An accomplished receiver in high school, Layne made the transition to cornerback during his freshman year in 2016, playing in nine games (eight as a cornerback) and registering 18 tackles, including one for loss and collecting his first interception.
He emerged as an all-conference candidate the next two seasons, enjoying a breakout campaign in 2018 with a career-high 15 passes broken up and 72 tackles, nearly doubling his production from the year before when he earned Honorable Mention accolades.
Layne announced his decision to bypass his senior season at Michigan State and enter the 2019 NFL Draft before the Spartans' matchup with Oregon and its celebrated junior quarterback Justin Herbert in the Redbox Bowl. Layne did not play in what turned out to be a 7-6 loss for MSU, ending his career with 130 tackles, 24 passes broken up and three interceptions in 34 career games.
Rare height for the position with plenty of room for additional muscle mass. Possesses very light feet and loose hips for an athlete of his size, showing impressive quickness and change of direction for a long, perimeter cornerback.
Competitive man to man corner, demonstrating good balance, instant acceleration and sneaky hands to harass receivers as the route progresses. Experience playing receiver shows in Layne's route awareness. Trusts his eyes and attacks downhill, showing an explosive click-and-close ability as well as the long arms and hand-eye coordination to break up passes.
Good awareness in the running game, showing competitiveness to fight through blocks on his way to the ball. Flashes physicality as a hitter, showing a reliable strike zone and generally reliable technique as a tackler, typically wrapping his arms for the quick solo stop.
It doesn't take an accomplished scout to understand why Layne was moved from receiver to cornerback given his poor ball-skills. He recorded just three interceptions out of 24 career passes broken up, too often appearing content with breaking up passes rather than going for the turnover.
Projection: Third Round
--Field Level Media