Small-school CB Desir making a mark

Having played his college football at Lindenwood University, CB Pierre Desir is quite an unknown. NFL scouts and reporters starting getting a read on the 6-foot-1, 195-pound corner at the East-West Shrine game last week and now the Senior Bowl this week.

"Desir has the third longest wingspan [77.5 inches] among cornerbacks at the Senior Bowl. With his length, he said he likes to watch Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and Broncos cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie," Master Tesfatsion of the Star Tribune wrote. "He’s fine with playing at 195 pounds, but Desir would like to add five more pounds so he can play more physical in press coverage, what he considers his strength."

ESPN NFL Insider Steve Muench was unable to see Desir press during last week's game, but he believes the corner has upside as a pro.

"It's disappointing that corners are not allowed to press in this game and I did not see them press during practice," he noted. "It prevented bigger corners from showing they can re-route receivers. [Desir is one of] a few prospects who have the potential to develop into effective press corners."

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch agrees with that assessment.

"Desir is probably best suited to playing press coverage at the next level, and because of that some teams have told him they want to see him play more physical. But he has very good ball skills as evidenced by his 25 college interceptions. He plays smart and carries himself with the maturity of a 30-year-old. Being the father of two can do that to you," he wrote.

"One veteran scout in Mobile said Desir needs to work on his footwork, but has good athleticism and has displayed an ability to change directions quickly — something bigger corners sometimes struggle with."

Desir's play at the East-West game earned him a spot in this week's Senior Bowl. A good performance during that game and at the Combine could make Desir a viable pick in the third or fourth round of the draft.