Ennis Rakestraw Jr.’s Draft Profile | Missouri, CB Scouting Report

With his 2024 NFL Draft scouting report, Missouri CB Ennis Rakestraw Jr. could be one of the best press-man defenders in the upcoming class.

The 2024 NFL Draft CB class has an abundance of depth in the Day 2 range, and Missouri’s Ennis Rakestraw Jr. is one of the group’s most intriguing prospects with his scouting report. Rakestraw’s draft range is tough to pin down, but he may have the tools to be an NFL starter.

Ennis Rakestraw Jr.’s Draft Profile and Measurements

  • Height: 5’11 3/8″
  • Weight: 183 pounds
  • Length: 32″
  • Wingspan: 75 5/8″
  • Hand: 8 1/2″
  • Position: CB
  • School: Missouri
  • Current Year: Redshirt Junior

Some guys just get it. It doesn’t matter where they come from or how prestigious they are; they just get it from Day 1.

That was Rakestraw when he signed with the Missouri Tigers as a three-star recruit in 2020.

After not allowing a touchdown as a high school senior, Rakestraw started all 10 games he played for the Tigers as a freshman. Then, after tearing his ACL and missing most of the 2021 season, Rakestraw returned and amassed a pick and 12 pass breakups in a resurgent 2022 campaign.

In 2023, playing opposite Kris Abrams-Draine, Rakestraw helped form one of the best CB tandems in the entire nation. Though he only played nine games, he was a constant constricting force for opposing quarterbacks with his tenacious man coverage.

Rakestraw wasn’t able to play at the Senior Bowl alongside Abrams-Draine, and at the NFL Combine, a lingering groin injury prevented him from testing at full capacity. But at the Missouri Pro Day, Rakestraw improved his 40-yard dash time to 4.44 seconds and logged a strong four-second shuttle time.

Both Missouri CB prospects have the tools to win over NFL evaluators, but Rakestraw has a particularly strong appeal as an early-round prospect. What scheme can he excel in, and how can he separate himself among the professional ranks?

Rakestraw’s Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Sports a lean, wiry frame with exceptional proportional length and reach.
  • Has great explosiveness moving upfield and can quickly accelerate on the vertical plane.
  • Energetic, elastic mover who can sink and accelerate out of his stance to go upfield.
  • Low-cut, streamlined athlete with rapid stride frequency and spry corrective mobility.
  • Has excellent swivel freedom matching releases and can execute 180-degree turns.
  • Has the hip fluidity to suddenly snap and clamp down on stems while keeping speed.
  • Unique flexibility enables him to easily drop his hips 90 degrees on in-breaking routes.
  • Incredibly balanced and level while matching WRs, jamming, and swiveling his hips.
  • Patient and disciplined with his feet, using twitch to stay square until WRs commit.
  • Showcases quick reaction to stimulus and instinctive processing of leverage on releases.
  • Proactively uses his length to jam receivers against the boundary and combat swipes.
  • Can use forceful two-hand extensions to gather and confine receivers early in reps.
  • Flashes exceptional ball skills and can disrupt passes even in positions of imbalance.
  • Physical, measured support defender who attacks, absorbs blocks, and wraps up tackles.
  • Has experience playing the boundary and the slot and translates well in both spots.

Weaknesses

  • Doesn’t quite have elite long speed and can lose a step on drag and mesh routes.
  • Lacks quantifiably elite recovery speed when receivers sneak into his blind spot.
  • Can be late to react and snap his hips back downfield on comeback routes.
  • At times, plant-and-drive footwork overtop hitches and comebacks can be more efficient.
  • Doesn’t always have elite sink when redirecting overtop hitches out of side-saddle.
  • Occasionally prone to extra steps and wasted motion responding to intermediate curls.
  • Feet are sometimes too idle when playing in the slot from depth, delaying responses.
  • Sometimes struggles to control his vertical momentum, veering past route stems.
  • Can be more consistent in getting his head around and tracking deep pass attempts.
  • On occasion, is a bit too reliant on tugs and grabs versus speed threats past five yards.
  • Can improve in RAC contain, as he sometimes fails to properly play angle leverage.
  • Tore his ACL in October 2021, and in-season durability could be a question mark.

Current Draft Projection and Summary

Rakestraw grades out as a top-75 prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft on my board. He’s deserving of consideration in the early-to-mid Day 2 range. Particularly for teams that prioritize press-man and off-man, he makes sense as a priority target.

While Abrams-Draine was the off-man and zone ball hawk of Missouri’s defense, Rakestraw was the route eraser on the other side of the field. The two had a perfect yin-yang setup, but it was ultimately Rakestraw who funneled passes Abrams-Draine’s way.

KEEP READING: Top CBs in the 2024 NFL Draft

Rakestraw is one of the best man-coverage CB prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft. He has nearly all the tools to thrive in that phase: a low-cut frame with great length, explosive and energetic short-area athleticism, high-end fluidity and transition quickness, and proactive, tenacious, targeted physicality.

Rakestraw might not have elite vertical speed or sink, but he has more than enough speed and explosiveness to minimize separation once he controls the start of the route. With his combined athletic framework, physicality, fast feet, and disciplined technique, he can often dictate releases and minimize space.

As a playmaker, Rakestraw’s footprint can get bigger. While he’s flashed superb ball skills, he can still be more consistent in tracking the ball at the catch point. And although he’s flashed spectacular plays eroding screens and runs in support, Rakestraw can struggle to maintain angle leverage in open-field pursuit.

Nevertheless, Rakestraw has one of the best coverage frameworks in the class, and he’s tailor-made to be a potentially suffocating force in man coverage. He can be a quality starter early in his career, with an impact-starter upside at his peak.

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