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March 7, 2014

TCU cornerback Jason Verrett thinks he's worth of a first-round pick

Cornerback is probably the most underappreciated position on the field.

It's the only spot where you only know you're doing a good job if nobody sees much of you, or hears much of you on TV.

TCU had the pleasure the last three years of having Jason Verrett on its team. He went through a lot in his time here and revealed at the NFL combine that he played most of the year with a torn labrum. Verrett will be having surgery to fix that March 17. He's expecting the aftermath of the surgery to last four months, but it should prevent him from having any further issues.

He's been a leader and a constant in the brief and tumultuous tenure for TCU in the Big 12 so far. He feels all of that has made him a first round pick in the upcoming NFL draft.

"Certainly," Verrett said about if he is a first-round draft pick. "I feel like I'm the best corner in this draft. I like to compete and even though I'm five-foot-nine, I can compete with anybody."

Even though he's just five-foot-nine, he ran a 4.38 40-yard dash and isn't afraid of any of the top receivers in the NFL.

"I competed against some of the best of the Big 12 that are in the league now. Kenny Stills and Kendall Wright," Verrett said. "My knowledge of the game is good and I think I can adapt it to the NFL."

Verrett had a solid performance at the Pro Day and he did everything, but the 40-yard dash.

"I'm happy with my time so I wanted to keep it. I maybe could have ran faster, but I wanted to stay with it at the combine," Verrett said. "I had a good combine, I just wanted to come out today and show I have consistency."

He spent the most time with Cincinnati Bengals coaches, who ran the defensive back position drills. As you likely know if you're reading this, the Bengals have had some recent success with drafting TCU players.

"I felt good on my bench. I trained hard on it even though I have the messed up shoulder," Verrett said. "But position drills is where you make your money. The coaches here prepared me for it and it was good to go out and compete."

He looked quick and even though no official times were released, he completed 19 reps of the 225-pound bench press. For reference, Jadeveon Clowney did 21. On the runs, he appeared to slip a couple times, but that is likely just a cleat issue.

He didn't have those problems at the Combine, where multiple draft experts think he solidified his place in the first round of the NFL draft.

"It was a good experience getting to compete with 300 guys, 60 DBs. Some of them I played against and knew," Verrett said of the Combine. "It was a humbling experience just being able to compete."

He's meeting with the Carolina Panthers today and has already met with the Cleveland Browns among other teams. He also met several others at the Combine. That's part of him reaching his goals and he's happy about that."

"This is something that I dreamed of. I want to be a great NFL player," Verrett said. "All these questionnaires and interviews are part of the process and I'm just blessed and enjoying the moment to be here."

Verrett on Casey Pachall
Everyone pretty much knew what to expect out of Verrett at the combine. Pachall was a little different. Despite the quarterbacks' issues, Verrett wants to see him get a chance.

"I feel like he's a good player. He had his ups and downs throughout his career, but all he needs is one shot," Verrett said. "That's all anybody needs is one chance and I feel like if he gets his, he will be alright."

They are different personalities and have taken different paths here for sure. That's why Pachall is stressing the off-the-field issues a lot more than Verrett is.

"I don't have any off the field issues, so my main focus is being prepared for the NFL," Verrett said. "I'm just going with the flow and trying to get better every day."


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