With the Dolphins on the clock with the 30th pick of the 2020 NFL Draft, few though Noah Igbinoghene would be the name coming out of the commissioner’s lips. But the former Auburn corner came so far in his last two seasons we’ll soon be asking how he lasted until the end of round one.
At 5’11” and 200 pounds, Igbinoghene may not be the most physically imposing defensive back in the world, but his blend of flexibility and strength make him one of the more intriguing prospects in this years draft.
Noah Igbinoghene is a high-ceiling project
Having played wide received throughout his high-school years, Noah Igbinoghene didn’t play a single snap as a defensive back before he went to Auburn. He played his first year at Auburn as a wide receiver and kick returner, before transitioning to corner for his Sophomore season.
Playing in arguably the toughest opposition in the land, Igbinoghene was the starting Auburn corner in the SEC after just SIX days. In his first year playing the position, Igbinoghene would register 1 interception, and 11 passes defended. PFF would go on to give him a 74.7 coverage grade.
He’s very patient at the line of scrimmage, not selling out, but using his hands well to jam receivers. He is physical throughout the routes, sometimes too physical.
He allowed only a 41.9% completion rate. Let that sink in. In his first year as a corner against the likes of Alabama and Georgia, less than half of the passes thrown his way were completed.
Clearly still young, he won’t turn 21 until after his rookie season, Noah Igbinoghene is very raw. He has off the chart physical tools, explosive closing ability, and great balance, body control and use of his hands.
As a player who has only played his position for two seasons, he has some issues with his mental processing of concepts, route breaks for the down and distance, and has a tendency to get very grabbby. But all of that is to be expected of a player with the limited experience he has.
The curve we are grading Noah Igbinoghene on isn’t that of a usual player though. His athletic ability coupled with the strides he has made in his limited reps shows this kid is nowhere near his ceiling.
His work ethic is phenomenal having played 210 press coverage snaps last season (second-most in the draft class), and both of his parents were Olympians imbuing him with that competitive spirit from a young age.
If I had been playing the position a little bit earlier, who knows what could’ve happened? It’s a blessing, again. I ain’t come here and plan to do this and play cornerback. It just shows God’s plan for me, and so I’m very appreciative of Him and so I’m glad. I’m thankful for Auburn.
For now Igbinoghene is a raw project who tends to anticipate and go on gut instinct much more than he reads the game. When he adds that to his skillset the sky really is the limit for him.