The New Orleans Saints defense surrendered an average of 274 yards per game through the air during the 2016 season, ranking dead last in the league. It was the fourth time in the last five seasons that the pass defense ranked near the bottom of team statistics. Part of the reason for this was the Saints inability to consistently pressure the quarterback. The team only generated 30 sacks in 2016.
Another major reason has been the poor play of the New Orleans secondary, particularly at the cornerback position. The Saints also had an incredible six cornerbacks miss most or all of the 2016 season due to injury, including BOTH starters (Delvin Breaux and P.J. Williams) being out by the second quarter of Week 2. Breaux, who is on the cusp of being among the top cover men in the NFL, played in parts of only six games and Williams has played only six quarters in his 2-year career.
The Saints have a number of young, but unproven, players on the roster at cornerback. Still at the forefront of rumors involving a trade for New England pro bowler Malcolm Butler, or Seattle star Richard Sherman, it still seems likely that New Orleans will still draft a corner within the first few rounds. This year's cornerback crop is incredibly deep with talent, with as many as 16 players projected to be drafted before the end of the third round. Today's draft profile is one of those talents.
Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida (6-foot-1, 211-pounds)
Wilson is a big (6-foot-1, 211-pounds) and physical corner that was a two-year starter for a very talented Gators defense, teaming with fellow top prospect Jalen "Teez" Tabor to make one of the best cornerback duos in the country. He would be a great match up with the bigger receivers in the NFC South, but also athletic enough to stay with the smaller, quicker wideouts throughout the league.
Wilson is a very smooth and fluid athlete, evidenced by his scouting combine performance. His 4.54 second 40-yard dash time was somewhat pedestrian, but his 6.86 3-cone drill and 4.02 second 20-yard shuffle were around the top five among both the cornerback and safety positions.
Wilson is a willing tackler, but must improve his technique to be more effective. He does get involved enough on running plays to funnel the play back to waiting teammates. Despite the presence of Tabor, Wilson was only targeted 49 times in 2016, resulting in a lowly passer rating of 29.9 and still coming away with 3 interceptions.
He is a much better man-to-man player than in zone, where he sometimes gets lost or struggles to find his man. Nevertheless, Wilson has terrific anticipation and a strong break on the ball once thrown. He has shown some vulnerability on inside and post routes, but his anticipation and long reach allows him to often undercut those patterns to make plays. Wilson's size, athleticism, and play recognition cause many to believe that he could also transition to safety.
- NFL.com comparison = Tre' Boston (Panthers)
- ProFootballFocus comparison = Marcus Peters (Chiefs)
- NFL Draft Profile
- PFF Scouting Report
At one time, Wilson was considered a probable first-round draft choice. His stock has slipped somewhat, but he is still sure to be drafted anywhere between the early second round to midway in the third. The team that gets Quincy Wilson will get an athletic and physical playmaker with the cover skills to be a shutdown cornerback in most any defensive scheme.
In our SB Nation Community Writers’ mock draft, we took Wilson with the 42nd overall pick.