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NFL Draft Diamonds Scouting Report: Justin Gibbons, CB, Aurora University

Brandon Davis is NFL Draft Diamonds Lead Scout who put this piece together today. 

Justin Gibbons, CB/WR, Aurora University

Height: 6’5”

Weight: 210 lbs.

Jersey Number: #1/#25

Class: Senior

  • 2016 Stats (CB): 30 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss, 0 sacks, 0 forced fumbles, 0 fumble recoveries, 0 interceptions, 3 pass breakups, 1 blocked field goal
  • 2016 Stats (WR): 6 receptions, 172 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns
  • 2016 National Bowl Participant (CB/WR)
  • 2016 Mexico Bowl Participant (CB)
  • Games Viewed: Junior/Senior Highlight Tape

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ftd-BMsv8sg

Strengths: Gibbons is a player that can make you do a double take when you look at him. At 6’5” and 210 lbs., he has the size that coaches look for in a CB and/or a WR. He plays with good speed, pretty good feet, and has solid hips that allow him to move fluidly. As a CB, he is not afraid of contact. When needed, he is willing to come up & provide run support, whether it is stopping a RB on outside runs, or taking on a QB when he scrambles. In pass coverage, he shows that he can find & track the ball well. He breaks on the ball well with good closing speed, and attacks it with good ball skills. In man coverage, he can stay in a receiver’s pocket step by step on short routes. In zone coverage, he plays his responsibility well with good discipline. He can fight through traffic to stop a receiver in his tracks against WR screens. He shows that he is versatile as a player who can line up as a receiver as well on offense. As a WR, he is a potential matchup nightmare with his size, especially in the red zone. He shows ability to break away into the open field after the catch for additional yards.

Weaknesses: While Gibbons is not afraid of contact, he does not always take the best angles to get to the ball carrier, and he does not always use the best form when tackling. In man coverage, he tends to let his receiver get behind on deep routes at times. His ability to effectively jam the WR at the line of scrimmage is a question. Due to that, he also turns his back to the QB when it seems like a receiver will get a step on him. His hands are decent, but not great as both a CB & a WR. As a WR, he is not the sharpest route runner. His year to year consistency & competition level will be looked at closely.

Summary: Gibbons is a good athlete that displayed his versatility on offense, defense, and special teams for the Aurora Spartans. His field goal block in the last game of the 2016 season helped the Spartans win their conference title. As a CB, he provides run support, and good cover skills in pass defense. He has the play speed & closing speed to find the ball, track the ball, and make a play. He plays man coverage well against short passing routes & screens. He is very disciplined while play zone coverage. As a WR, he is a red zone target who can break away from defenders after the catch. When tackling the ball carrier, he does not always take the best angles, and he does not always use good form. He does let the receiver get behind him at times in man coverage, causing him to turn his back to the QB. At WR, he will need to improve his route running. While he does have decent hands on either side of the ball, they are not great. His seemed to play better as a junior than he did this past season as a senior. In his junior year in 2015, he had 30 tackles, 5 interceptions, and 12 pass breakups. He has shown that he can be productive, but will need to show that he can be productive on a consistent basis year after year, especially at the pro level after playing against Division III competition. Gibbons reminds me of Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman due to his height, and that Sherman also lined up as both a CB & WR while in college. His size & athletic ability, due to him also being an All-American sprinter as well, will help him catch the eye of multiple pro coaches. As combines & pro days loom, I see him primarily being a UDFA as a CB at the pro level, who could possibly be athletic enough to try out as a FS due to his size & play in zone coverage. I can also see him lining up as a WR in emergency situations. With the right coach who is willing to work with him, Gibbons can become quite a weapon.

Pro Comparison: Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman

Projection: Undrafted Free Agent

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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