Linden Stephens

Cincinnati
CB

Prospect Info

College
Cincinnati
Hometown
Class
- -
Senior
Height
Weight
Arms
6' 0"
193 lbs
- -
Hands
- -

Prospect Grade

4.99
Should Be in an NFL Training Camp
How We Grade
40 Yard Dash
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Bench Press
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Vertical Jump
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INCHES
 
Broad Jump
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3 Cone Drill
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20 Yd Shuttle
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60 Yd Shuttle
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Playlist

The son of former Minnesota Gophers and NFL (Vikings, Jets) linebacker Mac Stephens has piqued scouts' interest with his play at cornerback. He played one season at Fork Union Military Academy prior to joining the Bearcats and then suited up for all 13 games as a reserve defender (19 tackles, one interception, four pass breakups) in 2014. Stephens started seven of 13 games played the following year, picking off two passes. Though he lined up with the first-team in only two of 12 games as a junior, Stephens intercepted two more passes and broke up seven others. Stephens started all 12 games in 2017, posting 51 tackles, intercepting one pass and breaking up eight more.
By Lance Zierlein
NFL Analyst
Draft Projection
Priority free agent
Overview
Stephens is a little light for an outside spot and may have to move inside into a slot cornerback role, but he appears to have the foot quickness needed to make the move. While Linden shows the necessary quick-twitch and athleticism to handle man coverage and make plays underneath, he could improve with better route anticipation. His experience as a core special teams member could swing a late roster spot in his favor.
Strengths
  • Good athletic ability
  • Has fluid hips to open and rotation positioning
  • Solid foot quickness and reactive twitch
  • Shows ability to mirror and match patterns from backpedal
  • Has lateral agility to follow and squeeze inside releases and crossing routes
  • Makes aggressive swipes to bat the ball away or disrupt the catch
  • Improved effort at getting head around and finding football earlier
  • Posted 18 passes defensed in 106 targets
  • Has athletic ability and makeup speed to recover
  • Adequate tackler with form and technique to finish the job
  • Has ability as a jammer and gunner on special teams
Weaknesses
  • Appears to fear long speed
  • Will open hips from backpedal too early
  • Allows receivers to cross his face without any disruption
  • Delayed in plant and drive transitions from backpedal
  • Late to squeeze routes
  • Has athletic ability and aggressiveness for tighter man coverage
  • Downfield ball skills need work
  • Big receivers can win positioning
  • Plays on the high side of the pass
  • Will need to sink into his target's chest and stay between the man and the ball

News

Path to the Draft

Final quick-snap 2018 NFL Draft grades for all 32 teams

Best and most worrisome picks from the 2018 NFL Draft

Winners and losers from Round 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft

Winners and losers from Rounds 2, 3 of the 2018 NFL Draft

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