Chimdi Chekwa, welcome to the Oakland Raiders. With the Raiders first of two selections in the 2011 NFL Draft the Raiders selected the first player to go from Ohio State. Chekwa is a cornerback and at 6' and 190 pounds he may have a good frame to try and make the switch to safety. However, I have noticed a few knocks on his tackling.
I am sure you will be shocked to hear that he had an excellent 40 time at the Combine—he ran a 4.4. He is a decent value at this pick as most projected him as an early day three selection. He is another guy that is a bit raw, but has a high ceiling. So, in a draft I was hoping the Raiders wouldn't take any corners they have been half of their picks so far. If either Chekwa or Van Dyke (selected in third-round) reach there potential I won't be complaining, but it is not my favorite move to date based on position. I have no problem with Chekwa's talent and potential a fourth-round selection.
Alright, we'll have more on all of these guys later, but in the meantime check out this scouting report video and some reports after the jump.
Chekwa lacks the measurables to line up against a number one receiver in the NFL, but he has the skills to develop into an effective corner in sub packages. He is a smooth athlete that shows the hip fluidity to be solid in both man and zone coverage. He also flashes the ability to close quickly and break up passes on underneath routes. He does not have the explosiveness to mirror faster receivers and takes too long to fill in run support despite being a willing tackler. Overall, Chekwa is fluid enough to cover slot receivers and should be a Day 3 pick.
Strengths: Chekwa has adequate height and bulk. Fluid through the hips and transitions smoothly to turn and run with receivers. Flashes the ability to close the gap when the ball is in the air. Locates the ball quickly and uses his hands to break up passess. Hard worker that is very coachable.
Weaknesses: Does not have enough speed to play on an island at the next level. Struggles to diagnose routes and is not always in proper position in coverage. Lacks reliable hands and drops too many potential picks. Takes poor angles in run support and does not shed blocks effectively. Has a nagging hip injury.
I have one thing to say to NFL.com. If this guy didn't have enough speed to play on an island...he wouldn't be a Raider.
Possesses good overall size and athletic ability for the position and has the type of second gear to make up for a high transition vertically. Gets a bit upright and leggy out of his turn and will lose a step, but displays above-average fluidity when asked to turn and run. Does a decent job initially sitting into his stance and keeping his feet under him when asked to sit into his back-pedal. However, isn't real comfortable or balanced in his drop, seems to almost be moving too fast for his own good, doesn't trust himself completely and has a tendency to open up his hips prematurely. Gets too high out of his breaks and allows receivers to generate significant separation as he is slow to regain his footing and close on the football. Looks a lot more natural in the trail technique, where he can use his natural athleticism to simply try to mirror underneath. Can be physical off the line when asked to press, but is inconsistent Will get overextended at times and lose balance into contact, but when he gets his hands on you he can consistently re-route.
Improved his overall ball awareness down the field as a senior and did a much better job making plays on the football in all areas of the game. Doesn't tackle as well as his frame would indicate either and isn't overly willing to play the run game.
Impression: Will get overdrafted because of his size/speed numbers. Improved his overall feel for the game as a senior and can certainly run and make up for a false step, but is still raw in most areas of the game.