Photo of E.J. Gaines
Drafted By: Rams

Combine Results

5.24 ?
  • 15 REPS
    Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

"He showed good quickness and was very smooth in his (pro-day) workout, showing he has good hands. If he were 6-foot tall, he would be drafted a lot higher." -- Gil Brandt

  • 5'10" Height
  • 30 3/8" Arm Length
  • 190LBS. Weight
  • 9 3/8" Hands


Cornerback-running back who also played basketball and ran track as a Missouri prep. Played in 13 games as a true freshman in 2010 and recorded 26 tackles, one pass breakup and no interceptions as a special-teams player and reserve defensive back. Took over as a starting cornerback in 2011 and tallied 69 tackles, 16 pass breakups and two INTs with three tackles for loss and one forced fumble. The combined 18 passes defended set a Mizzou record and ranked fourth in the NCAA. Returned nine punts for 98 yards (10.9-yard average) and one touchdown, a 44-yard scamper against Western Illinois. In 2012, he totaled 74 tackles, 11 pass breakups and one INT with seven tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. Scored on a 13-yard fumble recovery against Kentucky. In 2013, recorded 75 tackles, three pass breakups and five INTs with four tackles for loss. In the SEC championship game against Auburn, he had an 11-yard fumble recovery for a TD. Missed two games with a quad strain. Team captain. Bench pressed at the combine but was medically excluded otherwise (pelvis).



Good muscularity and thin ankles. Fills aggressively and supports the run. Likes to hit. Plays with confidence and carries a swagger. Good attitude and football demeanor. Competes hard and brings energy to the field. Good eyes and route recognition. Has experience matching up with slot receivers in nickel coverage and has returned punts. Very good career production on the ball. Proven special teams coverage defender.


Is short and short-armed. Plays a lot into the boundary. Shows some tightness in his hips. Average transitional quickness -- lacks ideal burst and acceleration to recover and close ground. Can do a better job disengaging from blocks. Most of interception production stemmed from tips and overthrown balls (not created). Average hands.

Draft Projection

Rounds 4-5

Bottom Line

Strong, physical zone corner with the toughness, awareness and football IQ to function highly in short spaces. A solid tackler, Gaines plays bigger than his size and takes a professional approach. Can make an immediate impact on special teams and work his way into a lineup.
-Nolan Nawrocki
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.