2020 NFL Draft Profile: Fresno State CB Jaron Bryant
After making his name as part of one of the Bulldogs’ best defenses ever, the Fresno State cornerback hopes to impact the NFL.
Can Bryant’s physicality be an asset in the pros?
After playing as part of one of the program’s best defensive backfields ever, Fresno State cornerback Jaron Bryant has a new challenge on his hands: Cracking the NFL ranks.
While his numbers may not exactly jump off the stat sheet, there’s plenty in the resume to suggest that coaching staffs should take a close look at him. He was the highest-rated member of the defensive backfield by Pro Football Focus in 2017 and one of the highest-graded cornerbacks in the entire Mountain West the year after that, but how will that substance measure out?
Height – 6′
Weight – 189 pounds
Wingspan – 77 3/8″
Arm Length – 32 1/8″
Hand Size – 9 1/8″
40-Yard Dash – 4.46 seconds
A couple of things stand out when you look closely at Bryant’s body of work. The first is that he is a sure tackler, racking up at least 50 in each of the last three seasons, and combined with solid closing speed — what The Draft Network refers to as “driving on the receiver with proper eye discipline” — made him an asset that could not only prevent explosive plays but create opportunities. He did, after all, finish his Bulldogs career with six interceptions and 27 passes defended.
That knack for limiting plays extends to Bryant’s wealth of experience working on special teams, as well, doing everything from punt coverage to defending field goal attempts (you may remember that he had two blocked kicks against Idaho back in 2018). Such utility could give Bryant an edge in winning a roster spot.
Will Bryant play on the outside in an NFL defense or are coaching staffs more receptive to him playing out of the slot? TDN also noted that he was generally more effective playing zone than man and there were critical moments where NFL-caliber receivers could get the best of him, so his ability to rectify that could help determine his ceiling in the pros.
Bryant may be undervalued in a pretty deep cornerback class, but his ability to do a few things well should be more than enough to help him compete for a roster spot. He isn’t an immensely popular pick in mock drafts, but I think there’s enough potential for him to be selected late on Day Three, probably in the seventh round.