SOTT Draft Profile: Sheldon Price, UCLA
A cornerback who possesses great athleticism and instincts, Sheldon Price has 45 starts at the CB position while at UCLA and tied the school record for INTs in a single game with 3 versus University of Houston in 2012. Price played in the East-West Shrine game where he received accolades from former NFL great Al Harris, who nicknamed Price “Deuce-Deuce” after his number 22.
We checked in with Greg Burcham from Bruins Nation, a UCLA centered community on the SB Nation network. Greg has great love for his Bruins and is very knowledgeable on his alma mater’s football squad. Greg was gracious enough to share that insight with us at State of the Texans.
Tale of the Tape
Weight: 180 lbs.
How did Price land at UCLA and what did he mean to the Bruins program?
Price was an easy recruit. His father played football at UCLA, his grandfather played basketball for Wooden, and his sister ran track at UCLA. He was fairly highly regarded, and bringing him in was seen as evidence that the new coaching regime in Westwood that season was going to really up the talent level.
Does Price play better in press or zone coverage and why?
Hard to say, but I would guess press. He played little to no press until this year due to previous coaching schemes, and frankly wasn’t very effective in zone. A new coaching staff this season utilized more press coverage, and Price made some steady improvement in coverage through the season. His size and athleticism would suggest he could be very good at playing real physical man coverage, but he needs more work.
What did Price do well at CB for UCLA? In what areas does he need some development?
He was a reasonable tackler on the edge. He contributed quite well in special teams, too.
His biggest weakness was one-on-one coverage, and was a PI machine early on. It wasn’t until halfway through his senior year that we started to see him become a reasonable pass defender. In his defense, he had pretty poor coaching and development prior to this season.
After a 3 INT game against University of Houston, Price saw his stock fall when matched up on a top receiver such as Markus Wheaten. How did he bounce back after that Oregon St game?
Again, Price (and Aaron Hester, the other corner) really struggled in pass coverage until late in this season. They both were lit up against Cal, who had a pretty bad year. But by the end of the year, they both played very well against USC and their two outstanding receivers.
Should NFL teams have any concerns regarding Price’s right knee issues?
I don’t think so. His knee injury was in his junior year and it made no appearance in his senior year, and his athleticism this year looked good. He missed one game for concussion symptoms this season, but we never heard anything about him being slowed by his knee.
How do you see Price’s role in the NFL?
I think if Price had better coaching throughout his college career, he’d be a very different looking prospect right now. He has lots of ability, but is behind in development and fundamentals. He made pretty good strides this season and if he can continue that path, I think he can be a promising corner, as his combo of size and athleticism are nice. If he can make a roster this season, it’ll likely be as a 4th or 5th DB and special teamer. With the right coaching, I think he can develop into a good CB, but he is still a ways from that right now.