Martin Emerson Jr. is one of the more versatile cornerbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft. Battle-tested coming out of the SEC, Emerson has the ability to disrupt receivers at the snap as well as enough speed to recover. He's not afraid to help out in run support either, making him an appealing new chess piece for a defensive coordinator that's not afraid of moving his personnel around.
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Martin Emerson Jr. Draft Profile
College: Mississippi State
Emerson has good size and speed and shows good instincts with his eyes on the backfield, and he has the ability to play a variety of techniques. He has the size and physicality to get under a receiver’s chinstrap and reroute him at the line of scrimmage, with enough recovery speed to make up for any early mistakes. He thrived playing zone coverage, showing excellent route-recognition skills and consistently Velcro-ing to receivers with little trouble. He has the size and play strength to come up in run support and had a lot of tackle production in college; that, along with his mental processing, should allow him to play over the slot.
Emerson didn’t have the kind of ball production you want from a zone corner, with just one career interception (and none in the past two seasons). His change-of-direction ability will be tested by NFL receivers, and he’ll have to prove he can handle quickness underneath.
There’s some young A.J. Bouye in his game, in that Emerson can play a number of techniques from a number of spots at a fairly high level. You wish there was more ball production at the college level, but he should appeal to more creative defensive coordinators who want versatility in their defensive backfield.
Final Grade: 1st/2nd Round