Denzel Ward showed himself to be a lock-down cornerback in 2018, and had a great rookie season before he got injured. Could Temple cornerback Rock Ya-Sin be the answer for the Cleveland Browns across from Ward?
Looking through the list of this year’s cornerback prospects, you’ll find one of the most fun names to come out of the draft in recent years. Temple’s Rock Ya-Sin blossomed into one of the nation’s top defenders in 2018 and is viewed by many as a first-round pick. Should the Cleveland Browns trade up for his services? Let’s take a look.
Ya-Sin was a two-time state wrestling champion in high school, and he acts like it. One of, if not the most physical cornerback in this class, Ya-Sin’s bound to tire out receivers at the next level. Standing at a feisty 5-11, he plays far bigger than he actually is and will constantly get on the nerves of even the biggest, strongest receivers.
Ya-Sin is muscular yet agile, and possesses the skills to go step for step with receivers at the next level. He recorded five interceptions and 18 passes defensed during his junior season at Presbyterian before transferring to Temple in 2018. During that final season, his best work came against Tulsa, where he recorded ten tackles and an interception for the day. Showcasing his tackling talent in the run game, Ya-Sin looked terrific against the Golden Hurricane.
The main knock on Ya-Sin is just how inexperienced he is at the NCAA’s highest level. He only played one season at Temple, and while he had a fine year, you’d like to see him have a bit more experience there.
Additionally, it would be nice to see Ya-Sin with a bit more speed going downfield, but that could easily be hidden with Denzel Ward’s skill set. He hits hard, but Ya-Sin needs to learn to wrap up ball carriers just a bit better before he can become truly great, rather than going for the big, jarring hit every time one is in his area.
Overall, Ya-Sin is a great prospect for those looking for an aggressive, man-hunting cornerback. The consistent toughness he displays is admirable, and although his experience is lacking, he has serious potential at the NFL level.
But, should the Browns trade up to grab him? Well, maybe not. Ya-Sin would be a nice get, and could be a huge help to the Browns’ secondary, but he may be a bit too pricy for the Browns to move up for him. That’s not a knock on Ya-Sin or his talent; he might just be a few picks out of reach for Cleveland.