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January 27, 2014
NFL comparisons: Tabor, Humphrey
The close of the evaluation period for the Class of 2014 produced only a couple big changes near the top of the Rivals100; but as the players jockeyed for position, the Rivals.com team of analysts saw the highlights and lowlights of each prospect.
Generally, the most difficult aspect of ranking players is making comparisons and projections, but it is the task most asked of analysts. With just days left until National Signing Day, the Rivals.com team will break down the best of the best by comparing them to players on the NFL level.
Each day, there will be a breakdown of two players from the Top 10 of the Rivals100.
No. 10 Jalen Tabor, cornerback, Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate Academy
Attributes: 6-foot-1, 186-pounds
Top Schools: Committed to Florida
NFL Comparison: David Amerson, Washington Redskins
Tale of the Tape: Amerson and Tabor are listed at the same height and nearly the same weight, but the similarities don't end there. Both have great length, and while Amerson recorded only two interceptions in his rookie season with the Redskins, both are known as ball hawks. Coaches and scouts have said that Amerson and Tabor could see some time at safety at some point in their careers.
When we saw him last: Tabor came into the Under Armour All-America Game with a lot to prove. He felt like a lot of the national recognition was going to cornerbacks whom he was better than. Tabor showed the world he was a star during the entire week of practice and in the game. He locked down nearly every receiver who lined up across from him, made some impressive interceptions and showed that his tackling ability would not hinder him at the next level. In practice, Tabor made some eye-popping interceptions using his superior athleticism, and he made some great tackles in space in the game.
Analyst's take: "Tabor has impressive measurables and has worked hard to become an equally impressive athlete. His natural height, length, physicality and aggressiveness help make Tabor one of those rare cornerbacks who can lock down a 6-foot-5 receiver; but his speed, athleticism and explosiveness don't make him a liability against smaller receivers. Tabor is great at fighting for jump balls and has great hands, which help him come down with a number of interceptions. One of the best things about Tabor is his ability to bait quarterbacks into throwing bad passes. He has great instincts and vision, so he can see and feel what the receiver is trying to do and uses that information to make the quarterback think the receiver is open when he is not." -- Adam Friedman, Rivals.com Mid-Atlantic analyst.
Final word: "Amerson was more of a natural athlete than Tabor coming out of high school, but he didn't have the same natural instincts and great ball skills despite his gaudy interception numbers at N.C. State. Both players heard many times that they were too tall and not quite fast enough for cornerback and would be moved to safety; but Amerson is one of many taller corners in the NFL, and Tabor is headed in that direction if he keeps working hard." -- Mike Farrell, Rivals.com National Recruiting Director.
No. 9 Marlon Humphrey, cornerback, Hoover (Ala.)
Attributes: 6-foot, 175 pounds
NFL Comparison: Darrelle Revis, Tampa Bay Bucaneers
Tale of the Tape: Both players have pretty good height and length, both are very smooth operators with high confidence, and they can flip and change direction with ease. They also have good instincts and close very well with solid ball skills. They can shut down one side of the field.
When we last saw him: Humphrey was at the Under Armour All-America Game and struggled a bit in practice with the speedy receivers on his team. Speedy Noil and Travis Rudolph both gave him problems in different ways, and even slower but bigger prospects such as Cameron Sims got behind him at times. However, in the game itself, Humphrey played as expected. He was in position often and used his speed and ability to read routes. He looked like a top-10 player when the lights came on and full contact football was on, something that is a good sign, especially for a confident cornerback.
Analyst's take: "Humphrey has a ton of skill. He's long, he's angular and lean with plenty of room to add weight, size and strength, and he is very fluid. Sometimes he can make coverage look effortless, and he's so fluid in his backpedal and with his change of direction it's hard to imagine him getting beaten. However, I think he needs to work on consistency and concentration to take his game to the next level, and he might be a bit overconfident at times. I like his cockiness and his willingness to take on the best receivers he can, and with his athletic skills and speed, he could be special at the next level. Once he adds strength, watch out." -- Mike Farrell, Rivals.com National Recruiting Director.
Final word: "Revis certainly wasn't as highly regarded as Humphrey coming out of high school but developed as a great college cornerback and as the NFL's premier player at the position for a few years. It will be difficult for Humphrey to live up to such lofty standards, but he certainly has the ability. He'll play on a bigger stage than Revis did at either Alabama or Florida State, but sometimes that's not a great thing. Humphrey has more athleticism coming out of high school but the instincts and competitive desire will be the key." -- Mike Farrell, Rivals.com National Recruiting Director.