Exhibits good footwork and balance in his drop and has the type of flexibility in his lower half to sit into his back-pedal, keep his feet under him, cleanly change directions and close on the football. Exhibits good balance when asked to redirect laterally and is able to quickly get out of his breaks and up to speed quickly.
Displays good range in the deep half, tracks the football well sideline-to-sideline and possesses impressive ball skills and body control in jump ball situations. Is a coordinated athlete who knows how to go up and come down with the tough grab.
However, isn't the most instinctive of defensive backs at this stage, finds the football well vs. the run game, but struggles to consistently read the quarterback's eyes and get early jumps on the football from the deep half. Also, struggles in coverage when asked to open up his hips. Doesn't stay low enough out of his transition, gets too high and leggy and can be slow to flip and get back up to speed quickly down the field.
Exhibits above-average speed, but is not a burner and lacks the ability to quickly make up for a false step. Displayed some natural man-to-man cover skills but was too often slow to react to the throw. Lacked a great feel when asked to sit on routes, didn't get early jumps on the football, would get caught with his base being too wide at times in zone and gave up too much initial separation on all areas of the field.
Impression: Looks more like an NFL safety than corner to me. Possesses some natural athleticism, but could serve at worst as a solid nickel guy and work his way into a potential starter with some time."
Positive: Athletic yet undersized defensive back who is best facing the action. Has good quickness and instincts. Reads receivers' eyes, gets his head back around, and positions himself to make a play on the ball. Fast and effective up the field on the blitz. Gives effort defending the run. Fluid turning his hips to move in every direction of the field. Above average ball skills and solid sideline-to-sideline range. Has a closing burst of speed and a nice sense of timing.
Negative: Not stout at the point of attack and struggles getting off blocks to make plays on the ball. Does not always track the ball well in man-to-man coverage and did too much trailing in coverage last year.
Analysis: Gilchrest is a well-rounded defensive back who struggled making the transition to corner last season. He's a natural centerfielder who can roam sideline to sideline and occasionally be used over the slot receiver. Likely to be drafted later than his talents warrant, Gilchrest offers starting potential at the next level."
Negatives: Is just not a big playmaker, did not intercept a pass in his first three years at Clemson, misses a lot of opportunities when the ball is in the air... Takes a lot of false steps, especially when playing off his receiver, loses a step in his backpedal as a result... Shows stiff hips at times, does not come out of breaks very quickly in man coverage... Appears to be best suited in zone coverage or covering slot receivers in man-to-man, needs to polish up footwork and learn to play with looser hips... Plays with much too high of a backpedal at times, lifts up off the snap, which often results in sloppy footwork in the backpedal... Instincts in coverage are average at best, often takes too long to close in when the ball is in the air... Will probably be a better fit at safety than corner in the NFL, will be a project if he is to start at corner in the near future."
Weaknesses: Not as physical against the run as you'd like. Not a true blazer. Not real big, and can be beaten by physical receivers. Not a great ball hawk.
Projection: 6-7th rounder with a chance to go higher if he impresses in the post-season."
Gilchrist is obviously not making as many tackles as he did when he was at the free safety spot, but he is teaming up with McDaniel quite nicely and doing a relatively good job keeping the secondary productive. Through six games, Gilchrist leads the team with seven pass break-ups and has picked off one pass. He may not be the most athletic or physical corner in this class, but he is an experienced and versatile player who should be a solid third round selection."
Looks like a 3rd or 4th Rounder.
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