Arizona Cardinals 7-round mock draft, Big Ten only edition
By Jonah Hovis
As a highly touted talent out of high school, Long chose Ann Arbor, where he developed into a lock-down man-coverage cornerback. Long was rarely tested and when he was those passes were rarely completed. He ran fast at the combine and he would be a great addition to the no-fly zone.
Measuring in at 5-foot-11 and 196-pounds, Long is well-built. Although he isn’t a twitchy athlete, he performed well at the to combine to the tune of a 4.45 second 40-yard-dash. He also recorded a 39.5-inch vertical, and more importantly, showed his quickness with a 6.45-second three-cone-drill performance.
But Long isn’t just an athletic prospect, he has the intangibles and sticky man coverage abilities that many cornerbacks don’t possess. He’s not a ballhawk (one career interception), but he doesn’t allow much in his area with physical play. Per Pro Football Focus, he allowed a catch rate of 30% and a passer rating of 38.2.
Long would be a nice addition alongside Patrick Peterson and newly signed Robert Alford. Although he may do best outside, his game is fit to play in the difficult but crucial slot position. He’s a man coverage, press cornerback through-and-through, but he lacks the speed and ball skills teams covert. However, he has a solid frame and traits that could help him shine after a year of development behind Peterson and Alford.