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In-Depth Look at Nick Saban’s New Cornerback Project: Trevon Diggs

Trevon Diggs catches a swing pass last season against Auburn as a receiver. Cedric Mason - Touchdown Alabama Magazine.

After Alabama’s first spring scrimmage, Nick Saban announced that wide receiver Trevon Diggs had been flipped to cornerback, a la Cyrus Jones. In yesterday’s A-Day game, fans got a glimpse at life with Diggs at starting corner.

It was a bit of a roller coaster.

Playing with the first-string defense throughout the scrimmage, Diggs showed plenty of potential in Jeremy Pruitt’s scheme, but there were a handful of glaring weaknesses as well.

In man-to-man coverage – especially against go-routes – Diggs was simply out-run.

On this play, Diggs was trailing wide receiver, Robert Foster, by two yards and was not able to make the tackle after the catch. The play ultimately resulted in a 65-yard-touchdown pass.

Similarly, earlier in the game, Diggs is in coverage against Calvin Ridley with safety help from Minkah Fitzpatrick. While the ball is in the air, both defenders appear two-to-three yards behind the intended receiver. Though not visible in the video above, Ridley uses a head fake at the line-of-scrimmage to throw Diggs off the route. Because Trevon has not yet the experience required to play against NFL-level talent, his hips did not recover quickly enough causing him to fall behind.

Diggs gets beat on yet another deep ball – against Robert Foster once again.

Not all was bad for Diggs, however, as he also picked off Jalen Hurts in the end zone:

Additionally, at about the 14:15 mark in the second quarter, Diggs is able to disconnect Calvin Ridley from the ball, then does the same late in the fourth quarter to Derek Kief. Later in the fourth, he almost pulls off a one-handed interception.

Trevon showed off plenty of speed, as he was able to keep up with the receivers all day. However, when he lost his man in coverage it was always a result of one of two things: getting beat off the line-of-scrimmage, or not adjusting his hips quickly enough. Both problems are born from inexperience, and should Saban choose to keep Diggs at corner, he could garner a lot of helpful experience in practice between now and fall that will help him to become a more reliable option to replace Marlon Humphrey. Saban is – after all – the cornerback whisperer.

Overall Grade: B-

Jake Weaver is a contributor for TD Alabama Magazine and Bama Hoops Hype. You can contact him via email at [email protected], phone at 205-612-5060, and follow him on Twitter for sports news/commentary @JAWeaver0.


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