Denver Broncos 2015 NFL Draft: Scouting CB Lorenzo Doss


The Denver Broncos made some excellent selections on day three of the 2015 NFL draft, not the least of which was fifth round pick Lorenzo Doss, a cornerback out of Tulane.

The Tulane football program is not necessarily renowned or known for pumping out NFL talent, but Doss is the exception to the rule and an exceptional player.

Some felt he was even a top 10 cornerback in this year’s class of players, based on what he had done over the last three years. I decided to take a really close look at Doss in his three years at Tulane, and find out just what made this third year junior such a special player that he decided to leave school early.


Doss is not going to blow anyone away athletically. He’s a smaller corner who is likely going to have to carve out a niche inside as an nickel player in the NFL, and he doesn’t have great timed deep speed. That was evident at times in his career at Tulane where he would get beat on longer routes that went across the middle of the field, or even running straight downfield with receivers.

Man Coverage

This is where Doss excels. He does a great job getting low in his stance and using his hips to his advantage, mirroring receivers and reading their route before they even run it. You see that on tape repeatedly. The problem you might have with Doss’ man coverage abilities is matched up on-on-one with a bigger receiver.

There were times when I studied (Cincinnati, Rutgers) that Doss was matched up with longer receivers and he struggled to keep up with them stride for stride, especially if the pass rush was kept at bay. He faced a pretty big receiver (#85) against UConn and did an admirable job, but there were times when this raised concerns.  The longer the route, the more Doss seemed to struggle handling the receiver. The quicker the route, the more dominant Doss was.

That leads me to believe the slot is his spot at the next level.

Reading the QB

Perhaps Doss’ best trait. He did an incredible job, even in the worst game that I scouted (Rutgers, 2014) of reading the QB’s eyes and making breaks on the ball. He is able to mirror receivers, plant, turn his hips, and break on the football.

It all starts with reading the QBs eyes, and baiting him into throws. There were multiple times that he diagnosed screen plays as well, and blew things up in the backfield.


Both a blessing and a curse for Doss. In 2013 as a junior, you see on tape that his aggressiveness helped him more than it hurt him. In 2014, he wasn’t seeing the football come his way as much, so when it did, he seemed like he was trying to swing for the fences rather than hit singles or doubles.

For a home run hitter (15 career INTs, 2 fumble recoveries), that’s the hardest thing to do.

Even in the worst game I scouted (Rutgers, 2014) Doss made some really nice breaks on the football and had excellent, flawless coverage, but he failed to finish the play because he got too greedy. That’s not really something I’m worried about at the next level. You want a cornerback that wants the football at all times, and coaches can work with him to harness that mentality.


This was the area of Doss’ game that needs probably the most work. While he’s a capable tackler and understands ‘how’ to hit, he was often shying away from the pile and not really seeking out hits. That’s not always a bad thing, but it resulted in some very poor angles or missed tackles.

A lot of that has to do also with the fact that Doss has really short arms, so wrapping up ball carriers is not always the easiest thing to do. He has to make sure to take good angles and use his size to his advantage, upending ball carriers rather than trying to hit them high and wrap up.

He can be coached in this.

Ball Skills

Top notch, elite level ball skills. You often see cornerbacks with bricks for hands, but not this guy. Doss looked like a receiver at times, reading the QB, breaking on a route, and snatching the ball out of the air.

Despite his size, Doss knows how to snag the ball at its highest point as well. He doesn’t have the biggest hands, but it really has never bothered him. He does such a good job of going and taking the ball away from the receiver. He fights for position, and he fights for the football.

This is the most exciting part of Doss’ game, by far.


I think Doss overall has really seasoned footwork, but in the NFL, he’ll need some work on his backpedal. The most impressive attribute here was his ability to plant and break up the field for the ball, which he does exceptionally well.

This was a very solid part of his game, but he will need some more coaching.


I think Doss is a really intriguing player. There’s a lot to love about his game, but like any young kid coming in, there’s plenty to work in. Specifically for him, the Broncos are going to need to figure out how to harness his aggressive, attacking style and use it to the best it can possibly be. Not only that, but he’s going to learn quickly from guys like Chris Harris Jr., Aqib Talib, and Bradley Roby how important tackling is.

I think with the Broncos, Doss can contribute as a rookie but his future is as a nickel/dime corner working from the inside. He has such good read/react time and ball skills that it would be foolish for him not to be covering slot receivers and making plays. The Broncos will be leaving corners on an island a lot, and this is the type of guy that excels in those type of situations.

He wants the football, so he finds ways to go and get it.

Next: Max Garcia: Steal of the Broncos Draft?