Marshon Lattimore and Paulson Adebo formed a cornerback duo for the New Orleans Saints in 2021. Lattimore is one of the best in the NFL, capable of locking in an opponent’s best receiver one-on-one and eliminate him from the game.
Adebo was a third-round pick last year, which was a perfect fit. He showed Pro Bowl potential with his ball skills and covering ability.
Bradley Roby was acquired on a trade early in the season. His shots were limited due to Adebo’s development, but Roby is a starting quality corner that offers exceptional depth against deeper wide receivers. The Saints added even more depth with the selection of Tennessee CB Alontae Taylor in the second round of this year’s draft.
Winning a job as a Saints cornerback seems like an uphill battle in 2022. However, don’t dismiss the topic of today’s undrafted rookie profile.
DAMARCUS FIELDS, BC
6 feet, 193 lbs.
A talented and strong 100m and 200m football player at Taylor High School in Texas, Fields chose to attend college in his home state. After spending his freshman year in a redshirt, he would intercept one pass and break seven more in 2017. He would follow that up with 10 pass breakups, 2.5 tackles for loss and 2 forced fumbles in 2018.
Fields intercepted 3 passes in 2019. He broke five more, and had six tackles for loss and a sack. He didn’t record an interception in 2020, but was credited with 10 broken passes.
Enjoying a fifth year of eligibility in 2021, Fields was named 2nd team All-Big 12 with nine pass breakups and four tackles for loss. He finished his Red Raiders career with 41 broken passes, fourth in Big 12 history, 4 interceptions, 13.5 tackles for loss and 8 forced or recovered fumbles.
A strong defender with good athletic ability, Fields went undrafted due to a few areas of his game that needed quick improvement. He has poor press technique, often off balance when a receiver clears the line. Despite its speed, it doesn’t have a smooth change of direction and struggles against sneaky widenings.
Fields is often caught looking into the backfield to read the quarterback. Sharp road runners give him tantrums and he often bites on double moves. When in off-ball coverage, he can freeze on rubbing routes and last-minute moves in his areas.
Fields has the build-up speed to stay with any receiver on the field. His long stride gives him good reach and lets him make up ground quickly in zones. He has good ball skills to break up balls in man coverage and plays physically on contested shots.
Fields show a natural awareness of the pitch in off-ball areas and tasks. He has a lightning break on the ball when thrown and skillfully baits quarterbacks into an error. His moves off the line of scrimmage are decisive and he will charge aggressively in support of the run.
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DaMarcus Fields faces a strong chance of making the Saints roster as a rookie. New Orleans appears fixed at the cornerback position and has a deep team of strong safeties in men’s covering duties. Fields most likely looks suited for a spot on the practice squad as a development draft.
With his playing strength and instinct off the ball, Fields can also move to safety. He has exceptional ball skills and the coverage ability to lock in bigger receivers and tight ends.
The Saints demand versatility from their defensive backs. If Fields can show that versatility and stand out on special teams, his ability to play could make him a surprise in training camp.