Prospect: Jonathan Cyprien, SAF, Florida International
Height: 6’0 1/4
Grade: 7.1 (Grading Scale)
Cyprien is a vocal and passionate leader on the field. He competes hard on every play bringing a physical edge to the game. Has the ability to play both free and strong safety positions. Loves to hit and will strike anything that moves. Will fly up from his deep safety position to meet the RB in the hole. Can also time up his arrival to separate the WR from the ball at the catch point. When playing deep safety, he displays sound ball skills. Is able to track the deep ball while running full speed and lines himself up to make the play. Cyprien is an aggressive defender and that shows with the aggressive pursuit and attack angles he taks both against the run or in pass defense. Tracks receivers on crossing routes and can come down to deliver big hits over the middle.
Cyprien is a strong overall athlete showing speed and range to close throwing lanes. Cuts down run angles with a strong closing burst. Has some ability to set the edge with strength, forcing the RB to bounce the run outside. Comfortable coming down in the box and holds up physically. Can deliver a powerful thump on initial contact and will put his body on the line at full speeds. At the Senior Bowl he showed good laterally ability on coverage to adjust when receivers crossed his face and to open hips to run laterally. Reads the eyes on the QB and shows some ability to anticipate throws coming into his zone. While he maybe a step late recognizing or takes a false step Cyrien makes mistakes at full speed and will find someone to hit during the course of the play. Came off as extremely driven and determined in interviews and really enjoys playing the game.
Cyprien is still a bit raw in his overall coverage and recognition ability. More complex route combinations and coverage concepts can give him trouble. Was seen asking questions on different coverages, because he took wrong assignments at the Senior Bowl. Is a step late at times reacting when playing center field. Shows enough range to get from hash to sideline, but arrives a step too late. Has a tendency to lock on to underneath receivers who are moving in front of him and loses track of a receiver getting behind him. Takes a false step forward at times allowing for separation behind him. Plays the game full speed which is a plus, but causes him to over run receivers in the middle of the field and occasionally over run pursuit angles. Will need time to adjust to man coverage techniques at the next level. Coming from a smaller conference the speed of the game and the speed of the receivers will change dramatically. Wasn’t challenged enough physically at his level of competition.
Jonathan Cyprien is rising swiftly up draft boards and it’s not hard to see why. His combination of athletic ability, physicality and passion for the game is sought after by all teams. His ability to play free safety as well as strong safety will give a team much need versatility. On the field, Cyprien plays the game at full speed. He can fill run lanes aggressively, deliver powerful strikes and can close down pursuit angles. He is athletic enough to play in the deep third and shows the ran to get from the hash to the sideline while the ball is in the air. He plays with power and confidence, not afraid to take on bigger players. Cyprien has the agility and hip fluidity to run with crossing receivers and displays the downhill speed to close on routes.
Overall, he is one of the most complete safeties in this year’s draft class. While he wasn’t tested physically at his level of competition, he was able to prove at the Senior Bowl he can play at the next level. There is talk that Cypriend could end up going in the first round, but I think it’s safe to assume he hears his named called early on day two of the draft.