Trae Waynes doesn't presume to be as good as Joe Haden, the two-time Pro Bowl cornerback from the Cleveland Browns, but stylistically, Waynes said he sees Haden as just the right model for his game.
Waynes, who will work out on the final day of the NFL Scouting Combine on Monday, said as much in a Tuesday diary entry with USA Today.
"I don't know if I really compare myself to any NFL corners, but one person I watch a lot is Joe Haden," Waynes wrote. "I really like his style of play, and personality-wise, I can also say we're similar just from what I know about him. He's not really much of a talker on the field, and I'm not either. I just keep to myself. I like his technique, and he also is a press corner a lot, too."
Waynes, who is NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock's No. 1-ranked CB in the draft, figures to be a first-round pick just like Haden, too.
Four NFL Media analysts project Waynes to be chosen in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, as high as No. 10 overall to the St. Louis Rams. That's just three picks later than the pick the Browns used to acquire Haden out of the University of Florida in 2010. All he's done since then is develop into one of the NFL's best cover men, recording seven interceptions and 40 pass breakups over the last two seasons.
While Waynes might have a long way to go to match Haden's pro resume, he brings more height and length to the position (6-foot-1) than his favorite player; Haden is 5-11. That will serve him well in the pros, where wide receivers only seem to get bigger and stronger.
Waynes has seen his share of them at the college level.
"With bigger receivers, you don't always have to arm wrestle with them -- you've just got to get in front of them and throw off their timing with the quarterback," he said. "I feel like the better your feet are, the more patient you are, the easier that is and you don't always have to get in a scuffle with them."