His path to the 2023 NFL Draft hasn’t been without its roadblocks. But through it all, Purdue CB Cory Trice has emerged as a legitimate defensive prospect with an intriguing scouting report.
Cory Trice NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Cornerback
- School: Purdue
- Current Year: Redshirt Senior
- Height/Weight: 6’3″, 215 pounds
Looking back at it now, it’s safe to say Trice’s career at Purdue was a success. 2022 was a career-defining year for the cornerback, who put up two interceptions and 10 pass deflections while starting every regular season game. He earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors, as well as an invite to the East-West Shrine Bowl.
Trice has come a long way since arriving at Purdue as a three-star safety recruit. But the grind is part of the journey, and Trice knows that better than most. He’s worked through a position change and a major injury to get to this point.
The Boilermakers’ staff saw Trice’s potential early. After serving as a reserve safety in 2018, they switched him to cornerback ahead of the 2019 campaign. He responded by tying the team lead with three interceptions in 11 games and five starts.
The team trudged through a truncated 2020 season before returning to full speed in 2021. But Trice would only play two games before a season-ending knee injury took him off the field. It took a great deal of patience and hard work, but Trice was able to not only work his way back but come back even stronger.
Cory Trice Scouting Report
- Has rare size for the cornerback position, with a strong frame and plus length.
- Shows off good explosive capacity when launching into contact situations.
- Has surprising hip fluidity for his size and can turn and run with receivers off the line.
- Able to hinge around and naturally match receivers at stems in off-man coverage.
- Flashes exceptional zone awareness when peeling back and undercutting out routes.
- Has enough foot speed and lateral twitch to snap into phase off of receiver releases.
- Shows off exceptional ball skills at the catch point, naturally contorting and extending.
- Brings great coordination with his length, impacting the ball even when imbalanced.
- Patient and disciplined in run support, and works to square up runners before engaging.
- Can envelop runners with his frame width and length in support.
Areas for Improvement
- Proportional length isn’t quite elite, which slightly limits catch radius.
- Doesn’t have great long speed and can be stacked by faster receivers.
- Lacks elite recovery burst when trailing downfield to close gaps.
- Weight transfers can be smoother as a lateral athlete in space.
- Suffers occasional lapses in vision and responsiveness, failing to carry in zone.
- Upper body is relatively light, which noticeably detracts from tackling strength.
- Can be caught flat-footed and lurching on two-hand jams in press.
- Can be too passive in run support, allowing blockers to work upfield before he arrives.
Purdue CB Cory Trice Current Draft Projection
On my board, Trice grades out as an early-to-mid Day 3 prospect. How he performs at the Shrine Bowl and the NFL Combine will add more context for his evaluation. Medicals will also be crucial, given his season-ending knee injury in 2021. But on tape, he’s shown enough to warrant mid-round consideration in the 2023 NFL Draft.
The defining trait for Trice is his size. At 6’3″, 215 pounds, his frame can be difficult to match up against. And although his proportional length isn’t elite for his size, he has a large enough wingspan to be a constant threat when the ball comes his way.
Trice is a playmaker with his length, coordination, and ball-tracking ability. He’s also physical, and he shows good response to stimuli and processing ability in man and zone coverage. He also has the fluidity to turn and run with receivers out of releases.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
Lateral freedom isn’t an overwhelming strong point for Trice, and his synergy in press-man coverage can be more consistent. With his length, awareness, ball-tracking ability, and fluidity in space, he might be best suited for zone and off-man alignments.
Nevertheless, in that realm, Trice can be a quality rotational cornerback early on in his career with above-average starting upside as he continues to refine his craft. It’s also possible he could transition to a hybrid safety role, considering he has the size, fluidity, route recognition skills, and pre-existing experience.
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