Pierre Desir is a big cornerback from a small school almost no one has heard of.
Desir is a 6-foot-1, 195-pound cornerback from Lindenwood University, a Division II school in St. Charles, Mo., a St. Louis suburb. That size has increased Desir's draft stock, and NFL scouts have been able to see Desir up close and personal this week at the Reese's Senior Bowl.
Early in Senior Bowl week, NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock said the rise in "big-bodied wide receivers" in the NFL has teams looking for "longer body frames" in their corners. He said some teams are willing to use corners who are "a little less quick-footed and explosive" as long as they are big.
Desir obviously has the size now coveted in corners, but he's not a slow guy; he has been clocked as fast as 4.46 in the 40-yard dash and he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he has been working out in Texas to help improve his 40 time. He also said drills he has done at the Fourth and Inches training facility in Dallas have helped him with his footwork and technique.
The Senior Bowl is Desir's second all-star event in as many weeks. Last week, he performed well enough at the East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla., to earn a late invitation to the Senior Bowl.
"It was a new experience, with all the scouts and competing with bigger-school guys," Desir told the Post-Dispatch.
Desir is somewhat raw as a corner, but he totaled 25 interceptions in his college career using just his speed and athleticism. He also could stand to become more physical. But his size makes up for some negatives.
Desir was born in Haiti and moved to St. Charles area with his family when he was 4. He originally signed with Division II Washburn (Kan.) out of high school; Washburn is the alma mater of Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Cary Williams. Desir received some recruiting interest from Big 12 schools but never received an offer and ended up at Washburn. He played two seasons for the Ichabods before transferring home to Lindenwood for financial reasons; his fiancée (now wife) and two daughters were with him at Washburn, but moving home eased some of their financial burden.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at email@example.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.