Scouting Report: Vernon Hargreaves III vs. New Mexico St.

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

We made it! Real football is finally here and for the next four months every Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday will have meaningful games on.  This year, at least to start the season, I will be doing things a little differently with my in season posts.  Instead of writing up scouting reports I plan on giving you a more detailed look at the player I am focusing on for that particular game.  I went back and read some of my early reports and they were incomplete because the sample size was just too small. As the library on the DVR builds up (much to the dismay of my wife) I will start back with my more traditional scouting reports.  For the first week, I decided to focus on a position I think the Patriots will need to concentrate on in next years draft, cornerback.  I figured why no look at one of the higher profile players at the position, Vernon Hargreaves III out of Florida.

Name: Vernon Hargreaves III, #1

School: University of Florida, Junior

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 192 Lbs.

Let’s face it, regardless of how the Patriots secondary plays this season, the team is going to need to invest some resources into the position. Many of the corners on the team are unproven or are playing on one year prove it deals. If they have success, their price tag goes up and the Patriots may not be willing to pay and if they fail, well then the position will really need an overhaul once again.  Losing a first round pick hurts, especially when trying to get elite talent at one of the most coveted positions in the draft. So why am I writing about a guy that everyone has pegged as a sure fire first round pick? Well, last year, my very first post was on another guaranteed first round pick-Adrian Claiborn, who went in the third round.  I mention this because right now, we just don’t know. Guys get hurt (in fact, as I finish this up, Hargreaves has already missed the ECU game and is questionable against Kentucky) or their play drops off or they get in trouble off the field. You just never know.  So here is what I saw watching Hargreaves against New Mexico State in week 1 of the college football season.

If I could have looked into a magic ball and seen this game before sitting down and watching Hargreaves, I would have picked another player.  Let’s just say that his exposure in this game was very limited.  NMSU was smart enough to stay away from Hargreaves for the most part.

What I Saw:

I counted 4 bubble screens to Hargreaves side during the game and on 3 of them he fought through the wide receiver block to make the tackle or force the receiver back inside so someone else could make the play.  On the other, he didn’t give the same type of effort as was washed out of the play which resulted in a nice gain for the Aggies.

Hargreaves always lined up on the same side, the defensive left side.  He played primarily off coverage with open technique (what I mean by this is that he started with this hips perpendicular the the receiver rather than parallel.  He played a few snaps in press man coverage and a few in off zone, but it was limited.

Hargreaves showed his versatility and his athleticism as he contributed as a punt returner and even got in on offense, catching a bubble screen.

Hargreaves had an interception on a trick play. What I liked was that he did not get fooled on the play and his ability to high point the ball and make the interception.  He also looks like a play maker when he has the ball in his hands.

Most of the game, Hargreaves blanketed his receiver and essentially took his man out as an option.

I counted three negative plays for Hargreaves in this game. The first came in off coverage with open technique. He side shuffled for several yards and the receiver ran a curl to the first down marker. Hargreaves could not break on the ball with that technique and it led to a very easy completion and first down.

The second play was in off man coverage with closed technique. The receiver did a double move which Hargreaves bit on.  The receiver was open with Hargreaves trailing behind but the pass was overthrown.

The third play was similar to the first where it was a comeback throw with Hargreaves too far off in his coverage and didn’t show great change of direction ability to make a play on the ball. It was a short completion for a first down.

What Did I Learn:

Like I said earlier, Hargreaves was not picked on a whole lot and for good reason. He plays physical and he looks fast.  He showed the ability to take out a side of the field for most of the game.  I do not love his technique and I think he relies on his natural ability too much.  I was surprised by his physical play in the run game and his willingness to come up and make a tackle.   You can definitely see why he is considered a top prospect coming into the season.  I hope that he heals soon so I can see him against tougher competition later this season.


We are off and running, I hope that you found this article enjoyable and informative. I am still trying to work out some kinks so if you have any suggestions on this format, please let me know in the comments.

Follow me on twitter @midwestpatsfan





7 Responses to “Scouting Report: Vernon Hargreaves III vs. New Mexico St.”

  1. Dan Sullivan says:

    Patriots should work on getting draft picks back.
    Positives I see heading into Bills game Donta’ Hightower, Tarrell Brown,
    The whole Offensive Line, Gronk and Dion Lewis.

    Negatives Patriots Pass rush.

    • steve earle says:

      Yea, maybe Bob Kraft should file suit in fed court against the comish to get the picks and the money back. I think an argument could be made that the NFL manufactured evidence in order to damage the franchise for being too successful. I’m no lawyer so probably I’m wrong but what the heck?

  2. Russell says:

    Thanks Mike interesting! I was watching a CB as well Cam Sutton 6’1′ 190lbs from Tenn. Sutton look strong in coveage was close to the reciever turned his head to look for the ball, and tackled well and kept the play infront of him. He did some punt returns also, but did not get much of chance. Sutton (for now) is about a 3d round guy, but I think he moves up.

    Mike if you wish to watch a QB who’s not to high on the radar now, look at Joel Stave Wisconsin. I truely think this guy has some Brady type look about him. Good foot work, strong arm, smart guy,…… just say-in.. most have him as a 6th round guy???

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Hey Russell,
      Thanks for the recommendations. I actually taped the Tennessee vs. Oklahoma game to watch all those prospects including Sutton. I can’t wait to sit down and watch that game.

      Thanks again to you and all the commenters on here. I really enjoy reading your feedback and information.

  3. Russell says:

    Very sad to see Chris Harper cut , HIGHLY unlikely he clears waivers to get to the Patriots P-Squad. We can hope. Bears cut QB David Fales a guy the Patriots had an interest in last fall.

    • Dan Sullivan says:

      I liked Harper too but the thought of Terelle Pryor lining up as receiver with
      Gronk might be a worthwhile move for Patriots. Pryor in open field is very similar to
      Cam Newton big, fast, athletic and tough to bring down.

    • Jeff says:

      I think he’ll probably make it through, if he hasn’t already. I’m not sure he showed so much talent as to cause other teams to make room for him on their 53-man roster. If he does make it through, he could fill the open spot on the practice squad. I also wonder why they have LB Fleming over LB Morris on the P-squad.

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