The 2021 NFL Draft Bible Publication

The 2021 NFL Draft Bible Publication

NFL Draft Profile: Chris Steele, Cornerback, USC Trojans

NFL draft profile scouting report for USC cornerback, Chris Steele
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#8
Pos: CB
Ht: 6010
Wt: 190
DOB: 9/27/_
Eligible: 2022
Bellflower, CA
St. John Bosco High School

Chris Steele
USC Trojans


Pros:

Ezring: Each year, NFL teams seek out high-level athletes at the college level. Chris Steele’s game centers entirely around his traits. He has very loose hips and can change direction cleanly. As a result, he regularly displays impressive transitions and hip turns. What’s more, Steele has above-average movement skills in all directions and the long speed to carry receivers on deep routes. The talented corner also boasts sufficient play strength to attack blockers in run defense outside the hashes. While Steele’s athletic ability gives him the potential to succeed in any defensive scheme, he is at his best in press coverage. If he successfully engages early after the snap, Steele keeps his hands in the receiver’s hip pocket to feel out routes as they develop. When beginning the play at the line of scrimmage, the experienced defensive back typically practices sound eye discipline. While Steele thrives off his physicality, he has the movement skills to mirror in soft press. He regularly exhibits the patience to avoid turning his hips early. Similarly, Steele has the athleticism to operate in off and zone coverage. The highly-touted recruit clicks and closes efficiently and quickly. At the catch point, Steele is physical and aims to break passes up with physicality. NFL teams will also appreciate the USC corner’s versatility. The Trojan standout has experience at boundary corner, nickel and strong safety. Steele has shown off solid gap integrity when operating out of the box.

Vandeventer: Primarily an off-man corner with good ball skills. Steele tracks the ball well and has good timing when playing the ball in the air. He does a good job staying in the hip pocket of receivers, maintaining constant contact throughout the route. The USC corner is quick to diagnose and break on the ball with limited wasted movement. Has the speed to recover after falling behind receivers. Steele is fluid in transition between backpedaling and turning and running. Reads and reacts quickly at the line of scrimmage as he mirrors the release. Comfortable playing Cover 3 and is experienced playing in the slot, the outside, and rolling back to safety. Steele also has experience blitzing and times it with the snap.

Cons:

Ezring: While athleticism and traits are borderline-imperative to succeed in the NFL, technique and awareness are equally necessary. As a result, Steele’s projection to the league is currently limited. First and foremost, the USC starter tends to lose his assignment in man and zone coverage. He is too often out of position because of his inconsistent route and play recognition. In press coverage, Steele struggles because of his improper technique. His hands and feet are too often out of sync. Consequently, he lunges aggressively at receivers in an all-or-nothing attempt to jam them at the line. He, similarly, struggles to engage at the top of the route stem in soft press or off coverage. Moreover, Steele fails to properly leverage receivers at the line and consistently gives up inside separation. In fact, the four-star recruit has no answer for breaking routes if he fails to initiate contact. Additionally, Steele tends to bite on jab steps and other route salesmanship. He also can turn his hips late in off coverage. What’s more, the talented defender’s eyes sometimes drift into the backfield in man coverage. In zone coverage, Steele regularly exhibits inconsistent spatial awareness and zone discipline. The Trojan corner is not a reliable zone option. Against the run, Steele does not consistently beat blocks and regularly gives up on plays early. He takes poor angles to the tackle point and plays the ballcarrier’s inside leg. Steele also lacks power as a tackler.

Vandeventer: Against the run, he has poor hand usage when getting off blocks. Steele lacks overall confidence and doesn't break down at the tackle point. Patient tackler to the degree that he appears to be avoiding contact. The corner rarely gets his hands on receivers at the line of scrimmage, lunges too much, and hand placement can be questionable. Hips can ride high and get flat-footed while he waits for the receiver's release in off coverage. Slow to open hips when facing quick and aggressive route stems. Receivers gain ground on him quickly, and that forces him to play from behind.

Summary:

Ezring: Although his athleticism offers solid starter potential, Chris Steele currently lacks the refinement to contribute in the league. What’s more, his inconsistent effort and tackling will likely limit his value on special teams. Steele is currently a developmental option. 

Vandeventer: Off-ball corner who tracks the ball well yet has issues matching physical and aggressive receivers. When the ball is in the air, Steele does a good job tracking and using his hands to dislodge and disrupt the catch point. Steele has a number of ways he could see the field but is best fit to do so in a system that plays more off coverage and allows him to utilize his motor technique. Will have to improve as a tackler if he were to make an impact on special teams early on.

Background:

Born September 27th in Bellflower, California, Chris Steele was a star at powerhouse St. John Bosco. The athletic defensive back was named to the Cal-Hi Sports All-State Sophomores first team. One year later, Steele was listed to the MaxPreps Junior All-American first team, the USA Today All-California second team and the Cal-Hi Sports All-State Juniors second team. In his senior year, the already highly-decorated star corner was named to the USA Today All-USA first team, the PrepStar Dream Team, the MaxPreps All-American first team, the Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, the USA Today All-California first team, the Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, the Long Beach Press-Telegram Dream Team first team and the Orange County Register Fab 15. Steele was also named All-CIF Division 1. After his excellent high school career, 247Sports Composite Rankings listed the gifted defensive back as a four-star recruit. The same outlet ranked Steele as the 42nd-best recruit in the country, the fifth cornerback recruit in the nation and the 6th recruit in the state of California. Although the California native originally chose to attend the University of Florida, a dispute with the Gators coaching staff surrounding potentially improper care for his and other students’ safety led Steele to transfer home to USC. In 2020, the St. John Bosco star was named All-Pac-12 second team and Phil Steele All-Pac-12 second team. Steele is fluent in Spanish and majors in communications at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. 


One-Liners

Ezring: Although his athleticism offers solid starter potential, Chris Steele currently lacks the refinement to contribute in the league. What’s more, his inconsistent effort and tackling will likely limit his value on special teams.

Vandeventer: An active corner at the catch point who possesses plus athleticism and fluidity.

Grades

Current Player Value/Potential Player Value

Ezring: 6.2 / 8.4

Vandeventer: 6.4 / 7.8


#8
Pos: CB
Ht: 6010
Wt: 190
DOB: 9/27/_
Eligible: 2022
Bellflower, CA
St. John Bosco High School

Chris Steele
USC Trojans


Pros:

Ezring: Each year, NFL teams seek out high-level athletes at the college level. Chris Steele’s game centers entirely around his traits. He has very loose hips and can change direction cleanly. As a result, he regularly displays impressive transitions and hip turns. What’s more, Steele has above-average movement skills in all directions and the long speed to carry receivers on deep routes. The talented corner also boasts sufficient play strength to attack blockers in run defense outside the hashes. While Steele’s athletic ability gives him the potential to succeed in any defensive scheme, he is at his best in press coverage. If he successfully engages early after the snap, Steele keeps his hands in the receiver’s hip pocket to feel out routes as they develop. When beginning the play at the line of scrimmage, the experienced defensive back typically practices sound eye discipline. While Steele thrives off his physicality, he has the movement skills to mirror in soft press. He regularly exhibits the patience to avoid turning his hips early. Similarly, Steele has the athleticism to operate in off and zone coverage. The highly-touted recruit clicks and closes efficiently and quickly. At the catch point, Steele is physical and aims to break passes up with physicality. NFL teams will also appreciate the USC corner’s versatility. The Trojan standout has experience at boundary corner, nickel and strong safety. Steele has shown off solid gap integrity when operating out of the box.

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