"Jonathan Cyprien is potentially just the 3rd first rounder ever from the Sun Belt conference. The last two were each picked #11 overall in 2005 (Demarcus Ware) and 2008 (Leodis McKelvin), and both were relatively unknown until just a few months before the draft, similar to Cyprien. But the best defensive player in FIU history (holds multiple school records) was both a leader production-wise as vocally. With a chip on his shoulder, versatility scheme-wise, and a high football IQ, Cyprien has the makings of a fantastic professional football player when you consider his elite physical and athletic skill-set.
Overall, Cyprien possesses the elite skill set, size, and mental background to have future NFL success, regardless what scheme he is drafted for. Despite being fairly unknown and not discussed in the media throughout the season, Cyprien is one of the better safety prospects in recent years, and should be able to ease and develop into most NFL systems quickly."
This is a Full Scouting Report done for our 2013 NFL Draft Guide. We'll be previewing a handful of our reports before the Guide is finished and published on April 8th. If you'd like to be on the email list to pre-order, my email is EricG@OptimumScouting. Reserve your on-line copy today!
Louisville, Western Kentucky, Troy
Height 6000 Weight 217 40 Time 4.56
Bench 18 Vertical N/A Broad 9'11
|PLAYER COMPARISON||Brian Dawkins/Morgan Burnett|
|PROJ. DRAFT POSITION||Top 20|
|INJURY HISTORY||No Major injuries|
|CAREER ACOLADES||KEY STATS|
|All Sun Belt 2nd Team in 2010, 2011||FIU All-Time Leader in Tackles, FFs|
|1st Team All-Sun Belt in 2012||93 tackles, 4 INTs, 5 PBUs 1 FF in 2012|
|81 tackles, 1 INT, 8 PBUs, 5.5 TFL in 2011|
|113 tackles, 1 INT, 3 PBUs, 3 FFs in 2010|
Playing linebacker, among other positions, in high school, Cyprien's physicality as a tackler and vocal leader stems from his experience there in high school, something that translated well to FIU. Despite only have one other Division I offer (Western Michigan), Jonathan Cyprien ended up starting 44 games in his career at FIU, ending as the school record for tackles and forced fumbles. He also achieved All-Sun Belt conference awards all four years, 1st team as a senior. He went through three defensive coordinators in college, forcing himself to play in multiple coverages over his career, including variety as a senior. A humble, focused, well-spoken and vocal leader with high football IQ and a chip on his shoulder, Cyprien has all the makings of a great pro mentally.
Possessing fantastic body control, Cyprien is able to adjust his footing and attack across the field, allowing him to have elite range. He's able to regain his balance and possesses clean footwork to adjust from coverages well vs. the run or pass. His ability to maintain good body control allow him to deliver ample force as a tackler and dislodge the ball from receivers effectively. Cyprien is able to contort and adjust his body for tackles well in space thanks to great flexibility and shear force generated by his lower half as he extends away from his frame. He changes directions smoothly, opening up his hips and turning vertically without wasted motion, maintaining top speed as well as focus as he works to the ball. His vision and ability to pinpoint the ball after opening up showcases his elite coordination and concentration as a ball hawking safety. Well built throughout his frame, Cyprien's NFL ready body along with ample size for free or strong safety should allow him to start in the NFL early in his career as he develops.
Thanks to his elite body control and positioning, Cyprien is able to thrust his hips with force through contact, allowing him to play with fantastic strength as a tackler, ball dislodger, and when attacking a blocker on the edge. He could have better balance and more patience as a tackler in the box vs. the run, attempting to make linebacker plays at times and leaving his gap too soon or his feet too early. His angles from a vertical position are generally well-taken, but he can be over-aggressive in pursuit and leave his lane too early from centerfield. However, his strength and quickness to the ball allow him to limit 2nd level runs by opposing runners. He reacts quickly and efficiently vs. the run or pass, taking his read steps with balance and tracking the quarterback, albeit sometimes over-aggressive towards the run or short pass. Finishing jump balls by attacking the ball violently and leaving his feet balanced and with ideal body control, Cyprien's hands allow him to finish interceptions and win jump balls with most receivers he faces vertically.
Possessing elite closing speed from both a free and strong safety spot in college, Cyprien has elite initial burst after his read steps and finishes plays against the receiver. He gets to his drops quickly thanks to fluidity in opening his hips and quick steps to his position, but maintains great balance and body control to fluidly change directions and work upfield. While his short area reaction in deep zone at times lacks, his range vertically in Cover 3 as well as working laterally from that spot is elite, especially against vertical throws. He times his hits against receivers very well, attacking the ball well on the edge, leading with his should (generally) to dislodge, and extending his arms to make tackles in space. His elite body control allows him to remain balanced throughout his read steps and work towards receivers/upfield with the ability to generate ample force on contact. His man-pickup skills aren't developed yet, and he struggles to win after press coverage when forced to work in the short area. However, he does track receivers well as they approach his zone, and times his hip openings well to vertical receivers.
As a tackler, Cyprien is able to generate force and finishes away from his body, but is susceptible to ducking his head and trying to make bit hit when collapsing upfield on outside runs. In both run and pass situations, Cyprien displays elite physicality, with force behind his hits, willingness to take on blockers despite being a safety, and active, strong hands in everything he does. He uses slight hand placement to knock receivers off balance, win jump balls, and finish catches in traffic. His footwork in his coverage drops can still be improved, as he generally is more focused on receivers crossing him then making his zone efficient, something he'll have to curb at the next level. However, his hip fluidity and ability to turn and run with balance and few wasted steps allows him to adjust upfield
Jonathan Cyprien is potentially just the 3rd first rounder ever from the Sun Belt conference. The last two were each picked #11 overall in 2005 (Demarcus Ware) and 2008 (Leodis McKelvin), and both were relatively unknown until just a few months before the draft, similar to Cyprien. But the best defensive player in FIU history (holds multiple school records) was both a leader production-wise as vocally. With a chip on his shoulder, versatility scheme-wise, and a high football IQ, Cyprien has the makings of a fantastic professional football player when you consider his elite physical and athletic skill-set. Possessing elite body control and closing speed, Cyprien is able to finish tackles and make plays on the ball thanks to being in ideal position and working upfield quickly. His body control and foot quickness allow him to transition and work upfield smoothly and with ample force, allowing him to being a powerful tackler as well as remain physical in coverage. He has excellent range, both as a deep coverage safety as well as a run defender working close to the line. His experience working in Cover 3, Cover 2, in the box, and man coverage situations gives him the versatility to develop in any of those areas, as he possesses the skill set to be moldable at the next level. His physical natural and aggressiveness can lead him to trouble at times, as he attacks the ball carrier with poor tackling technique at times in space. Also, he doesn't finish his read steps at times, relying his elite speed and burst to remain active closer to the line, putting himself in tough situations to recover vertically and leaving openings that may be exploited at the next level. Also, his ability in man pickup lacks a bit, and he may not be NFL ready thanks to a lack of great transition quickness after initial hip turn. Overall, Cyprien possesses the elite skill set, size, and mental background to have future NFL success, regardless what scheme he is drafted for. His lack of competition faced is a bit of an issue, as his defensive line generally won most of the battles, allowing him many obvious run situations and ample opportunities to make plays in coverage. However, his play at the Senior Bowl, showcasing elite range and high velocity impacts, supported the film this season. Despite being fairly unknown and not discussed in the media throughout the season, Cyprien is one of the better safety prospects in recent years, and should be able to ease and develop into most NFL systems quickly.