2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Coby Bryant

Coby Bryant

The Cincinnati Bearcats burst onto the scene this year, on their way to a College Football Playoff semi-final appearance. The players that have gotten the most attention for the Bearcats ahead of the draft have been Desmond Ridder, Myjai Sanders, and Ahmad Gardner, who all expect to be top 50 selections in the class. An underrated member of the Cincinnati team was Gardner’s partner in crime, Coby Bryant.

Bryant joined the Bearcats as a three-star recruit out of Ohio and was the 170th-ranked cornerback in the class of 2017. He started his tenure with Cincinnati at 5’11” and 150 pounds. Since then, Bryant has grown at least two inches taller and weighs 50 pounds more. Bryant finished his career at Cincinnati by playing in 53 games, having 170 tackles, 35 pass deflections, nine interceptions, four forced fumbles, and a touchdown. In 2021, Bryant won the Jim Thorpe Award, which goes to the nation’s top defensive back. While Gardner gets most of the attention among the defensive backs from Cincinnati, Bryant will likely see a rise following his performance at the Senior Bowl this week.

Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Draft Scouting Reports.

Player Bio

Name: Coby Bryant
Jersey: No. 7
Position: Cornerback
School: Cincinnati
Class: Graduate Senior
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 198 lbs
Games Watched: South Florida (2021), Notre Dame (2021), Alabama (2021)

Major Injury History: None 


Player Breakdown

Man Coverage (12.25/15)

The main concern for Bryant in man coverage is that he seems to be a step or two behind many times. If Bryant were on the receiver’s hip at all times, he would have more breakups than he already did. Bryant seems to be very confident in zone coverage, and it allows him to play both off and press-man coverages. He is physical when he is tasked with press coverage against receivers and has enough speed to keep up with receivers if they get a good release off the line of scrimmage. Bryant is a player that teams can trust in man coverage, as he has an outstanding recognition for route concepts and can mirror their movements.

Zone Coverage (12.75/15)

The Cincinnati cornerback can also play well in zone coverage. He primarily plays cover 3, but it is absurd how quick he can flip his hips and close on a defender that reaches his zone. The fact that he can play well in both man and zone coverage will make Bryant coveted at the next level.

Instincts (9/10)

Bryant is a very instinctive player. He will try to bait opposing quarterbacks into throwing in his general vicinity. When they do, Bryant will often break up the pass or make an interception. Bryant has a good understanding of route concepts and will come off his original man if he sees another receiver leaking out of the backfield and into the flat. 

Ball Skills (9.5/10)

Bryant’s ball skills are the best trait of the report. He can locate the ball in the air quickly and make a break on it and get his hands on the ball, unlike most defenders. Bryant has totaled 18 pass breakups and seven interceptions in the last two years. Bryant could’ve had more interceptions if he had broken on plays a second earlier as well. He is prone to force a turnover or make a big play when needed. 

Press/Physicality (8/10)

Bryant is a physical player off the line of scrimmage, at the catch point, and in the run game. He gets his hands on the receiver immediately when he’s in press coverage and forces them one way or another with his length. At the catch point, Bryant is one of the best at timing when to hit the receiver or get a hand on the football. In the run game, he can lay the boom on the running back and send them backward. 

Long Speed (8/10)

While Bryant is said to run between a 4.4 and 4.55 in the 40-yard dash, that didn’t show up quite as often as to be expected. It was pointed out earlier that it seemed like he was a step or two behind a receiver quite often. While that could be because of him attempting to bait the quarterback into throwing a ball his way, it also hurt him quite often, and he would give up a chunk of yardage as a result. 

Tackling/Run Support (7.25/10)

Bryant is aggressive in the run game, and it showed in his tackling form. He often throws himself at the ball carrier or grabs an ankle and brings them down that way instead of wrapping up. While this way of tackling was adequate more often than not when watching the three games, that may not translate to the next level and carries some cause for concern. 

Athleticism (8.25/10)

Bryant displays some athleticism on tape with his short-area quickness and skills to turn and burst on a route quickly. His long speed isn’t great, and it may be one of his only pure weaknesses in his game. Bryant seems to have a good vertical leap as well. That was seen when he was leaping up to swat the ball out of the air from the receiver. 

Change of Direction (4.25/5)

Bryant does outstanding here. He can be aligned with one receiver and notice a receiver coming into the flat and make a break on that receiver in an instant to fly up and make the tackle. Bryant has fluid hips and can quickly turn and run with ease to go up and lay the boom on the ball carrier. 

Length (4/5)

Bryant is sufficient in this regard. He came in a touch over 6’1″, and his arms reached the threshold of 30 inches long, as they were at just under 31 inches long. 

Player Summary

It is peculiar that Bryant isn’t getting as much hype as some of the other cornerbacks in the class. He is comfortable in both man and zone coverage and is a willing run defender and tackler. His only weaknesses are his long speed and his tackling form. Bryant’s strengths are his ball skills, change of direction, and instincts. 

In a class that has Gardner, Andrew Booth, Derek Stingley Jr, and plenty of other potential first-round cornerbacks, it is a bit of a surprise to see a player like Bryant slip through the cracks. Following a strong Senior Bowl week, Bryant should see his draft stock rise to at least the day two ranks. 

Rookie Projection: Starting Number Two Outside Cornerback

Third Year Projection: Pro-Bowl Cornerback

Final Grade (83.25/100): Mid Second Round 

Player Comp: Chidobe Awuzie 

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Main Image Credit:

Embed from Getty Images


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