The War Room: Derrick Strait, CB, Oklahoma
Birthday: August 27, 1980
Strengths: Derrick Strait played a critical role in Oklahoma’s 2000 national championship run. Consider the following: 10 tackles against No. 11 Texas; five tackles, two tackles for loss, and a sack against No. 2 Kansas State; two interceptions, including one that he returned for a touchdown, against No. 1 Nebraska; broke up a fourth quarter, fourth and goal pass into the endzone to secure a 12-7 win against Oklahoma State; and a perfectly-timed jump to knock away a possible touchdown pass against Florida State in the national championship game. Very few players make as may big plays in big games as Strait did as a redshirt freshman.
Strait possesses the traits of a shutdown cornerback. A tough, intense competitor, he thrives in the man coverage that Oklahoma’s defense employs so often. Strait has above-average closing speed and impressive leaping ability (he reportedly has a 40" vertical), as well as great instincts and timing when the ball is in the air. He is a willing tackler and an effective blitzer off the edge.
Areas for Concern: While he did not have a bad year, Strait’s sophomore season failed to meet the high standard that he set in 2000. His play was inconsistent and he failed to make as many of the impact, game-changing plays that he did the year before.
Strait is certainly a fine athlete, but he has not been blessed with the tremendous physical tools of a Charles Woodson or Champ Bailey. Unlike with those players, one cannot assume that because at times Strait has dominated at the college level that he will have the same success against NFL competition.
How Would He Look in Steel Blue? A graduate of Austin’s Lanier High School, this Texan would make a great Texan. The team can always use a tough, competitive corner with man coverage skills and the seemingly intuitive ability to make the big play. Dom Capers’ scheme resembles the one Strait plays in at Oklahoma in that both are designed to keep the quarterback guessing by blitzing players from all over the field, and Strait has shown a penchant for bringing heat off the edge when his number is called. A fourth year junior, Strait would have to elect to forgo his senior year in Norman to enter the 2003 draft.
(profile written by Warren DeLuca)
Derrick Strait’s 2001 Stats G TCK PBU INT FF FR 12 54 15 3 0 0 Derrick Strait Return to The War Room
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