2019 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Justin Layne
School: Michigan State University
Weight: 194 pounds
Draft Projection: Day 2
Now, people did not know where to slot Layne before the combine because they were not sure about his burst. Yet, timed at 4.5, Layne’s stock slightly rises. Granted, the ability to streak 40 yards in shorts is not an indicator of football skill. Yet, with Layne, it emphasizes his skill set. When breaking on the ball, Layne arrives to make a play on time. When hip-to-hip, Layne keeps stride with the wideout.
During his days at MSU, Layne thrived in both off coverage and press man. While the former should not excite you, the latter may. For those five yards, Layne will punish the wideout with quick, thumping hands. Occasionally, he will bait an opponent into thinking “no jam”, and then jolt them within those On top of that; Layne will flip his hips and get ready for the longer routes.
At the next level, Layne should carry his nose for the ball. What makes him draft attractable is his timing. With the ball in the air, Layne appears comfortable with knocking the ball using either hand. That gives him the ability to combat any route.
While displaying technique, Layne brings a little pop to his approach. However, he will go for the strip when circumstances permit. That is to say, if a ball carrier is stretching for extra yardage and extends an arm, watch for Layne to punch the ball out.
From film, Layne displays an innate feel for routes. Whether he is taking advantage of a lazy wideout or playing tendencies that he learned via film study, the work ethic is strong.
If you look at the angular corners that populated the Bengals’ secondary under Paul Guenther, Layne fits his preferences. First, he is comfortable with being physical. Next, he profiles as a strong tackler in space. Finally, he is aggressive, in anticipation of his front four gets home. In addition, Gareon Conley finally gets a bookend. The Raiders can actually boast two younger corners with upside and the skill to back up the praise. In all honesty, playing in the AFC West requires more than one corner. With the Raiders still constructing a pass rush, taking a chance on a Day 2 corner like Layne looks like a smart move.