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Michigan NFL Draft 2017 Draft Profile: Channing Stribling

Can the Michigan cornerback make it at the next level?

Wisconsin v Michigan Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

The Michigan Wolverines will have an abundance of former players infiltrating the NFL as rookies in 2017. On the defensive side of the ball in the secondary, two big names making the jump to the next level are Jourdan Lewis and Jabrill Peppers. Although Lewis and Peppers have tremendous skill and name recognition, don’t sleep on the cornerback who started opposite Lewis, Channing Stribling.

Stribling emerged as a formidable foe for opposing offenses as the 2017 unfolded. On the year, Stribling only allowed 19 receptions, witn just one of them going for a touchdown. Along the way, he also tallied four interceptions and 11 pass breakups.

While Stribling’s statistics are stellar, there are skeptics who were not impressed with his combine performance and game film. We will take a look at the pros and cons to his game.

The Basics:

Height: 6-1

Weight: 188

40 Yard Dash: 4.60

Vertical: 31.5 inches

Bench Press: 5 Reps

Do Your Homework- Wisconsin & Ohio State Game Film

Pros

Length: Stribling is very active with his hands, and utilizes his reach well. On end-zone fades, he is able to get his hand in the middle of the receivers chest area, disrupting the chance of a reception. The same can be said when Stribling is beat in coverage, he has a knack for sticking his hand up at the right time, which takes away the receivers vision and also allows him an opportunity to deflect/knock down the pass.

  • Press Coverage: To go along with this length comes good play in press coverage. He is able to effect the route timing either changing the receivers path or slowing down the wideouts ability to get down field.
  • Jumping Routes: In man coverage Stribling can recognize a receivers route and mirror the pattern, which gives him a great opportunity to undercut the pattern and snag an interception. When he is in off-coverage zone, his recognition allows him to accelerate in front of the wideout to either break up the pass or tally an interception that way as well.
  • Height: You don’t get to the pros by being tall, but with a nice set of skills, being tall for the position only helps get you drafted. At 6’1, Stribling is tall for a corner and his height won’t be a liability in coverage at the professional level.
  • Willing tackler: Not every cornerback wants to make tackles, wrap up, and throw their shoulders into the legs and mid-section of an opposing players, but Stribling is up to the task.

Cons

  • Short Shuttle Subpar: At the NFL Combine, Stribling ran the slowest 20 yard shuttle.
  • Strength: Will need to bulk up. Weighing 188 pounds, and lifting only 5 reps of 225 pounds will not cut it in the pros. Stribling must gain some muscle. This is a common area of improvement needed from rookies, thus this is not a major concern.
  • Penalties: Part of what makes Stribling good is also an area that may worry some teams. As already mentioned, he’s quite active with his hands, and at times can grab a receiver for a longated period of time, or tug jersey when it is not necessary. The NFL has made it a point of emphasis the past two seasons to call more defensive holding and pass interference penalties. Stribling will have to pick his spots.
  • Run Support: Not the best at recognizing what hole the running back is going to take. Because of this, Stribling gets boxed out too often when he could have plugged the whole if he diagnosed the play correctly.
  • Flat Feet: Drag routes and quick slants are not friends of Stribling. He gets beat on them by a lack of quick acceleration. This can be attributed to him not being in the best position (with his feet) to initiate that quick burst down-hill. On these patterns Stribling can give up major ground and leave a receiver wide open. When this happens it’s the equivalent of a track runner starting to run after the gun has already sounded, it makes it hard to catch up to the opponent(s).

Notable Statistics

  • 669 career snaps in coverage, allowed only one touchdown.
  • Catch allowance rate of 30.2% in 2016, which was best in the FBS
  • Passer rating against Stribling was 22.7 in 2016, which was 2nd best in FBS

Conclusion

Stribling may outperform peers at his position who are drafted ahead of him. While it is likely Stribling is drafted anywhere from late round 5 to round 7, the upside he has could make him a steal when things are all said and done. He belongs in a predominantly press-man scheme. If he gets good coaching in the NFL, Stribling may have a productive professional career.