When the 2014 pro football season started there were 14 defensive backs playing in the NFL with their roots in the state of Louisiana. No other state has produced more NFL defensive backs over the last four years than the state of Louisiana and the Pelican state will add to the mix again in 2015 with the addition of Tulane cornerback Lorenzo Doss, LSU strong safety Ronald Martin and Alabama safety Landon Collins, who prepped at Dutchtown High School in Geismer.
Another Louisiana product to watch is Northwestern State (LA.) cornerback Imoan Claiborne, who earned 1st team All-Southland Conference honors in 2014 and has been invited to play in the 2015 Senior Bowl. I have Claiborne projected as a 5th or 6th round pick for the 2015 NFL draft and he will do very well in the one-on-one drills due to his outstanding athleticism leading up to the late April draft.
In 2014 Claiborne intercepted 4 passes, had 7 pass break-ups and he registered 3 fumble recoveries. Claiborne was voted to the Sports Network All-America team for 2014.
The former Alexandria High School product is anxious to showcase his skills for the NFL.
"I wasn't a very highly recruited player, only three schools offered, " Claiborne said. " I was a pretty good basketball player and a track sprinter, but I loved football. I just want to show the NFL that I am a physical player, very focused on my assignments and I just want to win. My coaches from junior high school and up just kept preaching to me about taking care of business on and off the field and that is what I am about. I really played more on the offensive side as a high school player, so I feel as though I can learn a lot more about the cornerback slot, but I won't be outworked out on the field and off it. I pattern my game after Brent Grimes with the Miami Dolphins. He's not the biggest, but he is the biggest when it comes down to fighting for position and for the football. I respect him a lot."
Claiborne says that growing up he admired Terrell Owens and he does have a favorite NFL team.
"Being a former wide receiver I really admired how good and how physical a player T.O. was with the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles. He was a great competitor and he could just pluck the ball out of the sky with ease. I will be thrilled and honored to whoever selects me and I will do my best to make them proud they selected me, but my favorite team growing up was the New Orleans Saints. I am a "Who Dat" guy."