Indianapolis—If safety is the Redskins’ top priority in April’s draft, it’s possible that cornerback will be a close second.
Some talent evaluators believe there are a number of cornerbacks – such as Oregon State’s Jordan Poyer – who can immediately step into an NFL team’s lineup and make an impact. The Redskins ranked 30th in passing yards allowed and yielded the second most passing touchdowns in 2012.
Poyer is a hard-nosed, aggressive safety who uses his instincts to compensate for a lack of elite speed. He intercepted seven passes last season for the Beavers, returning them for a total of 122 yards. The 6 foot, 190-pound prospect also made 51 tackles, including five for loss, and defended 14 passes.
“I’m a really instinctive player,” said Poyer, who said he has a formal meeting with the Redskins, among other teams, on Monday. “I understand what’s coming before it comes most of the time. I wouldn’t say that it’s guessing. I just understand the game of football.”
Poyer is also a capable punt returner. Last season, he returned 10 punts for an average of 7.1 yards. The Redskins switched returners mid season in 2012, benching Brandon Banks and turning to rookie Richard Crawford.
“Our team at Oregon State mostly [went] sideline return on punt returns,” Poyer said. “But I don’t mind sticking my nose in the middle. If that’s what you’ve got to do to play in the league, that’s what you have to do.”
Asked which NFL players he patterns his game after, Poyer said he enjoys watching the Rams’ Cortland Finnegan and the 49ers’ Tarell Brown.
“Both are scrappy players,” Poyer said. “I especially like Cortland Finnegan, watching him play. He might seem like a [punk] on the field, but he gets it done.”
Asked if he’s a trash-talker, too, Poyer said with a smile: “You just have to watch me play. I’m a totally different person on the field, that’s for sure.”