Cornerback Trae Waynes, who is coming off an All-American season at Michigan State, has been rising on many experts' big boards.
The buzz is building around Michigan State cornerback Trae Waynes.
Check out these photos of Trae Waynes, an agile and speedy defensive back from Michigan State University.
Waynes – who stands at 6-foot-1 and weighs 182 pounds – has been ranked in the high teens on many experts' big boards, and is consistently the first or second listed cornerback, alongside Washington's Marcus Peters.
As Waynes prepares to hear his name April 30 in the first round of the NFL Draft, many experts – including NFL Media Analyst Bucky Brooks – say the 2014 first-team All-American's draft stock continues to rise, thanks in large part to a standout performance at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
"Waynes might have cemented his status as the top corner in the 2015 class with his spectacular showing on the turf in Indy," Brooks wrote. "Waynes has all of the tools to be an elite playmaker at the next level."
In his career at Michigan State, Waynes compiled 101 tackles, six interceptions and broke up 13 passes. These figures were across 36 games, 27 of which he started.
Brooks said the corner's "outstanding footwork, quickness and agility, to his strong hands and ball skills" were on display last season at Michigan State, but a solid performance at the combine made him one of the more "buzzworthy" prospects since February.
At the combine, Waynes posted a 4.31 40-yard dash time, the fastest of all participating defensive backs. He also racked up 19 reps in his bench press workout, ranking fourth among cornerbacks.
While Waynes has impressed with his athleticism, Brooks said he still needs to show he can develop the fundamentals to thrive on Sundays in the NFL, however.
Waynes was penalized for pass interference nine times over his last two seasons, while his NFL.com suggests he trusts his length and ball skills rather than grabbing cloth at the top of the route.
But even with the nine penalties, Waynes allowed only two touchdowns over last two seasons at Michigan State. If his technique is fine-tuned, then he raises his draft stock greatly.
The bottom line for Waynes on NFL.com:
"He's a bump-and-run cornerback with the length, deep speed and confidence to handle himself down the field against speed," it reads. "Waynes plays too handsy for NFL officials and that could show up on Sundays due to his lack of great feet and suddenness. He needs technique work and could be inconsistent early on, but he has a very high floor."