Draft Review: Darrelle Revis
What NFL talent evaluators were saying about Revis BEFORE his draft
GOSSELIN DRAFT ANALYSIS: Revis is the nephew of Pitt great (and former NFL first-round pick) Sean Gilbert but was a star in his own right at Aliquippa High School. He was the state of Pennsylvania Player of the Year after leading his team to a state championship in 2003, lining up everywhere – quarterback, running back, wide receiver, cornerback and kick returner. He averaged 15.4 yards per touch as a senior and scored five touchdowns in the state title game – three on rushes plus an 89-yard punt return and a 69-yard blocked field goal return. Two days later, he scored 35 points in a basketball game against Beaver Falls. Revis then followed in his uncle Sean’s footsteps to Pitt, where he became a three-year starter and two-time All-Big East selection. He intercepted only eight passes in his career but three of them went for touchdowns – a 57-yarder against Cincinnati, a 19-yarder against Virginia and a 73-yarder against West Virginia. He also returned a 79-yard punt for a score against Cincinnati and blocked a Connecticut field goal that went 71 yards for another TD. Revis opted to skip his senior season at Pitt and measured 5-11 ½, 204 pounds at the NFL combine, turning in a 4.39 40-yard dash. He and Leon Hall of Michigan were the top two cornerbacks in the 2007 draft. Gosselin placed Revis eighth on his Top 100 draft board and Hall 10th. Revis went to the New York Jets on the 14th overall pick and Hall to the Cincinnati Bengals at 18.
Here are the pre-draft comments from 18 NFL talent evaluators on Revis:
Scout: Both of these corners could end up in the Top 10.
Personnel director: Hall and Revis are right there together on the board. If you like sure, steady and solid, take Hall. If you want to swing for the fences, take Revis. He runs like Popeye with a shoulder sway but he’s smooth in the drills. Has better top end speed than Hall and could play safety because of his body type. He’ll drill you at times.
Personnel director: Neither Hall nor Revis are premium cornerbacks. Both are zone corners who need the Tampa-2 system. I wouldn’t put them in the top 10…I wouldn’t even put them in the Top 20, for that reason.
Personnel director II: Like him as a player, late 1 in the 20-30 range. He’s Ty Law (Hall of Fame CB also from Aliquippa)
Defensive backfield coach: Poor techniques, poor angles.
Defensive backfield coach II: Doesn’t look like a 4.3 on tape…but people don’t run away from him.
Defensive coordinator III: Like Hall, he plays off. Can he turn and go? Got beat on a post by Louisville.
Defensive coordinator IV: Like Ty Law, same as Leon Hall. Top shelf.
Defensive coordinator V: No. 1 CB in this draft.
Defensive coordinator VI: He’ll go ahead of Hall because of his punt return (skills).
Head coach: Played for a defensive coach who drummed into him, `Don’t get beat…don’t let it go over your head.’ And that’s the way he played – too conservative.
Head coach II: Never looks like he’s trying but makes everything look easy. It’s so hard to judge him but he’s a big guy with polish. I question his foot quickness but it doesn’t seem to affect his play.
Head coach III: Top corner in this draft.
Head coach IV: No. 1 CB.
Head coach V: My No. 1 corner. More natural turning ability and doesn’t let them get behind him like Hall.
General manager: Still has upside.
General manager II: No. 1 corner.
General manager III: Top corner in draft.
HALL OF FAME RESUME: Revis became a walk-in starter for the Jets in 2007 and intercepted three passes to earn a spot on the NFL All-Rookie team. His greatness arrived in his second season when he intercepted five passes and was voted to the first of four consecutive Pro Bowls – and also the first of seven Pro Bowls in his career with three different teams (Jets, Bucs and Patriots). Revis also was a four-time first-team all-pro selection. He won his lone Super Bowl in his only season with the Patriots in 2014. Revis intercepted only 29 passes in his career but returned three of them for touchdowns, including a 100-yarder against Miami in 2011. He intercepted a career high six passes in 2009 and led the league with his 31 passes defensed. He broke up a staggering 139 passes in his 11-year career, earning the nickname “Revis Island,” and also recovered 12 fumbles. This month Revis was voted one of the 28 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023 in his first year of eligibility.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Rick Gosselin spent 20 years as the NFL columnist for the Dallas Morning News, including 20 offseasons studying and researching prospects for the NFL draft. He didn’t watch any tape – he was a writer, not a scout – but he talked to the men who did watch tape. He built a network of NFL general managers, head coaches, personnel directors, scouts and assistant coaches from all 32 teams who would share with him their analyses of players. Gosselin used their insights to build his own draft board, Top 100 board and mock drafts. For 10 consecutive years he had the best Top 100 board in the country (2001-10), according to the Huddle Report, and three times he produced the best mock draft.