Oct 27, 2012; Lincoln, NE, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers defender Stanley Jean-Baptiste (16) intercepts the pass against the Michigan Wolverines receiver Devin Gardner (12) at Memorial Stadium. Nebraska won 23-9. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers Draft Prospects: Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB

 

The Panthers desperately need a taller defensive back.  Captain Munnerlyn has played well the last 2 seasons, but he is a free agent this offseason with no guarantee of him returning.  Plus he is only 5’8″ and is best suited to play the nickel corner position.  Enter Stanley Jean-Baptiste.  In 2012 Jean-Baptiste’s Nebraska squad led the NCAA in opponent completion percentage and in 2013 he lead the team with 11 pass break-ups and 4 interceptions.

Jean Baptiste is huge.  He is 6’3″ and 210 pounds.  Pair that with his long arms and he is a nightmare for wide receivers.  He has shown the ability to use his length to disengage blockers and make plays as well.  He ran a 4.56 forty yard dash, so he does not have elite straight line speed, but makes

up for it with his ability to turn his hips and make breaks on the ball.  Jean-Baptiste played wide receiver in high school and converted to corner at Nebraska.  His wide receiver skills serve him well when he makes cuts and dips his hips to get the best explosion out of his turns and translates to his great ball skills.  He is currently projected as a 3rd rounder so the Panthers could easily snag him if they find his talent suitable for the team.

The biggest knock on Jean-Baptiste is his tackling.  He tends to attempt too many arm tackles and has trouble bringing people down, although he made plenty of big hits in his collegiate career.  This shouldn’t be a problem for the Panthers as Luke Kuechly is usually near the ball every play and covers up mistakes made by his fellow defenders.  Jean-Baptiste is excellent in press coverage and is not afraid of contact.  He uses his size and strength to aggravate receivers and throw them off their timing and routes.  Everyone wants a Richard Sherman on their team, but Jean-Baptiste compares more to his teammate Brandon Browner.  Browner is another excellent corner with size, but saw his season cut short due to PED use.  If Jean-Baptiste can even come close to Browner’s talent level, he would be an excellent addition to the Panthers.  They desperately need a shut down corner and with receivers getting bigger, a guy like Jean-Baptiste could be just what the Panthers need.

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