Finding Broncos: Scouting 3 Late-Round Cornerback Prospects

Finding Broncos scouts the 2021 NFL draft class to find the best Mile High fits. What's the scoop on Tre Brown, D.J. Daniel, and Deommodore Lenoir and how would he fit in Denver?
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Welcome to Finding Broncos, our annual prospect-by-prospect series deep-diving on the coming NFL draft class. The scouting continues with a late-round cornerback trio including Oklahoma's Tre Brown, Georgia's D.J. Daniel, and Oregon's Deommodore Lenoir, all three of whom fit an approaching need at nickel corner for the Denver Broncos. 

Tre Brown | Oklahoma

Oklahoma Sooners defensive back Tre Brown (6) celebrates after making the game winning interception against the Texas Longhorns in overtime of the Red River Showdown at Cotton Bowl.

Pros

  • Has good versatility to play inside and outside in multiple schemes
  • Works well when mirroring in man-coverage
  • Patient when mirroring and doesn't often take himself out of position
  • Has proper aggression when challenging the catch point
  • Not afraid to come down and hit as a tackler and is a willing run defender
  • Very tough and always wants to be physical in coverage
  • Possesses a strong jam

Cons

  • Didn’t have much exposure to zone-coverage and when he did, he looked uncomfortable
  • When asked to read and react, he is often late and caught looking
  • His ball skills need development
  • Needs to work on not getting boxed out at the catch point
  • Has the traits to hang outside but he may be limited to the slot because of his 5-foot-9-3/4, 188-pound size
  • Needs to watch his aggression through routes and keep the penalties from being called
  • Needs to improve his recognition of passing concepts and how they are developing, especially in zone

Fit with Broncos

There is a lot to like with Brown and while he is more natural in man-coverage, there are some traits to work in zone but it is going to take some development. While he has enough traits to possibly work on the boundary, he may be better inside, which helps him fit with the Broncos. 

Brown also could move to be a nickel/safety hybrid and see success in the NFL. If Denver was confident in its ability to coach him up in zone coverage, Brown would make sense but it really depends on whether the coaches believe they can improve his awareness and comfort in zone-coverage.

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D.J. Daniel | Georgia

Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Marquez Callaway (1) makes a catch over Georgia Bulldogs defensive back DJ Daniel (14) during the first quarter at Neyland Stadium.

Pros

  • Solid tackler with consistency and technique to limit plays after the catch
  • Has solid awareness when asked to play in zone-coverage
  • Has a strong press-coverage and good bail technique as well
  • Will attack the receiver’s hands, though this could lead to some DPI
  • Seems to have good athleticism
  • Will get up and contest the catch point

Cons

  • Has to better his mirror when working in off-coverage
  • Not very loose in the hips and can be really delayed when flipping them in coverage
  • Needs to be more consistent with playing the ball
  • Has to improve his overall play in coverage with better and consistent technique
  • Can be late in his transition period when going from press to coverage
  • Apparent moments of panic and terror when going against bigger receivers

Fit with Broncos

Daniel is a solid defensive back that can fit with what the Broncos do. The problem is, in the NFL, he might be more of a safety than a corner, though that really isn’t much of a problem for the Broncos. 

It would actually help his fit to be a depth safety and see if he can develop. His upside is there, but there is a lot that could keep Daniel from reaching it. For a later-round pick, Daniel is worth the risk.

Deommodore Lenoir | Oregon

Oregon Ducks cornerback Deommodore Lenoir (0) tackles USC Trojans running back Stephen Carr (7) during the fourth quarter at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Pros

  • Has a good natural feel and awareness to excel in zone-coverage
  • His ball skills are good enough for the NFL
  • His tackling is reliable and consistent and he isn’t afraid of contact
  • Seems to have a high football IQ and breaks down passing concepts very well
  • Willing run defender and not afraid to get physical with receivers
  • Doesn’t get bullied by bigger, physical receivers

Cons

  • Seems to be stiff through his mirror and at times, it sees him left behind
  • Not exactly the most versatile as he seems to be an off-zone nickel corner only
  • Not the best athlete and it really shows up on tape at times
  • Lacks good range and deeper routes could see him left behind

Fit with Broncos

If the Broncos decide they want to bring in more competition late for the future of the nickel corner, Lenoir makes sense. He is limited to being a slot-only corner and works very well in zone-coverage. 

What he brings would be slightly different than what the Broncos currently have in Essang Bassey and letting those two battle it out to replace Bryce Callahan after 2021 wouldn’t be a bad way to go. 


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