Florida State safety Lamarcus Joyner is entering the NFL at a time where size and speed are almost required, so his physical skills could have him overlooked and could cause his stock to drop. It is almost unheard of to see a 5'8 safety in the NFL, let alone him be one of the top safeties in the draft.
Joyner is one of those rare defensive back prospects with top-notch instincts and great awareness in both coverage and near the line of scrimmage that help overcome the lack of elite physical traits.
He is a highly refined and talented player who can make an instant impact at either free safety or slot cornerback. He is probably the biggest playmaker at the safety position in this year's draft. Joyner registered 5.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and two interceptions in 2013. Many scouts, credit him for being such a competitor saying that, "he never takes a play off". In Tallahassee, Joyner also proved he is consistently an effective pass-rusher due to his great acceleration and quickness. On top of that he is also capable of surprising off the edge to put pressure on either the quarterback or running back.
Scouts also say Joyner has good footwork and light feet that are vital traits when covering slot receivers. One of his greatest strengths is his strong presence against the run, as he rarely over-commits to the gap and is a great tackler to go along with it. In an attempt to raise his draft stock he returned for his senior season to play nickelback which allowed him show his versatility and playmaking skills.
Right now he’s stock continues to rise but for now he predicted to go in the 2nd or 3rd round of the draft
Main Concerns With Joyner
One weakness for Joyner is he possess below-average height and length for a defensive back likely limits him to a free safety or slot cornerback. Also, he isn't as fast as he should be at 5'8 195. At the NFL Scouting Combine, he ran a 4.55 40 yard dash and made scouts question exactly what position fits him best at the next level. Some NFL front offices may even hesitate on taking him because he played on the best defense in all of college football so was he a product of the system becomes a concern.
If Joyner gets drafted into the right situation he could end up being a huge playmaker on the defensive side of the ball. He may be small, but he is a hard hitter and plays the game of football with a high IQ. In reality, he has all of the potential in the world to be a successful NFL defensive back. If he were just a couple inches taller and maybe even 10-15 pounds heavier he is easily a top 20 pick. Hopefully, he proves all of the doubters wrong and makes the teams that passed on him wish they hadn't.
Written By: Dedrick Hendrix
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