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Josh Norman, NFL Draft 2012: Small School CB Gets Hot at the Right Time

Prior to the East-West Shrine game you needed to be a serious draft-o-holic to have heard of Coastal Carolina CB Josh Norman. However, in the week leading up to the game he blew scouts out of the water as he displayed excellent ball skills, fantastic awareness, and physicality which resulted in numerous interceptions during scrimmages.

Now Norman has become somewhat of an unknown quantity. He has quality film, but there are major questions about the quality of talent he faced, this is a player whose toughest tests in 2011 were Western Carolina and Furman; in fact, the only team of note Coastal Carolina faced was Georgia, and wouldn't you know- Norman missed the game.

There have also been some ethereal sources claiming he has character issues, but at the time of this writing the only concerns I can find are some problems stemming from unpaid parking tickets, hardly what most would consider an issue. As such, I wouldn't be dissuaded by such rumors.

At 6'0", 197lbs he has good size at CB, and displayed some great skills at the combine where he ran the shuttle in 4.23 seconds, and posted an astounding broad jump of 124 inches. Now Norman is viewed as being solidly cemented in the 2nd tier of CBs in the draft along with players like Chase Minnifield and Jayron Hosley. Here's what the National Football Post had to say on him.

Demonstrates impressive body control when asked to adjust to the football in coverage and routinely is able to come down with the grab. Exhibits "plus" ball skills and has a knack for coming down with the pick. He's also very physical in pressman as well. Now, he does have a tendency to step into the press and will get caught with all his weight on his front foot, causing him to struggle to regain balance quickly.

For a player who will likely be a 3rd round selection, I think he'd definitely be one to watch for Atlanta. They don't have an immediate need at CB with Brent Grimes returning for at least one more season, but Norman is a player who could contribute immediately as a Nickel Back, and in time could develop into an effective starter.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.