Justin Layne

Michigan State

Prospect Info

College
Michigan State
Hometown
Class
OH
Junior
Height
Weight
Arms
6' 2"
192 lbs
33”
Hands
9 1/4”

Prospect Grade

5.80
Chance to Become NFL Starter
How We Grade

2019 Draft Results

Drafted by
Pittsburgh
Steelers
Round 3 ‧ Pick 20
Go to Pick
40 Yard Dash
4.5u
Seconds
 
Bench Press
--
Reps
 
Vertical Jump
37.5
INCHES
 
Broad Jump
134.0
INCHES
 
3 Cone Drill
6.9
Seconds
 
20 Yd Shuttle
4.09
Seconds
 
60 Yd Shuttle
--
Seconds
 

Playlist

Layne was an All-Ohio receiver as a senior (46-790-17.2, 11 TDs) at Benedictine High School in Cleveland before signing with Michigan State. He began his career at MSU as a receiver, but the Spartans' coaches moved him from offense to defense midway through his true freshman season. He wound up starting five of the team's final seven games that year, posting 18 tackles, 1.5 for loss, an interception (that he returned for a score), and a pass breakup. Layne became a full-time starter in 2017, garnering honorable mention All-Big Ten honors by compiling 40 tackles, intercepting one pass and breaking up eight others. He was a second-team all-conference pick as a junior, starting 12 games and making 72 tackles, 2.5 for loss. He also intercepted one pass, and ranked in the top 10 in the FBS with 15 pass breakups. After declaring for the 2019 NFL Draft, Layne decided not to play in the team's appearance in the Redbox Bowl.
By Lance Zierlein
NFL Analyst
Draft Projection
Round 2
NFL Comparison
William Jackson
Overview
Ascending bump-and-run cornerback with rare size and length who leans on good movement skills to overcome his average long speed. Although he plays with good route recognition, he'll allow some separation from breaks, but he's quick to hug-up and close the restrict the throwing window. He's not a burner, but he uses his size ball skills to make plays on the football down the field. Layne's traits could make him a fit in a variety of coverages, but he needs consistent toughness to help support against the run.
Strengths
  • Above-average height and arm length
  • Aware and awake with plus football IQ
  • Former receiver with above-average route feel
  • Quick to digest and adjust to route combinations
  • Manages distance from target from Cover-3 side-shuffle
  • Changes punch routine to catch receivers off-guard
  • Adequate hip flip from press
  • Fluid sink and redirect to hug the top of comebacks
  • Decisive, quick plant-and-drive from pedal
  • Posted 11 pass breakups over final five games
  • Calm with back to the ball
  • Turns to locate with good timing and makes the play
Weaknesses
  • Play demeanor appears lukewarm on tape
  • Needs to add play strength
  • Could struggle with physicality at top of the route
  • Average matching quick receivers from man
  • Feet get away causing occasional imbalance in transitions
  • Below-average make-up gear when he gets behind
  • Somewhat conservative routes to throws
  • Settles for pass breakups of interception tries
  • Stays wired on blocks and run support
  • Didn't look invested in run support at times
Sources Tell Us

"Some receiver converts just never feel routes and they don't always have ball skills either. He has both and he's a good athlete on top of it." -- AFC national scout
GRADE
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