USF really doesn't have any top-end NFL draft prospects this season. (Thanks, Skip!) In fact, SB Nation's Top 200 prospects list is completely devoid of any Bulls. But there are a couple of departed seniors who are getting once-and-twice overs from NFL squads, and cornerback Kayvon Webster is probably the most likely among them to hear his name called sometime this weekend.
Here are Kayvon's measurables:
Height/Weight: 5-11, 195
40 Time: 4.41
Stats: Started 32 games in four seasons, including all but one game in the last two seasons. Team-leading 82 tackles in 2012. Four TFL, two sacks, three forced fumbles in 2012. Three career interceptions, none in 2012. Saw spot duty returning kicks.
I've seen wildly deviating predictions on where Kayvon will go, with some as high as the 4th round and many not even projecting him to be drafted. That's not too surprising, honestly, because I don't think many people outside the USF fan base really saw him as a legitimate NFL prospect until after the season. But there's been a fair bit of buzz around him after his performances at the combine, USF Pro Day and private workouts, and as a result his name has slowly been appearing on more and more mock draft boards.
Kayvon came to USF in 2009 as a talented three-star recruit and saw significant playing time from day one, finally becoming a full-time starter in 2011 and an unquestioned leader of the defense last season.
I wish I could say Kayvon was a diamond in the rough amongst a truly horrid Bulls defense in 2012, but he really wasn't. That's no fault of his own, though; Chris Cosh and his abysmal defensive schemes can probably soak up most the blame. This accounts for one of the biggest knocks I hear people have on Kayvon-the fact that he didn't even pick off a single pass last season. It's a weak criticism, really. Not only did the entire USF defense total two (2) interceptions in 2012, but also because if I was a quarterback, I would want to stay the hell away from Kayvon and throw to whoever was on the other side. Teams did this, with large amounts of success.
It's tough to absolve him of any and all blame for such a horrendous secondary, though. Kayvon was targeted and beat a fair amount of times, particularly in deep man-to-man coverage. It's a shame we couldn't see more of him in man coverage to get a better gauge for his skills there, but Cosh's terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-give-the-receiver-a-ten-yard-blanket zone schemes had Kayvon running up to make tackles more often than not.
To his credit, he found other ways to get involved on the field. His 82 tackles led the team (!) and were by far a career high, as were his four tackles for loss, two sacks and three forced fumbles. Looking back on Kayvon's highlights, I was really impressed by his ability to get up to the line of scrimmage quickly and make stops against bigger backs. He really developed over his career from a speedy kick returner to a tough, physical player.
If there's anyone from this USF senior class that I can see catching on in the NFL, it's Kayvon Webster. He's certainly athletic enough -- his combine 40 time of 4.41 ranked seventh-fastest among the fifty-some defensive backs who ran -- and he's a tough player with good tackling skills and a nose for the ball. That combination, especially at the cornerback position, is pretty rare, and could make him a late-round steal. It would be a pick based on potential, because his pure cover skills certainly need work, but the potential is undoubtedly there.
Here's some necessary Kayvon viewing:
Kayvon vs. Florida State:
Kayvon at the Combine:
Kayvon Career Highlights:
And of course, the finest moment in Kayvon Webster's career as a Bull: