by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of Missouri Athletics.
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 - Missouri, Cornerback, Kris Abrams-Draine
Name - Kris Abrams-Draine
Pos - CB
Team - Missouri
HT/WT - 5’11” 178 lbs.
Home – Mobile, AL
ESPN had Abrams-Draine as a 4-star wide receiver prospect and the no. 58 receiver in the country, coming out of Spanish Fort High School. He switched to quarterback his senior season and threw for 723 yards and ran for 1,745 yards, scoring 30 total touchdowns. He was considered one of the best pure athletes in his recruiting class and originally was committed to LSU but eventually decided on the University of Missouri.
In 2020, he played wide receiver for Missouri and played in 5 games and had 2 receptions for 4 yards. During his sophomore season in 2021, he transitioned to cornerback and played in all 13 games with 10 starts. He performed right away in his first year at cornerback, totaling 37 tackles and also added 3 interceptions and a fumble recovery. He showed off his versatility as a playmaker and returned a kickoff for a touchdown during the season as well.
Last season, he started all 12 games at cornerback and became a draft prospect on most scouts' radar. He collected 48 tackles and his 14 pass-breakups were the 2nd most in the SEC behind only Alabama’s Kool-Aid McKinstry.
This season, Abrams-Draine has been one of the best defensive backs in the country. He has started all 9 games and has already accrued 38 tackles, 4 interceptions and 11 pass-breakups for the Tigers.
He is a top notch athlete who has played wide receiver, quarterback, cornerback and returned kicks in the past 4 years. He is explosive and plays downhill, not hesitating once he locates the ball and plays hard through the whistle. He has quick feet and changes direction smoothly and is able to mirror underneath. He is very fluid in his back pedal and comes out of it crisply and effortlessly. He has the straight line speed to turn and run with receivers trying to get to the 3rd level and possesses excellent ball skills and tracks passes instinctively. It will be hard to find another cornerback with the set of hands that he possesses, and you can tell he was once a wide receiver. His instincts are well advanced for a player who has such limited time as a defensive back, and he can be an elite kick returner or punt returner in the NFL.
One of the biggest downfalls of Abrams-Draine’s game is he can be overzealous when it comes to pump fakes and play actions. He has a habit of leaving his man or zone to go after the ball and still has the wide receiver “gene” in him. He is on the smaller side and will struggle against stronger wide receivers who he tries to press or hit off the line. He may have issues with tackling at the next level, and bigger backs and linemen may put a strain on his tackle totals. NFL quarterbacks who use their eyes well can have big days against him and produce splash plays due to his over-aggressiveness. He has given up his share of big plays in the past couple of seasons and that is due to being beat cleanly or missing a tackle after the catch.
Draft 412 sees a lot of Dane Jackson from the University of Pittsburgh in the way that Abrams-Draine plays. Jackson was a quarterback in high school as well and shifted to defensive back in college. Abrams-Draine is on the higher end athletically, while Jackson established himself as a cover cornerback over his college career. Abrams-Draine has a higher ceiling coming out of college than Jackson, though Jackson has totally outplayed his 7th round selection in 2020.
Fluid back pedal
Kris Abrams-Draine’s athleticism and his high ceiling will be very tempting to NFL teams. He is on the raw side and will need some work. He will also need to get a bit stronger and bigger, but his upside cannot be ignored.
Draft 412 Draft Prediction - 3rd Round or 4th Round