Saints Draft Gem: CB Kindle Vildor
New Orleans Saints CBs Marshon Lattimore and Janoris Jenkins are among the top starting duos at the position in the National Football League. There’s a question about the quality of depth behind the two, however. The Saints re-signed inconsistent nickel back P.J. Williams and special teams standout Justin Hardee, but lost former starter Eli Apple in free agency. New Orleans added defensive backfield depth with XFL star Deatrick Nichols, but he is unproven at the NFL level. With the multiple receiver sets that are often used in the NFL, a cornerback would seem to be a position of need for the Saints as they head towards the NFL draft at the end of the month.
There are several talented cornerbacks that will be selected in the draft’s first two days, and New Orleans has picks in the first and third rounds. The Saints have had success over the years finding talented players at smaller colleges. Today’s draft profile looks at one such a player, Kindle Vildor, CB from Georgia Southern University.
Kindle Vildor, CB (Georgia Southern)
Vildor was a part-time starter for Georgia Southern as a sophomore in 2017, collecting 3 interceptions and breaking up seven passes. He caught the attention of NFL scouts after a standout junior year with the Eagles. His 4 interceptions, 11 pass breakups, and 4.5 tackles for loss that season earned him 1st team All-Sun Belt Conference honors. Vildor would repeat that feat as a senior last year, when despite being slowed by an ankle injury he intercepted 3 passes and broke up six additional throws. He answered some questions about how well he could play against a higher level of competition by performing well in the Senior Bowl workouts following the collegiate season. Vildor had 9 interceptions, 9 tackles for loss, and 25 pass breakups in his final three seasons at Georgia Southern.
NFL Scouting Combine Statistics
- 40-Yd dash = 4.44 (7th among defensive backs)
- Bench press = 22 reps (2nd among defensive backs)
- Vertical jump = 39.5” (4th among defensive backs)
- Broad jump = 133” (4th among defensive backs)
- 3-cone drill = 7.14
- 20-Yd shuttle = 4.28
Vildor had a slight drop off in play in 2019 from the year before, but we can attribute much of that to his ankle injury. He isn’t a good tackler and lends little in run support. In coverage, his slight build could be a problem against bigger and more physical receivers. More quick than fast, he has only average recovery speed once falling behind his assignment. Vildor struggles with route recognition at times in off coverage and doesn’t seem to have a natural feel for transition in zone responsibilities.
Kindle Vildor is a combative pass defender that has the athleticism to play multiple coverage responsibilities but excels best in man-to-man duties. He has fluid hips and good footwork for rapid change of direction and mirrors his receiver well. Vildor has the length and long arms to challenge quick throws. He accelerates with receivers well out of their breaks to stay in a position to make a play on the ball. Vildor has good leaping ability and solid ball skills to win contested throws and challenges every throw his direction.
Likely to be a Day 3 selection in the draft, Vildor could be an immediate contributor for a defense that plays a high percentage of man coverage.