Prospects

Prospects
Photo of Mike Mickens
Mike Mickens (CB)
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 186
College: Cincinnati
Conference: AAC
Hometown: Huber Heights, OH
High School: Wayne
Featured Prospects
Selected by: Dallas Cowboys
Round: 7
Pick (Overall): 18 (227)
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Pick Analysis: Mickens led his team in interceptions last season and was a track superstar in high school. He has speed and very good quickness. This is exceptional value for a pick in the seventh round. Mickens has a chance to be the third corner for the Cowboys.
  1. Overview
  2. Analysis
Overview

For 46 consecutive games, Mickens was establishing his reputation as one of the premier pass coverage defenders in college football. It seemed certain that big things would happen, but covering a deep route in the 2008 Louisville contest, Mickens felt a pop in his left knee. Tests after the game revealed that he suffered a torn meniscus and cartilage damage. The injury would sideline him for the final three regular-season games. He would return for the postseason tilt vs. Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl, but he was not 100 percent after undergoing arthroscopic surgery.


He would also have to pull out of the Senior Bowl, as he experienced swelling in the knee during practices in Mobile. He also was unable to work out at the Scouting Combine in February.


Mickens was a two-time All-Greater Western Ohio Conference cornerback at Wayne High School. He helped the Warriors to a 24-9 record and two league titles during his three seasons. He amassed 205 tackles and 10 interceptions, blocked four field goals and returned a kickoff for a touchdown during his career.


The talented athlete also excelled in track, becoming the state 300-meter hurdles champion as a junior. He was also part of the school's 4x400 meter relay team, helping them to a second-place finish at the state finals during his sophomore year.


Upon Mickens' arrival at Cincinnati, it was evident that he was going to be something special. He did not play in the Rutgers game, but went on to start 10 games at right cornerback for the Bearcats in 2005. The Freshman All-American second-team pick by Football News, he deflected 14 passes and intercepted another that year. He also finished sixth on the team with 51 tackles (38 solos), making 2.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage.


As a sophomore, Mickens shifted to left cornerback. Constantly challenged by opposing quarterbacks, he made them pay by pulling down three interceptions to go with 15 pass breakups. He again finished sixth on the team with 59 tackles (39 solos), but was more involved in run support than he was as a freshman, registering a sack, 2.5 stops for loss and a forced fumble. His 18 total passes defended ranked eighth in the nation, earning him All-Big East Conference second-team recognition.


Mickens was named All-American and All-Big East Conference first-team as a junior. He combined with fellow cornerback DeAngelo Smith to register 14 interceptions, the most by a cornerback duo in the major college ranks in 2007. Mickens' six pass thefts rank second on the school single-season record list, as he brought two of those thefts back for scores, gaining 136 return yards. He delivered 53 tackles (33 solos) and deflected six passes while also recovering a fumble.


The 2008 Thorpe Award semifinalist and preseason All-American managed to earn All-Big East Conference second-team honors as a senior, despite missing three late season games. He gained 158 yards (fourth-best season total in the Big East) on four interceptions, scoring for the third time in his career on interceptions. He added ten pass deflections and two stops behind the line of scrimmage, as his career-high 70 tackles (46 solos) ranked second on the squad.


High School

Attended Wayne (Huber Heights, Oh.) High School, playing football for head coach Jay Minton...Two-time All-Greater Western Ohio Conference cornerback...Helped the Warriors to a 24-9 record and two league titles during his three seasons...Amassed 205 tackles and 10 interceptions, blocked four field goals and returned a kickoff for a touchdown during his career...Also excelled in track, becoming the state 300-meter hurdles champion as a junior...Part of the school's 4x400 meter relay team, helping them to a second-place finish at the state finals during his sophomore year.


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Analysis

Positives: Legitimate cover corner. ... Possesses the quick feet and smooth hip turn to change direction and blanket his assignment. ... Often forces the quarterback to go to his second option. ... Reads the action quickly and gets an excellent break on the ball. ... Cognizant defender. ... Experienced in man and zone coverage with the combination of athleticism and instincts to play in either scheme at the next level. ... Has a second gear to close and uses his long arms well to deflect passes. ... Physical enough to make a big hit after his man makes the catch. ... Improved hands for the interception in 2007 and has 14 picks and 44 pass breakups over his career. ... Natural with the ball in his hands, returning two of his six interceptions for touchdowns last season. ... Quick to come up in run support, even when pressing in man coverage, and flashes physicality that belies his frame. ... Coachable. ... Very confident in his ability. ... Plays with attitude, will not back down from any receiver. ... Leads by example on the field.


Negatives: Feasts on hastily thrown passes in zone coverage behind a dominant pass rush. ... Must improve his ability to beat running back blocks when on the blitz. ... A bit tall and stiff in his backpedal, which can make it hard for him to recover when the receiver runs a quick out. ... While physical, Mickens has a tendency to lead with his shoulder when making a big hit, instead of wrapping up securely. ... Left knee injury that cost him three games in 2008 and sidelined him for the Senior Bowl and Scouting Combine is a significant concern.


Injury Report

2008: Suffered left knee cartilage damage and a torn meniscus vs. Louisville (11/14), missing the team's final three regular season games vs. Pittsburgh (11/22), Syracuse (11/29) and Hawaii (12/06).


2009: Pulled out of the Senior Bowl after his left knee experienced inflammation during practices, and was unable to work out at the Combine.


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