CB Showdown

Note: If you need more information on Beane’s –and the Bills’– history and tendencies in drafting DBs, I wrote about this back in January.

After Sauce Gardner and Darryl Stingley, who’ll be gone already, I see 5 CBs at #25 that could hear their name called by the Bills: Andrew Booth of Clemson, Kyler Gordon and Trent McDuffie of Washington, Kaiir Elam of Florida, and Roger McCreary of Auburn. Let’s take a look at how they compare, and for entertainment purposes only, assign a point value to each factor.

Beane’s Favorite Conferences
Booth (ACC, 5 points); 2nd=Elam, McCreary (SEC, 3 points each); Last= Gordon, McDuffie (PAC, 1 point each).
Since 2017, Beane has drawn from the ACC (twice) and SEC (once) for DBs, and his NCBs have come from the Big Sky and SWAC conference. The PAC has only been used by Beane for RB, WR, and DT so far. Booth, McCreary, and Elam are the top player at the scouted schools.

Fastest 40
Booth (4.33, 5 points ), 2nd=Elam (4.39, 4 points); McDuffie=4.44, 3 points, McCreary=4.5, 2 points, Slowest=Gordon (4.52, 1 point).
For comparison, Tre White’s 40 time was 4.47 (so Booth and Elam are faster). They’d all win a race with Dane Jackson (4.57) and Levi Wallace (4.63). With the improving QB and WR situation in the AFC, more speed will be a benefit.

Elam (73.5 inches, 5 points), 2nd=Booth (72.25 inches, 4 points), Gordon (71.5 inches, 3 points), McCreary (71.38 inches, 2 points); Shortest=McDuffie (70.75 inches, 1 point).
For comparison, Tre White was 71.25 inches, with all but McDuffie taller than Tre. Dane Jackson measured up 71.63 inches, but both Elam and Booth are taller still. Levi Wallace is the tallest Bills CB at 72.25 inches, and Elam’s taller. Wallace is the same height as Booth.

Body Mass Index (BMI)
McDuffie (27.76, 5 points), Gordon (27.32, 4 points), McCreary (26.85, 3 points), Booth (26.76, 2 points); Least=Elam (25.46, 1 point).
For comparison, you have Tre White’s (27.23, less than McDuffie and Gordon), Dane’s (26.24, beating only Elam), and Wallace’s (24.69, lowest of all).

Hand Size
Booth (9.38 inches, 5 points), Gordon (9.25 inches, 4 points), McCreary (9.00 inches, 3 points), Elam (8.88 inches, 2 points), McDuffie (8.75 inches, 1 point).
For comparison, Wallace’s hand size was 9.38 inches, which ties Booth for biggest mitts. Tre White’s hand measured 9.13 inches, and Booth, Gordon, and McCreary’s hands are bigger. Dane Jackson ties McDuffie for smallest hands at 8.75 inches.

Booth (76.875 inches, 5 points), Elam (76.5 inches, 4 points), Gordon (74.750 inches, 3 points), McDuffie (72.375 inches, 2 points), McCreary (70.625 inches, 1 point).
For comparison, Wallace’s wingspan exceeds them all with a condor-like 77.375. Tre White’s wingspan was 76.125 inches, a pinky’s length shorter than Booth and Elam, and Dane Jackson 74.880 inches, longer than Gordon by a smidge, 1 7/8″ wider than McDuffie, and 4 1/4″ wider than McCreary

Vertical Leap
Gordon=39.5 inches, 5 points), McDuffie=38.5 inches, 4 points), Elam and Booth 37.5 inches, 3 points each), McCreary=31.5 inches, 1 point).
For comparison, Dane Jackson=35.0 inches (beats McCreary), Wallace=33.0 inches (beats McCreary), and Tre White 32.0 inches (beats McCreary).The wingspan plus vertical leap difference McCreary sacrifices will make a difference at the catch point in pass defense, but he compensates with experience, tackling ability, locker room fit, and familiarity with the scheme. Speaking of which…

McCreary (plays in Auburn’s 4-2-5 hybrid, 5 points). Second place is a four-way tie, with all of their schools running a 3-3-5 defense [explained here], 3 points each). In the 3-3-5, CBs play further from the line of scrimmage, often face more free blockers in space, and are often bigger backs who must be adept at doing the tackling. The scheme doesn’t rule anybody out, particularly the Bills.

Most GM Visits
Booth 2 Beane visits, Combine talk, Pro Day (5 points), 2nd=Elam (1 Beane visit, 4 games scouted (4 points), Least=McCreary, McDuffie, and Gordon (each had 1 Scout visit, 1 point each).

Games Played
McCreary (39 games, 5 points), Elam (30 games, 4 points), Gordon (29 games, 3 points); McDuffie (27 games, 2 points), Least=Booth (25 games, 1 point). McCreary’s experience on the field, particularly in the scheme the Bills run, gives him a leg up on the others. Fewer games for Booth might mean a steeper learning curve.

Best Conf Record=Booth (6-2, 5 points), all others were on 3-win losing teams (2 points).

Most Solo Tackles=McCreary 111 (5 points), Gordon 75 (4 points); McDuffie 71 (3 points), Elam 53 (2 points), Booth 51 (1 point).

Tackles Per Game=McCreary (2.9 per game, 5 points), Elam 2.7 per game, 4 points), Gordon (2.6 per game, 3 points); McDuffie (2.6 per game, 3 points, Booth 2.0 per game (1 point).

Best Interview (click name to listen)=Booth (5 points), Gordon (4 points), McCreary (3 points), McDuffie (2 points); Worst=Elam (1 point). I ran a Twitter poll to see which of the best 3 interviews (Booth-McCreary-Gordon) was most loved by BillsMafia. Last I checked, the order of preference was Booth, Gordon, McCreary.

Special Teams Value=Gordon 5 points (2021 Special Teams MVP of the Huskies), Booth 4 points (18.7 avg punt returner), McCreary 3 points (downed punt at the 1 this year). McDuffie 2 points (had some special teams Gunner snaps early in his career), Elam 1 point (To my knowledge, Elam didn’t play on special teams).

Age=Oldest are Gordon and McCreary (22.2, 22.1), 2nd=Booth (21.5), McDuffie (21.1), with the Youngest=Elam (20.9). No points awarded, as youth might be an advantage or disadvantage.

Final Tallies:
1. Andrew Booth = 54 points [more video analysis about Booth]
2. Kyler Gordon= 48 points [more video analysis of Gordon]
3. Roger McCreary=44 points [more video analysis of McCreary]
4. Kaiir Elam= 43 points [more video analysis of Elam]
5. Trent McDuffie= 34 points [more video analysis of McDuffie]

I trust Brandon Beane implicitly. He’ll weigh these factors, and many, many others, before making his selection. If Beane elects to double-dip in the 2022 Draft at CB, here are a few more names for you, in my order of preference:
177 Chase Lucas Arizona St (3 scout visits) [listen and watch #24] – ST ace
203 Jermaine Waller Virginia Tech (Beane there, 5 scout visits) [listen and watch #2]
206 Isaac Taylor-Stuart USC (Majeski) — biggest (6’2″ 200 4.37) [listen and watch #0]
291 Nehemiah Pritchett CB KR Auburn (Scout, 1 game) –McCreary’s sidekick. [listen and watch #14]
186 Damarion Williams Houston – 3.88 tkl/Gm leads all CBs [listen and watch #6]
151 Mario Goodrich CB Clemson – ACC’s Clemson was the #1 defense in CFB last season (EPA per play against). [listen and watch #31]

Editor’s babble: Incredible research and writing by Dean, as usual. We are blessed to have his many contributions to our blog. You can also find Dean on Twitter @TCBILLS_Astro. is sponsored by 26 Shirts

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2 thoughts on “CB Showdown”

  1. Comes at the perfect time. Great article. Loved Gordon’s tape. Elam’s youth/maturity explain his interview?

  2. What are your thoughts on Joshua Williams, Fayetteville state as a late-round double dip? I’ve read some great things about him

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