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Mock Draft Spotlight: Jonathan Cyprien

Posted Apr 10, 2013

The small-school safety has been rising up draft board in recent weeks.


Jonathan Cyprien was a player flying mostly under the radar before the pre-draft process.

The Florida International safety was considered by most draft experts to be a second or third-round prospect, and he hadn’t been given much national exposure during his college career.

But in the last couple months, Cyprien has boosted his stock considerably. He’s elevated himself into the first-round discussion and is currently projected by ESPN’s draft expert Mel Kiper as the Ravens’ pick at No. 32.

“Cyprien is an experienced player who can step in immediately,” Kiper said. “He's a smart player, takes good routes to the ball and is an effective tackler in space.”

Cyprien has made the most of his opportunities in the postseason, starting with an appearance at the Senior Bowl back in January. He held his own against more well-known talent in Mobile, Ala., and was one of the biggest risers coming out of that week.

He continued a strong showing at the combine in February, and came into that week looking to show teams that he’s the top safety prospect in this year’s class.

“I think I’m the No. 1 because I can bring a lot and contribute to a team winning games, and making plays when called, leadership,” Cyprien said at the time.

One of the biggest questions Cyprien had to answer throughout the process is how he’ll perform against much improved competition at the professional level. He didn’t go up against top-flight prospects on a weekly basis like some of the other top-rated safeties (Florida’s Matt Elam or Texas’ Kenny Vacarro), and he has to overcome that stigma of being a small-school product.

“Teams are aware that I did come from Florida International,” Cyprien said. “But I think there’s a lot of talent in the Sun Belt conference, and not just from Florida International, but the entire conference.”

Cyprien was a productive player throughout his four years in college, playing both strong and free safety. He’s shown the ability to come up to the line of scrimmage and stop the run, but also has good instincts in coverage.

At 6-foot-0, 217 pounds, Cyprien has the size for either spot and he also has decent speed (4.64 second, 40-yard dash) on the back end.

“He plays with good aggression,” said Ravens Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz. “He’s probably more of a free safety just in terms of his body type.”

The Ravens are looking to replace both of their starting safeties from the Super Bowl team, as Ed Reed signed with the Texans and Bernard Pollard was cut. They added veteran Michael Huff in free agency, but they still need to add some additional depth in the secondary.

The other safeties currently on the roster are James Ihedigbo and Omar Brown.

Cyprien would fill an immediate need for the Ravens, and he’s confident that he can step in to play right away.

“At the end of the day, when I have my opportunity, I want to shine in all that I do,” Cyprien said.

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