NFL Draft Profile: Cornerback Jerrard Tarrant

Jerrard Tarrant has touched a football 44 times in his career at Georgia Tech. Out of those 44 touches, he converted 6 into touchdowns. My two vivid memories of his GT career are the return against Clemson in 2009 and the interception return against Iowa in 2010. Tarrant is leaving the Jackets as a redshirt junior.

If you Google Tarrant, you're probably going to find out about his sexual assault case in the Summer of 2008. Tarrant was suspended from the squad and had to sit out his redshirt freshman season due to the case. In February of 2009, the prosecution dropped the charges and Tarrant was reinstated.

In his two playing seasons at Georgia Tech, Tarrant was definitely a play maker. He returned 41 punts and picked off 5 passes in two seasons as a cornerback in 2009 and as a safety in 2010. In 2009, he only muffed two punts in 21 returns. In 2010, he only muffed one punt so his sure-handedness would definitely be an asset to any team's special teams unit. Teams that are worried about Tarrant's low 2010 punt return average should be excited by the fact that Tech was the 4th most aggressive punt return team in the ACC from 2009-2010. We returned 44.6% of the punts sent our way as opposed to the league average 35.7%.

Tarrant's transition to safety had mixed results in 2010. I think Al Groh recognized that coverage was Tarrant's weakness. In 2010, Tarrant tallied 34 stops against the run, 19 against the pass, and 8 on special teams. To me, that indicated that he wasn't afraid to hit big running backs or quarterbacks but may not have always been in the best position against the pass at safety. For comparison's sake, Morgan Burnett was involved in 10.1% of opponents' passing plays in 2009 while Tarrant was only involved in 5.2% of opponents' passing plays in 2010.

Tarrant is physically gifted and has played at nickel, corner, and safety. He has also received tutelage from a former NFL coordinator in Al Groh. I think Tarrant's talents will primarily be used on special teams first in the NFL and he may eventually crack the depth chart at nickelback. Coley Harvey is predicting a 4th round drafting for Tarrant.
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