INDIANAPOLIS – The size is incredibly unique for the cornerback position.
When you first take a look at Colts cornerback JuJu Brents, it’s not that crazy to assume he’s a safety, or even a linebacker.
But, at 6-3 and 198 pounds, Brents is quite the rare body type for a cornerback.
“There are not a lot of guys 6-3 playing corner in the league, but he is a really good athlete,” Chris Ballard says of the Warren Central High School product. “He’s a really good fit for what we want to do because he’s a press corner. We do want to play a little more press coverage. We think he’s going to be really good at it. He’s got some unique traits. He’s a really good athlete and for a tall kid he can really change direction.
“When you’re 6-3, there’s a difference. It gives you an advantage down the field because you’re not throwing over a 5-9, 5-10 guy. You’re throwing over a 6-3 guy. That looks different to a quarterback.”
For Colts area scout Tyler Hughes, he had trouble in the draft process assigning a pro label for Brents.
That’s what happens when you have a 6-3 corner.
But it doesn’t stop there.
The wingspan of Brents (82 5/8 inches) and broad jump (138 inches) both rank in the 99 percentile of all cornerbacks who participated in the Combine over the last dozen years.
If Hughes is going to throw out a name though, he’ll point to the recent NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
“When you try to do some player comparisons, it’s hard to find one who compares to JuJu,” Hughes said after the Colts took Brents at No. 44 overall.
“Size-wise and all that, you can say Sauce Gardner. Now, I’m not saying he’s Sauce Gardner, but Sauce ran a 4.51 (40-yard dash). They’re both long, athletic cornerbacks.”
Brents did run a 4.50 in the 40-yard dash, but his short-area quickness in several Combine drills is what the Colts point to as not having a concern in a 40-time they’d ideally like to see in the 4.3s or 4.4s.
When training camp opens up later this month, that’ll be the first time Brents has hit the NFL field for a professional practice.
Earlier this year, Brents had a wrist procedure done which kept him from full contact this spring.
Waiting for him now at Grand Park will be testing that physicality, and a terrific chance at securing a starting job in Year One.
“You pop on the tape and he’s not shying away from any type of contact,” Hughes adds. “He’s got a chip on his shoulder, and I think especially playing in his hometown city, that chip is going to be even bigger when he knows he has a bunch of family and friends at each game.”
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