Joe Haden, 2010 NFL Draft

Joe Haden

Cornerback

Florida

Junior

5’ 10” 202 lbs.

Strengths: Speed, quickness, leaping ability, and lots of experience against top college receivers.

Weaknesses: Youth

By Scot Acocks

Joe Haden came to the University of Florida as the third rated athlete overall by Rivals. He mostly played quarterback in Ft. Washington, Maryland and also saw time at safety and wide receiver. He graduated high school early and enrolled at UF in January of 2007.

In 2007 Haden became the first true freshman to ever start at cornerback on opening day for the Gators. That year he made 12 starts, got in on 63 tackles, broke up 12 passes, and nabbed one interception against LSU.

As a sophomore Haden did not disappoint anybody and was a big reason the Gators won their third National Championship. He started all 14 games that year, collecting 87 tackles, broke up another 12 passes, and returned his three interceptions for 136 yards. In the BCS title game he led the defense with 10 tackles and two passes defended.

Thus far in 2009 (pre Sugar Bowl) he has made all 13 starts and again is among team leaders in defensive stats. He has made 62 stops, defended nine passes, three sacks, two forced fumbles, and his four interceptions lead the Gator’s defense. He will get a lot of opportunity to pad those stats against a Cincinnati Bearcat offense that is currently sixth in the country in passing.

Haden has proven himself on the football field enough to make the jump to the pros. He regularly covers receiver’s butts like underwear and is rarely out of position. He keeps his hips low and moves in and out of cuts fluidly. He can get up for jump balls and doesn’t miss many tackles.

He is an elite athlete who will be expected to run a forty in the 4.3 range and be among the leaders in the drills at his position at the combine. He is a strong guy and will be expected to push over 20 reps on the bench. With a great showing in the off-season he could be a top five pick. At this point he looks like a solid top 15 selection considering there aren’t many good corner prospects this year.

Career Stats at Florida: