Special teams ace
Dangerous weapon as a gunner
Man cover and press man potential
Ability to run with receivers in their routes
Confident; has the man corner mentality
Used to playing on an island
Can get burned in man coverage
Inconsistent ball skills
Occasionally gets too grabby downfield
Can be too physical with receivers and could draw flags
Doesn't do much in run defense
Suspended in college
Entering the 2013, there were big expectations that Purifoy was ready for a massive season. Many felt that he and teammate Marcus Roberson were one of the top cornerback tandems in the nation with Purifoy having the potential to be an early-round pick.
The reason for the optimism was a breakout sophomore season from Purifoy. He recorded 51 tackles, five passes broken up and three forced fumbles on special teams. The Gators' defensive scheme largely left him on an island in man coverage, yet he maintained good defense. The sophomore was also excellent on special teams. Purifoy was phenomenal as a gunner on punt coverage. Many thought he would be better as a junior after getting a year of experience.
It got started on the wrong foot as he was suspended early in the season and he was injured against Tennessee. Purifoy did block a punt against Miami, but also had some critical missed tackles against the Hurricanes. Purifoy was an animal against Arkansas with a strip-sack and a 42-yard pick-six.
Purifoy had a mixed performance against LSU's dangerous passing attack. His coverage was generally sound, but he had a costly missed tackle. Purifoy picked up two tackles against Missouri and recovered a fumble on special teams. He had a sack for a safety against Georgia. He started out well against Florida State with an interception and a pass breakup before he was burned repeatedly by Kelvin Benjamin for multiple long completions and touchdowns. Benjamin went over 200 yards on Purifoy. He notched 24 tackles, two interceptions and seven passes defended in 2013.
Purifoy had a terrible workout at the Combine. For starters, he checked in three inches shorter than his ridiculous listed height of 6-foot-1. He put up the lowest total of any defensive back with six reps on the bench press. He ran slower than expected with an ugly time of 4.61 seconds in the 40-yard dash. He also looked bad in the field workout. As one source told us, "He looked completely unprepared for the drills. It looks he or his agent wasted that 20 grand on whatever Combine training facility Purifoy and Roberson went to." College teammate Jaylen Watkins had a great Combine with 22 reps on the bench, so clearly Purifoy wasn't as dedicated to the weight room as his teammate.
Purifoy looks like a player to groom for a role as an NFL nickel corner. He needs to work on his man and zone coverage. Purifoy is raw and needs to improve his discipline and overall technique. Despite the Combine, Purifoy plays fast and should have the athleticism to develop into a starter in the NFL. He may not have the intangibles to succeed. At the very least Purifoy should be an awesome player on special teams. He could stick in the league for a long-time as a backup corner and special-teams ace. Purifoy looks like a mid-round pick who could go as high as the third or as low as the middle of Day 3.
Player Comparison: Kelvin Hayden.
Both Hayden and Purifoy flash the ability to play but aren't consistent enough. Hayden (6-0, 195) is slightly bigger than Purifoy, and each of them has some athleticism. Hayden was a second-round pick in 2005 by the Colts, but he never lived up to that draft slot. After playing for the Colts, Hayden bounced around to the Falcons and Bears. Purifoy is more likely to be a mid-rounder.
Houston, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, San Diego, Carolina, San Francisco, Denver
There are a lot of teams that are going to target a cornerback in the mid rounds. After Purifoy's Combine performance, he's more likely to be a mid-round pick rather than go in the first round.
The Texans could use a nickel back to replace Bryce McCain and could look at Purifoy on the third day. He would be a nice developmental project for Romeo Crennel.
Pittsburgh has aging corners and missed Keenan Lewis last season. They need to find their long-term replacement for Ike Taylor. Purifoy has enough size to barely fit in with the corners the Steelers like. Staying in the AFC North, the Bengals need some youth at corner. Leon Hall had another serious injury while Adam Jones and Terence Newman aren't long-term solutions.
The biggest need on the Chargers' roster is the cornerback position. San Diego could draft multiple cornerbacks early, so Purifoy would be in play in the mid-rounds.
Carolina's defense is stacked, but the cornerback position is there one weakness. Landing Purifoy in the mid-rounds could be a good value for the Panthers. San Francisco, meanwhile, could use youth at corner with Carlos Rogers being cut and Tarell Brown signing with Oakland.
Lastly but not least, Denver still has a need at cornerback. Champ Bailey and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie were replaced by Aqib Talib, but Denver could use another corner. The Broncos need more long-term corners for Jack Del Rio's defense.
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