Caleb Farley has been garnering a lot of attention from analytics experts and draft aficionados since early last season. As Bryan Manning outlined earlier this week, Pro Football Focus rates him as one of the best handful of defensive backs in the country, based on numerous different metrics.
The guy that’s gotten lost in the shuffle, however, is Jermaine Waller. He might not be viewed as a first-round draft talent like Farley, but his production suggests that he might not be far from it.
In many areas – such as snaps in coverage per reception allowed – Waller was actually just as productive as Farley in 2019.
The ACC may not have named Waller to an All-Conference team last season, but PFF did. They actually rated him just behind Farley among all ACC cornerbacks, despite it only being his first season receiving significant playing time.
In fact, it could even be argued that he was more disruptive than Farley in the passing game. Although quarterbacks threw in his direction slightly more regularly than Farley, Waller made more plays on the football.
It probably goes without saying at this point, but Virginia Tech boasts one of the best cornerback duos in the nation heading into the upcoming college football season. It really doesn’t matter who teams choose to throw at; they likely won’t get the result they were looking for.
With a boosted pass rush (Justus Reed) and only one starter lost on defense, gaining much yardage through the air against the Hokies could be a major challenge in 2020.