2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: CB Brandon Stephens

Photo: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports


Brandon Stephens began his college career at UCLA where he was a running back and buried on the depth chart. He was a graduate transfer in 2019 and took his talents to SMU where he moved from running back to cornerback during preseason camp and immediately became a starter for the Mustangs, a position he held for his final two seasons. It’s remarkable how quickly Stephens was able to claim a starting role and earn the trust of his coaches. From a physical traits perspective, Stephens offers an exciting package of size, length, and athleticism. There aren’t any roles on the field he isn’t physically capable of filling in terms of coverage techniques and alignments. The key for Stephens is gaining more time on task at cornerback so that the nuances of the position and mental side of the game become more natural to him. As it stands, he lacks comfort mirroring routes and being consistent with his spacing and anticipation in zone. With that said, he has flashed the ability to be disruptive at the catch point and is always willing to be physical. His competitive toughness and aggressiveness as a tackler shine on tape. Stephens is very much a developmental option that should be a quality special teams contributor early on, but his career will be defined by how he continues to progress and learn the cornerback position. The encouraging part of his projection is that he isn’t lacking anything when it comes to size, athleticism, and toughness. 

Ideal Role: Developmental depth, special teams.

Scheme Fit: Any.

Written by: Joe Marino 

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Written By:

Joe Marino

Founder and Senior NFL Draft Analyst

Joe Marino is a Founder and Senior NFL Draft Analyst at TDN. Marino comes to TDN after serving as a draft analyst for NDT Scouting, FanRag Sports and Draft Breakdown dating back to 2014. In 2017, Marino became a Huddle Report Mock Draft Champion when he produced the most accurate mock draft in the world.