side of the field', it is this kid," Mayock said about Hargreaves. "He's quick, he's fast and he's got ball skills. He has the best feet of any corner I've seen in years." Great competitor who obviously loves to play.

He is short, but not small. He showed up at the Combine over 200 pounds. "All the scouts want to see from him is his long-range speed. That [4.5] holds up," Wilcots said. "That's what they wanted to see, and he went out and did it today." Plays with such great balance flying around the field at every angle. Great moving backwards and shuffling sidewards. Does a good job keeping one eye on the QB.

He had a great season in 2015 shutting down the WR on the QB's right. He also garnered 4 INTs, 4 PBU, 1 FF, and 33 Tackles including 1 for a loss:

2015: Named one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award…A consensus First Team All-American and First Team All-SEC selection…A semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award…Started 13 games at cornerback, missing one due to injury…Totaled 33 tackles and tied for the team lead with four interceptions which he returned for a combined 152 yards…

I love how he can run down field side by side with the WR with his eyes locked on the QB, and then play the ball in the air. He can play deep Off with his eyes on the QB as the WR runs at him, and then jump in front of the WR on the bad throw and catch it cleanly.  Great Vert going up for the ball. He is a smart and aware player. He always seems to understand what is going on. He just gets it.

He does a good job out on the edge understanding when he has no one behind him. He can pull back the aggressiveness in tackling when he knows he is the last line of defense, and having a mistackle might mean giving up a TD. He will lose his man sometimes when he comebacks and the QB doesn't throw, and the WR keeps coming back almost to the LOS. He will line up against stacks, and take the WR who breaks outside. 

He is so good at timing his hits, and slapping at the ball in coverage as it arrives. He makes it almost impossible for his man to catch the ball. He was a true shut down corner at FLA. He has such great movement skills. I love how he runs stride for stride with a WR, with his upper body turned back so he can see the QB, and never looses a step to the speedy WR. Great timing for the ball in the air. 

They play him in Off a lot, because they worry about fast SEC WRs getting over the top. He is short, but he well built and can be an explosive tackler and hitter sometimes. I love how his feet always seem to be moving. Even when he is being blocked backwards, his feet are always moving. He is going to need some serious coaching on taking on blockers. He is the worst defender in this Draft at taking on blockers. It is his one true weakness. But he is always so aggressive moving forward to the ball carrier when no one is between them.

He returned punts for FLA. He is just so great changing directions. He can move faster than the WR moving backwards. Then react to the cut, and beat the WR to the spot moving sideways, and then swivel his hip and get back in time to make a play on the ball thrown over his head to the WR he wasn't covering. I love the way this guy moves in coverage. He played offense early in the season. He caught some Screen passes and made some great plays with his great feet on offense.

Additional Notes:

Hargreaves might have the elite movement skills on the field in this Draft. I love the way Hargreaves moves on the field. He can play and move backwards and sideward in any technique. "This is one of the best players in the country in the way he prepares and practices," coach McElwain said. "And the fact that anytime the ball's in the air, he's got a shot at picking it off. He challenges guys, and he's incredibly fun to watch. With that, obviously, it helps the confidence of that whole side of the ball." He has elite feet and focus on the field. 

He even played a little offense this season. "I honestly didn't know that was going to happen,'' teammate Bryan Cox Jr. said. "I just looked up and they said, 'Vernon Hargreaves on the catch.' He's a freak. I would use him on offense if I was the coordinator." He caught a 6-yard pass, returned a punt, and had an INT against New Mexico. 

He can play anywhere he wants. "You talk about great instincts, great feel for the game," McElwain said. "He's got unbelievable ball skills. He's a guy that could play on offense. He’s that kind of player. He’s fun to watch." Speed kills, and he just plays at a faster speed than everyone else on the field.

He is such a great playmaker that they had to put some plays in for him on offense. "We've got some packages for him," coach McElwain said. "It's all part of what we're doing. Dynamic playmakers, you need to get the ball in their hands. We need to find guys and continue to do that. He's a weapon. I'm glad he's on our team." He is a rare athlete that does not come along every year.

Even opponent coaches thought he is one of the best Corners in the country. "I think Vernon is one of the best players at his position in the country," Nick Saban said. "I certainly have a tremendous amount of respect for him. I don't know if Will [Muschamp] will match him up against Coop the whole day because we try to move Coop around a lot. We affect the matchups and how they have to play him. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. These two guys are both fantastic players." That is definitely true.

Georgia: He can really come up fast in run defense on the edge. Teams that want their CBs to be strong in run defense are going to doubly love him. He just refuses to let the WR catch the ball.  When he gets the chance to get an INT he pulls it in. Plus, he is dynamic with the ball in his hands. He is so tough to touch in the open field. He can get killed by the WR blocking for the RB on the edge. He seems to like to backpedal like he is in coverage when he is getting blocked sometimes.

Alabama 2015: He has such great feet moving backwards. They play him mostly in Off, because he is elite at transitioning out of his pedal to attack forward. Teams question his long speed. He can struggle in the run game when blockers get their hands on his shirt, but when he has a lane to the ball he is a terrific tackler. He can stay with the WR on the deep cross all the way across the field, and punch the ball out like he did against Alabama. He actually caught the ball with both hands leaping in front of the WR, but the WR slapped it out.

He played up in Press on Alabama more than he did against other teams. When he is in deep off he can come up fast and take out the WR on the reverse. He really struggled trying to take down Henry. Comes up like a safety and can smash the WR to the ground on trick plays. When he is in man, and the WR catches the ball in front of him, he takes him down like he is pissed off. He returned kicks against Alabama. He can turn and run with the WR deep, but he will give up some ground sometimes. He does not have elite deep speed, but not a lot of guys can take advantage of that.

Hargreaves Vs Ole Miss:

You can see in the first two plays how much he sucks at taking on blockers. He plays a lot of Off on the QB's right. He shuffles down field as he moves to stay in front of the WR (:10). He is so good at the end of patterns that even when the QB whips the ball so short it bounces out of bounds he is right on the WR. You have to have great closing quickness to play off like he does (:21). The WR breaks over the middle, and Hargreaves closes so quickly that he catches the ball with the WR (:39). He does a great job playing the ball in the air, but he just couldn't pull it out.

He likes to stay inside in his pedal on the outside receiver sometimes (:50). He is a very good tackler, but he is not great at getting off blocks. However, when he has a clear path to the ball he makes the tackle consistently (:58). I don't know if he read something there, or was in a Zone. But the WR expected him to turn and run and when he didn't he looked surprised (1:10). The important part of this play is how fast he attacks forward when a guy catches the ball underneath. 

Just watch the feet here as he tries to read what the WR is doing. Shuffles back, stops, plants the foot, and attacks forward. He is such a great aggressive and strong tackler when he isn't blocked. Not playing tough enough is not his problem (1:19). This is terrific. Watch the feet as he flies inside sideways, and cuts off the WR. Then he sees the throw outside, and uses his elite feet to get back outside (1:37). Again, he shows that he is short and not small. He grabs the receiver with his strong hands from behind, and whips him out of bounds again. That is elite change of direction and great aggressive tackling on that play. He shut down one WR, and then stopped the other from getting the 1st or a TD.

He has to learn to stand up to blocking better (1:47). Drops out into Off again. He gets a lot of grief for not having deep speed, but he was clearly zoning underneath there (2:22). He does a good job getting between the RB and the endzone as the last line of defense. Then he talks some trash instead of blocking, and then he blocks. He could use some work on his blocking as well (2:40). You can see he has some twitch turning and running with the WR. The WR creates some space with his break inside (2:56). But watch the break on the ball by Hargreaves. He attacks the ball the second it hits the WR's hands, and slaps it out.

He turns and runs with the WR, without turning completely backwards. He twists his shoulders to the side so he can see the quarterback (3:01). He sidesteps back as he watches the QB. He is much less aggressive tackling the WR in space, as he knows he has no one behind him (3:21). Love the movement skills here (3:30). This is such a great example. He stays with the WR at full speed, but he never turns and actually sprints. He is twisting and turning his hips as his feet are moving at a hundred MPH as he shadows the WR.

He is so good at using his feet in off coverage. He jumps in front of the WR for the INT (3:51). He is so good at getting into position to read the QB and the WR. As soon as the QB winds up he stops retreating. He reads that play the whole way. You can sees he watches a ton of film. Then it is all athleticism as he goes up and gets the ball (4:10). They are just in Prevent now, and he is not letting any WR get behind him (4:37). That is some nice press there. I love his feet moving backwards in front of the WR (4:47). The QB  has to throw it to the wrong shoulder for the WR to catch it.

Hargreaves Vs. Alabama.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2tzI9O4vxs

2014 Bio:

One of the most interesting aspects of the Hargreaves puzzle is that his Father is the linebacker coach at South Florida. He grew up studying the game like a coach. "I don’t think we lost our confidence in winning," Hargreaves said. " Right now, we are focused on the little things, like getting guys on time to meetings and workouts, and staying out of trouble. It’s the little things that lead to the big picture. The main message Coach McElwain has emphasized so far is to do what is right. He’s really focused in on us doing what is right both on and off the field." Just like I'm sure his dad said to him a thousand times.

He has the smarts to be a great one, and has taken over the leadership role in the secondary. "The first time I told them to do push-ups, they kind of looked at me like, 'Are you serious?'" Hargreaves said. "And I said, 'Yes, I’m serious.' They understood where I was coming from. They know I wasn’t trying to be an arrogant leader, and I do my fair share of push-ups. I think they respected me enough to do them." Respect is something all teams need. "There’s no excuses for us." he added. "We’re ready to get after it." We will see where he leads them.

What his coaches like the most about him is that he also practices what he preaches. "I'll tell you, here’s the best thing, he’s fun to watch practice," McElwain said. " The guy loves it. That’s what I think separates some of the guys at times is the ones that really, truly go out there and compete every day to perfect their craft. He’s one of those guys. He’s a lot of fun to be around, and he’s great to watch on tape." That is why his teammates respect him so much.

So when he tells his teammates to do extra work they can't complain, because he does more than he asks of them. "I love the way this guy comes to work every day," the HC of FLA McElwain said. "The way he practices, the way he thrives in competition, and not only that, the way he takes care of himself in the classroom and other things that go along with being successful in life. Growing up the son of a coach, he obviously has been around it, and I think that that is huge." What is most important of all is that his hard work translates to the field. Players have to listen to him, because they see that all his hard work, and how it makes him the best DB in the SEC:

2014: Named a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award and a Lott IMPACT Trophy Nominee…A First Team All-America selection by Sporting News, ESPN.com and CBSSports.com…Second-Team All-America selection by the Associated Press, Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated and Walter Camp…Third Team All-America pick by Phil Steele…Unanimous First Team All-SEC selection…Ranked seventh on the team with 50 total tackles, third-most among defensive backs…Led the team and ranked first in the SEC with 13 pass breakups…Ranked second on the team with three interceptions…Intercepted a pass in the end zone late in the fourth quarter of the Birmingham Bowl victory to seal the win…Had a season-high eight tackles in the win against Georgia…Selected as a game captain against Alabama…

He came to Florida in the summer of 2013, and worked his way into the starting lineup. He only started 10 games and was named a 3rd team All-American. That is quite an accomplishment. He ended up 2nd in the SEC in PBU per game with 1.17 per game. He also garnered 3 INT:

2013: Enrolled in the summer and quickly moved up the depth chart, starting the final 10 games of the season at cornerback…Named a Third Team All-American by the Associated Press…Named the National Defensive Freshman of the Year by College Football News…First Team All-Freshman All-America selection by College Football News, Sporting News, FWAA, 247sports.com and Athlon Sports…Chosen by Athlon Sports as the SEC Newcomer of the Year…Named First Team All-SEC by both the AP, the leagues’ coaches, Athlon Sports and Sporting News…Also named to the Freshman All-SEC team…tied for seventh in the league in interceptions (3)…His 11 pass breakups equaled the most by a true freshman in school history, matching the total Janoris Jenkins had in 2008…The total also tied for the ninth-most in a single season in school history…Had an interception in each of his first two collegiate games…Named a team captain for the South Carolina game…Named to the SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll.

He is terrific in Press and in Off. He has the on field speed that you look for. "I think I'm completely different than most corners," Vernon Hargreaves III said. "But my favorite corner is Brent Grimes, just because of how he plays. His tenacity, and he can do anything. He can press. He can play off. He's fast. And he makes plays and gets the ball out." Not a lot of guys have his physicality and speed. If you can add Grimes tenacity you could have something very special on your hands. That is why I think he is a top ten pick come next April or May. It will be interesting to watch the battle he and Fuller have to be the top Corner in the Draft. Right now it looks like you can't go wrong with either one. 

Hargreaves Vs Alabama 2014:

He has great nice feet moving backwards in front of the WR to slow his pattern down. He will also move into a side shuffle in off coverage to eye the QB down as the WR tries to run past him, which he can't. Explosive quick leaper. He really looks like he will have a top Vert at the Combine.

Likes to play off on the blindside when the QB's back is to him. He comes up a lot closer, almost in press, on strongside when QB is facing him. Both he and Fuller really are excellent in both press and off. He likes to stand right in the WR's way as he runs down field, and lets the WR smash into him. Then he can grab and stop him. He is so strong and physical that it surprises WRs. Terrific one hand punch he uses as a chuck that can shake the WR's shoulders.

Excellent tackler. He forced a fumble against Alabama. He punched out the ball while wrapping up a tackle. Likes to attack the ball when his teammates have the RB wrapped up and he won’t go down. Great hitter moving forward into the WRs who dares to catch the ball in front of him. He is such a physical player. He might be the most physical CB in this Draft. He does a nice job fighting off the blocking WR with one arm and moving to the RB. 

He really made life difficult for Cooper when they put him on him. He might be the only CB who could say that last year. Cooper finally caught one on him by shoving off and that was just for 3-yards (5:00). When Cooper caught his second pass on Hargreaves, the ref called a procedure penalty on Alabama (6:14). Then as soon as they took him off Cooper, he started catching the ball again. 

Then they put him back on Cooper, and he shut him down three straight times. Cooper finally catches one over the top in the endzone, but Hargreaves had shaded him out of bounds. Then he finally beats Hargreaves on a comeback, but had to push off and the refs called it (8:15). He is shutting down the best WR in college football in 2014.

He can run around the WR and burst into the backfield and explode the RB off his feet with a great TFL, like he did against Yeldon in the Alabama game. He ran around Cooper and flipped over Yeldon on one play against two of the best in college football. He has that knack for exploding into the ball carriers legs and taking them out. Though Yeldon did some how maintain his balance on that play.

He is more physical in the run game than Fuller. Terrific coming up, and taking out the legs of the RB. Nice quick twitch feet which make him better in press than off. He does a nice job working his way through traffic to find the ball carrier. He fights through WR blocks all over the field consistently. He really is great against the run.

Hargreaves Vs. Alabama.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDINRvfuW3o

 

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Hargreaves's Official Bio:

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2014: Named a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award and a Lott IMPACT Trophy Nominee…A First Team All-America selection by Sporting News, ESPN.com and CBSSports.com…Second-Team All-America selection by the Associated Press, Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated and Walter Camp…Third Team All-America pick by Phil Steele…Unanimous First Team All-SEC selection…Ranked seventh on the team with 50 total tackles, third-most among defensive backs…Led the team and ranked first in the SEC with 13 pass breakups…Ranked second on the team with three interceptions…Intercepted a pass in the end zone late in the fourth quarter of the Birmingham Bowl victory to seal the win…Had a season-high eight tackles in the win against Georgia…Selected as a game captain against Alabama…

 

2013: Enrolled in the summer and quickly moved up the depth chart, starting the final 10 games of the season at cornerback…Named a Third Team All-American by the Associated Press…Named the National Defensive Freshman of the Year by College Football News…First Team All-Freshman All-America selection by College Football News, Sporting News, FWAA, 247sports.com and Athlon Sports…Chosen by Athlon Sports as the SEC Newcomer of the Year…Named First Team All-SEC by both the AP, the leagues’ coaches, Athlon Sports and Sporting News…Also named to the Freshman All-SEC team…Ranked second in the SEC in passes defended (1.17 per game) and tied for seventh in the league in interceptions (3)…His 11 pass breakups equaled the most by a true freshman in school history, matching the total Janoris Jenkins had in 2008…The total also tied for the ninth-most in a single season in school history…Had an interception in each of his first two collegiate games…Named a team captain for the South Carolina game…Named to the SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll.

 

PRIOR TO FLORIDA:

Named the National Defensive Player of the Year at the 58th Touchdown Club of Columbus Awards…Totaled 110 tackles, 5 interceptions, 5 forced fumbles and 5 pass breakups as a senior…Also scored five touchdowns and five two-point conversions and averaged 34 yards per kickoff return…Named All-Western Conference, All-Hillsborough, All-Suncoast, All-State, Class 8A Defensive Player of the Year and the Guy Toph Award winner as Hillsborough County’s top senior football player…Finalist for the 2012 Florida Dairy Farmers Mr. Football Award…Named the Tampa Bay Times All-Hillsborough Defensive Player of the Year and a USA Today First Team All-American…Named the MVP of the Under Armour All-America game after a team-high 5 tackles, one interception and a pass breakup…Competed on the Southeast team at Champion Gridiron Kings where he had six interceptions and earned Defensive MVP honors…Earned a spot on the 247Sports Class of 2013 All-America team…Named the Tampa Bay Times Blue Chipper of the Year…Competed in the Sling-n-Shoot 7-on-7 tournament at USF…Defensive MVP from the IMG Madden 7-on-7 National Championship…As a junior in 2011, had 49 tackles and 2 interceptions, along with 11 offensive touchdowns…As a sophomore in 2010, had 44 tackles, 2 sacks and 2 interceptions…Chose Gators over an estimated 50 offers including Clemson, Vanderbilt, Miami and Notre Dame…His father, Vernon Hargreaves, Jr., is the linebackers coach at Arkansas…Vernon Jr. was named a member of UConn’s 100th Anniversary Team, commemorating the best football players in the programs first 100 years…Coached by David Mitchell.

 

HARGREAVES’ CAREER HIGHS
Tackles: 9 (Georgia, 2013)
Forced Fumbles: 1 (at LSU, 2015)
Interceptions: 1 (10x, last vs. Georgia, 2015)
Pass Breakups: 4 (Kentucky, 2014)
 
2013 (12 GP/10 GS*) Defensive Stats
OPPONENT U A T TFL SK INT PB FR FF
Toledo - 8/31 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
at #24 Miami - 9/7 3 0 3 0 0 1 0 0 0
*Tenn - 9/21 2 0 2 0 0 0 3 0 0
*at Kty - 9/28 1 1 2 0 0 1 1 0 0
*Ark - 10/5 4 1 5 0 0 0 1 0 0
*at #10 LSU - 10/12 2 2 4 0 0 0 0 0 0
*at #14 Mizzou - 10/19 1 2 3 0 0 0 2 0 0
*vs. UGA - 11/2 8 1 9 0 0 0 0 0 0
*Vandy - 11/9 0 2 2 0 0 0 1 0 0
*at #11 SC - 11/16 0 2 2 0 0 0 1 0 0
*GS - 11/23 2 1 3 0 0 0 1 0 0
*#2 FSU - 11/30 3 0 3 0 0 0 1 0 0
2013 Totals 26 12 38 0 0 3 11 0 0
2014 (12 GP/12 GS*) Defensive Stats
OPPONENT U A T TFL SK INT PB FR FF
*E.Mich - 9/6 1 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 0
*Kentucky - 9/13 2 3 5 0 0 0 4 0 0
*at #3 Bama - 9/20 3 3 6 1 0 0 0 1 0
*at Tenn - 10/4 2 0 2 0 0 1 1 0 0
*LSU - 10/11 1 3 4 0 0 0 0 0 0
*Missouri - 10/18 2 1 3 0 0 0 1 0 0
*vs. #9 UGA - 11/1 4 4 8 0 0 0 2 0 0
*at Vandy - 11/8 3 1 4 0 0 1 1 1 0
*SC - 11/15 4 1 5 1 0 0 0 0 0
*E.Kty - 11/22 1 2 3 0 0 0 2 0 0
*at #3 FSU - 11/29 3 0 3 0 0 0 1 0 0
*vs. ECU - 1/3 5 0 5 0 0 1 0 0 0
2014 Totals 31 19 50 2 0 3 13 2 0
2015 (13 GP/13 GS*) Defensive Stats
OPPONENT U A T TFL SK INT PB FR FF
*NMSU - 9/5 2 2 4 0 0 1 0 0 0
ECU - 9/12 DNP                
*at UK - 9/19 2 2 4 0 0 1 1 0 0
*Tenn - 9/26 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0
*#3 Ole Miss - 10/3 5 2 7 0 0 1 0 0 0
*at Mizzou - 10/10 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0
*at #6 LSU - 10/17 2 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 1
*vs. UGA - 10/31 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0
*Vandy - 11/7 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
*at USC - 11/14 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
*FAU - 11/21 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
*#14 FSU - 11/28 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0
*vs. #2 Bama - 12/5 4 1 5 1 0 0 2 0 0
*#14 Mich - 1/1/16 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0
2015 Totals 23 10 33 1 0 4 4 0 1
Career Totals U A T TFL SK INT PB FR FF
37 GP/35 GS 80 41 118 1 0 4 4 0 1

 

 

 

 

 

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