With the 179th pick of the 2009 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals select cornerback Morgan Trent, University of Michigan. The Bengals were secure with two first-round picks in 2006 and 2007 who have become the team's starters. After that the depth falls. Earlier in the off-season, Mike Zimmer had spoken about drafting a cornerback with speed that also play as a safety or nickel and cover the deep pass. The question now is asked, is Morgan Trent that guy?
From Draft Countdown:
Very athletic...Above average height and adequate bulk...Good speed with a burst to close...Great strength...Tough and physical...Reliable tackler...Excellent leaper...Durable...Has a lot of big-time experience.
Lacks great instincts and awareness...Hips aren't fluid...Struggles to turn and run...Just average hands and ball skills...Can't recover when beat...Lackluster footwork...Isn't a big hitter...Extremely inconsistent.
Was basically a four-year starter for the Wolverines...Father, Phillip, played football at Nebraska...Actually began his college career as a wide receiver...Was named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten as a junior in 2007...Looks the part and has the physical tools to play at the next level but for one reason or another that doesn't always translate over to the field...Should be able to make a roster as a backup but unless the light all of the sudden comes on his pro upside might always be limited.
Morgan Trent is often overlooked in the Big Ten, with fellow corners Vontae Davis and Malcolm Jenkins getting all the hype. The Michigan senior had a very productive career, and continued to show improvement every week. Trent has good size for the position, standing 6'1", but only weighs 188 pounds. Trent will need to add a little bulk so he isn't manhandled by bigger NFL receivers. In 48 career games he has registered 149 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 7 interceptions, and 12 passes broken up in coverage. He has excellent instincts, and makes good breaks on the ball when it's in the air. Trent's major weakness at this point is playing bump and run coverage. He doesn't always get a good jam on his receiver at the line of scrimmage, which allows receivers to get between him and the safety for big gains. Trent has good speed, but lacks that extra gear that the elite corner back prospects tend to have.
From Sports Illustrated:
BIOGRAPHY: Full-time starter the past three years after seeing action in five games with the first team as a freshman. Senior totals included 41/3/5 after 41/2/10 as a junior when he won all-Conference mention.
POSITIVES: Forceful, hard-working defensive back best facing the action. Aggressive, jams opponents at the line, and will mix it up throughout routes. Forceful up the field defending screen passes or running plays, and stays with the action. Displays solid awareness, and effectively reads the action when it is in front of him.
NEGATIVES: Struggles making plays with his back to the ball, and usually a half step behind receivers. Lacks deep speed and does not play to his 40 time. Tends to lose a sense of where he is on the field. Struggles staying with receivers out of their breaks.
ANALYSIS: Trent has been a consistent player for Michigan, and he is a well spoken young man with good size for the next level. His game has some limitations, although Trent could thrive in a zone system, and he may even get consideration inside at safety.