2019 NFL Draft Prospect Report: Justin Layne
Name: Justin Layne
School: Michigan State
Listed Height: 6’2
Listed Weight: 192
Strengths: Layne is a WR convert who is raw and still picking up the nuances of the position. Has quality length and lower half fluidity. He has played in off and press while showing the versatility to cover the slot. Remains patient vs releases at the LOS and opens and runs at the most advantageous point in the rep to stay in a tight mirror. Can physically jam up the WR in press coverage in order to disrupt timing and the development of the route. He stays connected to the hip through the stem and shows some physicality to shift the WR off his intended path. Due to his ability to key in on the QB and WR’s movements and his overall instincts, he can feel out throws and react quickly. He attacks the ball avidly and continuously swipes at the ball. His WR background shows up when he is in range of a passing lane, as he shows plus ball skills that allow him to adjust his frame and get in between the ball and the WR. He focuses his sight on the QB and can click and close passing windows. He exhibits effort to step down and get to the tackle point in run support.
Weaknesses: Layne has a skinnier build that would prosper if he added more functional weight. He lacks overall power and grip strength at the tackle point, causing ball carriers to be able to wiggle free from his grasp. His overall leg length can slow down his transition speed. Needs to slide laterally to cut off releases more often. He is inconsistent in how he breaks at the top of the receiver's route from off coverage due a slower plant and go process. Has average long speed and can fall out of phase vs linear burners. Layne can struggle to process his assignment in zone when facing clusters of WRs. On run downs, he gets framed easily by blockers and ducks his head into tackles.
Overview and Insights: Layne is a raw corner who is still learning the ins and outs of the position due to switching to CB from WR. Based off of his length, physicality, and mirror skills, he projects to the NFL as a man corner who has the upside to be a solid starter in the league.
Round Projection: 1st-2nd
Ideal Fits: Dolphins, Jets, Browns, Chiefs, Giants
Pro Comparison: William Jackson III
Scout: Taylor Moser