PROSPECT SUMMARY – BENJAMIN ST-JUSTE
Benjamin St-Juste is a long-bodied cornerback who shows some promise as a perimeter cornerback. St-Juste isn’t the most dynamic athlete and he doesn’t appear to be a universal prospect, but his skill set and length will be attractive to either press-man heavy defenses or alternative deep third coverages. St-Juste has all of the extension skills and length needed to contest the catch point with consistency and when he’s able to stay on the hip of receivers he’s got ample disruption. Transitional quickness and long speed are not plus qualities and thus St-Juste will need to continue to work on his route recognition and route combination recognition if he’s going to develop into a viable starting cornerback at the pro level. As things currently stand, this is a traitsy prospect who offers some of the “uncoachables” for the position and his draft stock should be reflected accordingly to scheme-specific systems.
Ideal Role: Developmental perimeter cornerback.
Scheme Fit: Single-high safety coverages; either Cover-3 or press-man heavy.
Written by: Kyle Crabbs
Games watched: Penn State (2019), Wisconsin (2019), Auburn (2019), Michigan (2020), Illinois (2020)
Best Game Studied: Penn State (2019)
Worst Game Studied: Michigan (2020)
Man Coverage Skills: When he’s hands on at the line of scrimmage, he shows effective disruption ability to cut off route releases. He’s a little too long with his strides when he’s leveraged overtop of route stems and will need his length to bail out his hips and foot transitions. He lacks short-area mirror skills, but because of his stature, he can make up ground quickly or close suddenly in the quick game. His ability to cover vertical may be compromised by his long speed.
Zone Coverage Skills: The length he has will make him difficult to throw over and receivers who attempt to test him vertically will be challenged to stack him unless they get him to nibble on double moves. His anticipation here is sufficient but there’s plenty of room to grow to help him crash the catch point in a timely manner.
Ball Skills: There’s the potential that he can develop and then there’s what he is now. St-Juste got his hands on just one football in 2020 after 10 PBUs in 2019 with the Gophers (he sat out 2018 after transferring in from Michigan). But he’s never logged an interception and his best reps come here from raking at the football or extending through the body of receivers at the catch point. It is difficult to gauge how effective he can be tracking the football in the air as most of his plus reps come at the catch point.
Tackling: You wish he were more consistent here, but when he’s challenging you square he’s very difficult to break down because of his length and tackle radius. He can be guilty of killing the feet on contact and while he’s usually OK for such collisions on the perimeter, it can hinder his late adjustment abilities in one-on-one.
Versatility: There’s some reasonable upside in either man- or zone-heavy defenses here, but I wouldn’t endorse playing him as a nickel corner—and while he may have the length to be a factor at safety, I don’t necessarily subscribe to him having the needed transitional quickness, ball skills, or range to shine there. I like him at perimeter corner only.
Competitive Toughness: He has good tenacity in press coverage and functional strength is a plus of his game. He’s combative at the catch point and broke up several passes late in the process by playing and attacking the hands. Special teams coverage ability as a gunner holds promise at the NFL level, but he’ll need to prove consistent with tackling to claim a prominent role here.
Functional Athleticism: He’s got adequate trigger quickness and for his stature, he is quite fluid through the hips and showed flashes of leveraging over top of routes at the 2021 Senior Bowl in press coverage. But with his frame, his hips are high and his strides are long—making short-area COD and mirror skills a natural challenge. He’s also got build-up speed and his long speed is only average.
Football IQ: He shows good calmness with his back to the football at the catch point and does well to target the hands of receivers on targets in man coverage. His anticipation isn’t great and as a result he’s a half-tick late on a number of plays. I like his confidence in press man, but his footwork needs polish to allow him to mirror better at the LOS; or else he needs to become savvier to be more consistent leveraging and filtering releases to compensate for his stride length.
Run Defending: He has the extension skills and size to stack up blockers and the functional strength to hold firm. He shows a good appetite for stepping down and firming the edge. His tackling skills aren’t as consistent as his positioning efforts, but nevertheless he’s got the right attitude here.
Length: Prototypical length. If teams are going to boost players for plus measurables, he’s going to be rising up boards thanks to 32-inch arms (2021 Senior Bowl). That length shows up in the contact window and at the catch point as well, so he’s functionally long and not just anatomically gifted.
Prospect Comparison: Tharold Simon (2013 NFL Draft, Seattle Seahawks)
TDN Consensus: 76.00/100
Kyle Crabbs: 76.00/100
Joe Marino: 76.00/100
Jordan Reid: 76.00/100
Drae Harris: 76.00/100
- Aug 22, 2022
- Aug 22, 2022