Biography: Two-year starter awarded all-conference honors the past two seasons. Senior totals included 50 tackles/3 interceptions/8 pass breakups and seven tackles for loss. Junior numbers included 48/6/4. Virginia's primary return specialist during his freshman and sophomore seasons. Struggled with a knee injury last season and underwent surgery in January to relieve the situation.
Positives: Nice-sized cornerback coming off a disappointing senior campaign. Displays terrific footwork in every direction, follows receivers across the field and has an explosive burst to the action. Works well with safeties, battles hard to defend the throw and displays good field awareness. Instinctive, reads the action and quickly gets up the field to help defend screens and running plays. Fluid opening his hips, smooth transitioning to run with opponents off the line and displays the ability to burst to the throw out of his plant.
Negatives: Lacks great top-end speed. Gives up a large number of deep receptions. Seemed to struggle making plays with his back to the ball as a senior and also had difficulty in zone coverage.
Analysis: Coming off an outstanding junior campaign, much was expected from Minnifield in 2011, but he did not live up to expectations. He possesses the talent to develop into a second cornerback at the next level, and his return skills give him additional value. He's likely best in a system that lines him up backed off the line of scrimmage, and, at the very least, he should contribute in nickel situations as a rookie.
NFL Truth & Rumors