by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of 247Sports.
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 - Louisville, Cornerback, Storm Duck
Name - Storm Duck
Pos - CB
Team - Louisville
HT/WT - 6’1” 200 lbs.
Home – Boiling Springs, NC
Storm Duck played cornerback for Boiling Springs High School in his hometown in North Carolina. He was listed as the No. 15 player in the state of South Carolina and considered a three-star prospect according to Rivals. He claimed second-team all-area honors from the Herald-Journal as a junior after he tallied 35 tackles and a fumble recovery. As a senior, he was named an All-USA South Carolina second-team after he posted 16 tackles and 3 interceptions. With several scholarship offers to choose from, Duck eventually landed on playing for North Carolina.
Duck wasted no time making his first impression for the Tar Heels. As a freshman, he played in 13 games and made 9 starts at defensive back. He compiled 37 tackles, 2 TFL and 2 interceptions in his stellar opening season for North Carolina. A lower body injury cost Duck his final 10 games of the 2020 season, and he ended the season with just 2 starts at defensive back for the Tar Heels. Once again, injuries limited Duck to only 6 games and 4 starts in his junior season. He ended the season with 16 tackles and 1 pass breakup.
Duck was finally able to have an injury free season in 2022 and he took full advantage of it. He was named second-team All-ACC after starting 12 games and collecting 46 tackles, 1 TFL, 3 interceptions and a forced fumble. He also finished top 10 in the ACC in pass breakups with 9.
After the season, Duck entered the transfer portal and elected to play football for the Louisville Cardinals in 2023. For Louisville in 2023, he appeared in 12 games, making 4 starts and was credited with 32 tackles and 1 sack.
Storm Duck has exceptional length and plays with aggressiveness, attacking the ball and receiver with a safety's mentality. He uses his athleticism to close on the ball quickly and has reliable hands when going for interceptions. Receivers have issues trying to block him in the running game and he uses his strong hands to shed blocks and move on to the ball carrier. He is a strong tackler who physically and technically does a good job of wrapping up and bringing down the runner. He is effective in press coverage and uses his length to keep the receiver at bay and does a good job of re-routing them. He has the mobility to mirror slot receivers and has loose hips to open up well in chasing the receiver.
Duck struggles in zone coverage and reading routes. He tends to give up too much space and he overestimates his closing speed in making plays on the ball. He has decent speed but does not have the elite speed of a starting cornerback in the NFL. He has had multiple lower body injuries in his career and must show the NFL that this is a coincidence and not the norm. He can play out of control at times and loses his angles in run defense. Play action passes get the best of him from time to time, especially when he gives up ground in zone coverage and is baited by the quarterback.
Quentin Lake is a good pro comparison to Storm Duck in Draft Nation’s opinion. Lake was a 6th round draft pick by the Los Angeles Rams in the 2022 NFL Draft out of UCLA. Both players can dominate wide receivers and have an impact on the run game. The footspeed is not ideal for a one-on-one matchup and chances are that Duck will see more time in nickel packages like Lake.
Too much cushion
Make up speed
Storm Duck has the physicality that a lot of NFL defensive coordinators love in their players. If he can improve his footwork and pursuit angles, he could be a starting cornerback in the NFL. He definitely has the length and aggression to be a nuisance.
Draft 412 Draft Prediction -6th or 7th round