PLAYER PROFILE: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU

Photo Credit: Kevin Jairaj (USA Today Sports)

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JEFF GLADNEY

HEIGHT/WEIGHT/AGE

5-foot-10
190 pounds
22 years old

BIG PICTURE

Jeff Gladney’s TCU career was a slow burn but it ended brightly with Gladney on an NFL path. Redshirted as a freshman and used his full five years of eligibility. Gladney is an older prospect but more seasoned. While on the small side, he plays a strong brand of coverage. He reportedly ran a 4.34 40-yard dash before his senior year but was slower at the NFL Combine. But there’s plenty of tape on this first-team All-Big 12 star that also participated at the Senior Bowl in January.

COMBINE NOTABLES

4.48 40-yard dash
17 bench reps (T-7th)
37.5-inch vertical (T-5th)
124-inch broad jump
7.26 3-cone drill (worst)

VIKINGS COMPATIBILITY RANKING

4.5 out of 5. Gladney is a gifted player at an area of need that could land right in the Vikings’ wheelhouse at 22 and 25. While Minnesota usually seems to steer away from Big 12 players, they’re not going to overlook a talented prospect, especially one like Gladney that can press receivers.

HIGHLIGHTS
WHAT DRAFT EXPERTS SAY

Lance Zierlein, NFL.com: “Press cover irritant who plays an extremely competitive brand of football from snap to whistle. He has the twitch and route anticipation to stay close. Possesses ball skills to contest a good percentage of throws. His coverage traits should allow him to thrive in man or zone, but his desire to make every play on the ball could lead him into occasional bait-and-switch traps by smart quarterbacks. He’s slender so teams will need to decide whether to play him outside or in sub-packages, but no matter where he plays, this ball-hawking alpha has the talent to help his team on all three downs if needed.”

Benjamin Solak, Draft Network: “Jeff Gladney is a Day 2 corner prospect for teams looking for a developmental starter with a high ceiling. Gladney is a jitterbug at the corner position with admirable competitiveness in all phases of the game, and his background in the complex Gary Patterson defensive backfield gives him high-quality instincts and processing speed as a man-match corner. Gladney also profiles well to more traditional, spot-dropping zone in the league, though he must learn how to play with more patience. Gladney has an urgent and at times frantic play style that leads to false steps and overcommits that smart route-runners will attack early in Gladney’s career if he’s forced into Year 1 playing time. Gladney is best served with a quality Year 2 starting projection and is a high-ceiling/low-floor prospect in the NFL, and should be played in as many zone opportunities as possible to maximize his vision and explosiveness.”

WHAT PFF SAYS

79.5% tight coverage on throws 10+ yards downfield since 2018
Allowed 10 of 46 contested completions last two seasons
0 TDs allowed on short-yardage throws last season

CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE ZONE COVERAGE DRAFT GUIDE:

TOP 100 PLAYER PROFILES
RANKING THE VIKINGS NEEDS
EXPLORING VIKINGS DRAFT TRENDS
A HISTORY OF RICK SPIELMAN’S DRAFT TRADES
VIKINGS TARGETS
LUKE INMAN’S MOCK DRAFTS
SENIOR BOWL CENTRAL
FEATURES FROM OUR STAFF

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