Josh Jobe, Alabama CB | NFL Draft Scouting Report

We talk about talent factories all the time and which schools might be worthy of the designation, but Alabama is actually a real-life conveyor belt for NFL talent. Alabama CB Josh Jobe is among the next Crimson Tide NFL Draft prospects to hit the professional stage, and thus, his scouting report demands careful consideration. Can Jobe live up to the expectations that come with being an Alabama defensive back in the NFL?

Josh Jobe NFL Draft Profile

  • Position: Cornerback
  • School: Alabama
  • Current Year: Senior
  • Height: 6’1″
  • Weight: 192 pounds

Josh Jobe Scouting Report

Since 2010, 20 Alabama defensive backs have been selected in the NFL Draft. Of those 20, 13 have been taken within the first two rounds. Nick Saban’s program has long been the class of college football. That reputation isn’t just a product of the team’s success but also a reason for it. That reputation keeps top-end recruits flocking to Tuscaloosa to develop their talents.

Jobe became a part of this process four years ago. Originally a Miami commit, Jobe eventually found his way to Alabama, and his career has been better because of it. After playing alongside Denver Broncos first-round pick Patrick Surtain II in 2020, Jobe has seen first-hand what it takes to reach Round 1. Now, there’s only one question left for Jobe to answer: Can he get there himself?

Josh Jobe’s athletic profile

There’s a certain combination of athleticism and length that scouts routinely seek out at the cornerback position. Jobe has that combination.

Standing at 6’1″, 192 pounds, Jobe has a well-built frame and elite length. His use of that length is incredibly consumptive. That can be a problem at times, as we’ll get into later. Nevertheless, Jobe’s disruption potential is extremely high because of his wingspan.

Additionally, Jobe compounds his size with impressive athletic talent. The Alabama CB possesses terrific explosiveness, and he’s also urgent and brisk with his hip turns. Jobe has decent hip fluidity for his size, which allows him to mirror receivers downfield and recover quickly from stemming at the line. Furthermore, his closing burst shows up at the catch point, where he’s able to negate space quickly and make plays on the ball. He’s also dangerous as a pass rusher.

On top of his size and explosiveness, Jobe’s long speed appears to be good enough for the cornerback position. He might not be a blazer, but he has enough long speed and stride length to track receivers downfield and stay in range to contend passes with his length.

Execution beyond the physical traits

The best part of Jobe’s profile isn’t his length or athleticism — it’s his attitude. In this sense, the Alabama CB is not dissimilar from the first cornerback off the board in 2021. Much like Jaycee Horn, who leveraged his success at South Carolina into a top-10 selection, Jobe is an all-out competitor who isn’t scared of anyone.

Jobe is incredibly chippy and tenacious, and his energy on the defensive side of the ball is palpable. That energy trickles into other parts of his game as well. As a tackler, Jobe plays with stellar play pace, and he proactively uses his length and density to wrap up ball carriers. With his explosiveness and all-out mentality, he can deliver some surprisingly jarring hits. And as a coverage defender, he spares no effort in reaching for passes — using his length to impact the ball.

Jobe is a fighter. He’s extremely physical, and his mentality is one of ultimate resolve. While this mindset can lead to recklessness, it’s hard to teach the alpha mentality. Some cornerbacks have it, while others don’t. In short, Jobe has it.

Areas for improvement

Jobe has good athleticism, length, and competitive toughness. Those are three of the most important boxes to check for defensive backs. Beyond that, however, the Alabama CB has much room for refinement. Compared to other cornerback prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft, Jobe is somewhat raw and underdeveloped. Even after 2021, he can improve his mechanics, both in his upper and lower body.

In his upper body, Jobe’s hand usage is a bit of a concern. His fiercely competitive nature is appealing on its own, but it can lead to over-emphatic use and penalties. Furthermore, Jobe’s grabbiness can get him in trouble, both at the line and at the catch. If he doesn’t draw yellow flags, he can at times sacrifice his own balance by trying to do too much at the contact point. He’ll jam too early at times. As a result, he lurches and can be thrown off-balance.

Going further with Jobe’s balance, his footwork and timing can improve as well. The Alabama CB’s feet can be a bit choppy, and this affects his efficiency of motion. He doesn’t always get low enough in his stance, and he can get flat-footed when breaking back toward in-breaking routes. His responsiveness can also be inconsistent in these situations. He doesn’t have elite fluidity, and isn’t always the smoothest mover.

Josh Jobe’s NFL Draft scouting report overview

When you think about the hard or impossible traits to develop at the cornerback position, you think of athleticism, length, competitive toughness, and fluidity. Jobe checks most of these boxes comfortably. He’s not the most fluid, but he has room to improve by refining his efficiency of motion. The physical and mental foundation for Jobe is incredibly enticing.

Having said all this, Jobe has some work to do before he can be relied upon as an NFL starter. Although he’s extremely talented, he’s a bit unhinged with his movement skills and hand usage. That’s not to say he’s a total project; he’s not. There are flashes of excellent leveraging downfield, and Jobe has shown he can lower his hips and maintain balance through direction changes. Additionally, outside of his penalties, he truly doesn’t let many big plays by.

As of now, however, Jobe is a Day 2 prospect at best, and could slip to Day 3. He wasn’t able to make the requisite leap in 2021, and problems with fluidity, over-zealous hand-usage, and recklessness still exist. But he is a moldable ball of clay in some respects. Especially in zone schemes, he has the explosiveness, length, and tenacity to be a factor. If he can improve his man technique, he can be a disruptive press cornerback as well. There’s work to do, and he’s already an older prospect. But the ceiling is reasonably high.

Jobe’s Player Profile

Often, players display physical potential long before they start their collegiate careers. Such was the case for Jobe, who was a 6’0″, 178-pound cornerback with a 4.57 40-yard dash by the time he reached his senior year of high school. Jobe, being from Miami, Florida, originally committed to the Miami Hurricanes. Yet, as he developed, his play improved, and his reputation became stronger.

By the end of his recruiting cycle, Jobe was a solid four-star recruit and a top-150 prospect in the 2018 recruiting class. He was ranked 123rd overall on ESPN’s board and drew offers from Georgia, Florida, LSU, and Michigan, in addition to Miami. The Crimson Tide entered the process late, but the chance to play for Saban carried enough weight for Jobe to flip his commitment and sign with Alabama.

Jobe’s career at Alabama

Jobe was able to see the field as a true freshman, but he didn’t see much time on the defensive side of the ball. Regardless, Jobe was able to make a name for himself as an impressive special-teams player. Playing in all 14 games, Jobe logged 8 tackles and put up a pass deflection in his limited defensive action. In 2019, Jobe saw a slight uptick in production, providing value both on special teams and defense.

Jobe generated an interception and 3 pass deflections in 2019, but his best year would be 2020. As a true junior, Jobe became a full-time starter opposite Surtain, and he flourished in that role. The Alabama CB amassed 55 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 11 pass deflections, and 2 forced fumbles.

Jobe led his team in pass deflections in 2020, and the advanced stats are even more impressive. With the highest target share among Alabama CBs, Jobe allowed just 3.3 yards per target, 1.1 yards per target on explosive routes, and 2.8 yards per target in man coverage, per CFB Film Room.

2021 was another reasonably productive season for Jobe. He let a few more big plays by, but he still managed 38 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 4 pass deflections.

Josh Jobe’s NFL Draft ascension

Heading into his senior campaign, Jobe had some of the highest upside in the 2021 cornerback class — a class well-known and well-regarded for its upside in the early rounds. Still, he’s not quite at the level of Derek Stingley Jr., Kaiir Elam, Ahmad Gardner, or Trent McDuffie. And after 2021, we can say that’s comfortably the case.

Nevertheless, Jobe has enough physical upside and competitive toughness to lock down a spot on the boundary on Sundays. Those high-upside starters always garner attention in the first three rounds. And even though he’ll be 24 years old as a rookie, some team may fall in love with his physicality and tenacity, even if it’s still unrefined.

Even with his volatility, which stems from his aggressiveness, Jobe is a fairly productive and efficient cornerback, as his advanced stats show. His combination of explosiveness and length affords him exciting potential. He wasn’t able to leverage his upside into definite early-round stock, but he’s still a part of a strong 2022 NFL Draft cornerback group — and he has starting potential if he can clean some things up.

Tony Pauline’s Scouting Report for Josh Jobe

Positives: Nice-sized corner who flashes ability. Physical, battles opponents to defend throws, and works to get his head back around to locate the ball in the air. Very effective facing the action, displays a burst to the ball out of his plant, and fires upfield to defend running plays and screens. Hard-hitting defensive back who squares into ball handlers and brings them down at the point of attack.

Negatives: Showed a lot of hesitation in his game last season and was slow reacting. Gets upright in his backpedal. Loses a sense of where he is on the field and where the opposing receiver is.

Analysis: Jobe flashed ability for Alabama, yet had a very inconsistent career and moves towards the draft with an unpolished game. He possesses the size and athleticism to play at the next level, but Jobe must really improve his ball skills.

Ian Cummings is a Draft Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can find his writing here and follow him on Twitter: @IC_Draft.

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