by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated.
At Draft 412, the NFL draft talk never ends. We will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars—from today and all the way until draft night 2024. We will bring you mock drafts, player profiles, individual team needs, and everything else you may need related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Notre Dame, Cornerback, Cam Hart
Name - Cam Hart
Pos - CB
Team - Notre Dame
HT/WT - 6’2” 207 lbs.
Home – Baltimore, MD
Cam Hart played at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Maryland. He was strictly a wide receiver in high school and did not play defense at all. He was a highly rated receiver during his senior season and was listed as the 32nd best wide receiver nationally. After several division one offers, Hart eventually committed to Notre Dame.
Hart started as a scout team wide receiver for Notre Dame and was moved to defensive back late in his freshman year. He got on the field for 3 games and had 1 sack against New Mexico in his collegiate debut.
In his first full season on the defensive side of the ball, Hart played in 9 games all in a reserve role. His transition from wide receiver to cornerback is almost complete and he is now #2 on the depth chart entering the 2021 season.
He became the full time starter during the 2021 season and started 10 out of 13 games for the Fighting Irish. He was productive in his first year as a starter and picked off 2 passes and totaled 41 tackles. In 2022, he played in 11 games, making 10 starts and was considered a shutdown cornerback during the season. He finished with 21 tackles and 4 passes defended.
This season, Hart started all 12 games for Notre Dame and tallied 21 tackles and led the team with 3 forced fumbles. After a productive 5th season, he announced he was leaving Notre Dame to enter the NFL Draft.
Hart has excellent footwork and reaches top speed effortlessly, helping him to mirror receivers. He has the make up speed to help out during missteps and is a willing tackler who plays with physicality. He does not shy away from battling larger blockers. He gets through traffic and makes plays in the backfield frequently.
In zone coverage, he has the instincts and ability to recognize routes and does a solid job of breaking up passes and changing routes. When chasing the ball carrier, he has the athleticism to change directions on a dime and has the closing speed needed to stop big plays. Being a former wide receiver, Hart has reliable hands and knows how to high point passes. He has the size that NFL teams look for in their cornerbacks and has above average length to press smaller receivers.
However, in pass defense, especially on deep passes, he has a habit of being very handsy and will take pass interference or holding penalties from time to time. He needs to trust his speed and playmaking ability more and not panic and grab the receiver. He struggles as games go on with his base and staying low and balanced. When his backpedals get tight and he plays upright, he loses his ability to transition smoothly and becomes a chaser. He can be a risk taker at times and will leave his area to try and make a big play.
A good comparison to Cam Hart is Ahkello Witherspoon, a 3rd round pick out of Colorado in 2017. Witherspoon has continually improved since entering the NFL and is having a solid season for the Los Angeles Rams with 3 interceptions in 2023. They are both on the larger side for cornerbacks and they take advantage of their length in coverage. Witherspoon has improved his handsy approach on defense and this is the biggest thing that Hart has to improve before becoming a starter in the NFL.
Make up speed
Cam Hart is a tall, athletic cornerback who has made the full transition from wide receiver to cornerback. He has reliable hands and playmaking ability. His ceiling along with his size will give him a chance of being selected on day 2. A good combine can solidify his spot as one of the second tier cornerbacks.
Draft 412 Draft Prediction - 3rd round or 4th round