Insight on 2nd round draft pick - Marcus Gilchrist

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I was able to talk to DrB from Shakin’ the Southland, a blog for Clemson Tigers fans, in order to get more information on our Marcus Gilchrist, our pick in the 2nd round of the draft.

Here are the questions and his responses:

What kind of a player/person are we expected to see here in San Diego?

Have never seen or heard of any complaints or off the field issues with Marcus, he seems to come from a pretty good upbringing and has always been a smart football player. Really, you don’t hear anything about him except on gamedays.

He is expected to transition from safety to corner in San Diego, how do you think he will do with that change?

My opinion is that he’d be a good CB for a zone team, but doesnt have the raw speed to play it every down man/man in the NFL. I think his final position should be free safety.

We run a pro-style 4-3 defense here, which does a lot of things that Saban does at Alabama. We’re man/man and matchup zone. He played FS in 09 and his instincts for the position were extremely good. His technique is pretty good but he needs work on some footwork issues with his backpedal. We finished in the top 10 in pass efficiency defense with him at FS splitting time with a freshman AA Rashard Hall.

This past season he was primarily a corner, and often played nickel corner because his size and instincts at FS were useful there closer to the LOS. Hall played more FS this past season than Gilchrist did, but Marcus is a guy we could put anywhere and he’d be successful. Had Marcus been stuck into one position all the time, he may have excelled more.

I do think that he’s probably one of the most versatile defensive players we’ve had in over a decade.

What NFL player would he be most comparable to (past or present)?

He’s a big corner, but better at safety. He’s a cover guy who isn’t afraid of tackling or taking blockers on, but he is not a bigtime hitter. I see the Titans’ Michael Griffin on TV a ton, and he’s a little bit like him but is not the same playmaker.

What do you think of him as a kick/punt returner?

I think he’s good as a returner, but not the next level type of returner that someone like Desmond Howard was or Devin Hester is now. If anything he didn’t get used as returner more here because we had CJ Spiller and Jacoby Ford as kick returners.

Any other fun facts that we should know about him?

Again, you don’t hear about Marcus except on gameday. He’s a business-like player.

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