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Brandin Echols cashed in at Kentucky Pro Day

Adam Luckettby:Adam Luckett04/03/21


Since Mark Stoops arrived, Kentucky has produced 11 NFL Draft picks and seven of those players have come on the defensive side of the football. To no one’s surprise, the secondary is well represented and the Wildcats appear ready to have two more secondary players hear their names called in a couple of weeks.

LSU transfer Kelvin Joseph has gotten much of the attention during the draft prep and the Baton Rouge (La.) Scotlandville Magnet alum was a former top-50 recruit and seems like a lock to be a second-round selection.

However, fellow starting corner Brandin Echols made quite the name for himself with a very strong performance at this week’s Kentucky Pro Day.

The Southaven (Miss.) product went to junior college out of high school and made the transition from wide receiver to defensive back. While at Northwest Mississippi Community College, Echols recorded six interceptions and became a second-team junior college All-American. Echols would become a mid three-star recruit who picked Kentucky over Houston in the class of 2019.

Once on campus, Echols made an immediate impact.

In two seasons, the transfer started 22 games and recorded 108 tackles with 82 solo stops. The 5-foot-10 corner showed no hesitation when physical play was required and flashed some ball skills with 11 pass breakups and one interception during his time at Kentucky. The tape shows a player that plays with an edge and that is exactly what Echols brings to the table.

“I always had to take that extra route, always had to do that extra little thing,” Echols told the media before Kentucky Pro Day. “I always have a chip on my shoulder because people always want to overlook me for some reason. When pro day comes around, I’m going to let everything speak for itself.”

The numbers posted by Echols certainly did just that.

Echols went over to the Nutter Field House and may have had the best individual day and that is saying something. The cornerback prospect posted a blazing 40-yard dash time to go with respectable power in the bench press and terrific shuttle times flashing solid short-area quickness. This is a high-level NFL athlete.

Echols will have to answer some size questions at the next level but proved time and time again to have the ability to matchup up with bigger, stronger receivers on the perimeter in the SEC. This is a quality college starter with top-notch athleticism. The Mississippi product plays with a nastiness that NFL franchises are going to love.

“You gotta play with that alpha mentality out on the edge,” Kentucky defensive coordinator Brad White told the media on Thursday. “We saw those two yesterday at pro day. Between Kelvin [Joseph] and Brandin [Echols], those two are alphas. They’d be willing to challenge any receiver that stepped up to them no matter how good, what their ranking was, this or that. That’s what you have to be out there on the edge.”

The chip on the shoulder is very robust and Echols seems determined to make it in the NFL. The corner helped himself tremendously at the event and seems to have locked up a draft spot.

Currently, ESPN has Echols ranked inside the top-200 and that should assure the defensive back a draft spot. Due to the testing numbers combined with the production, don’t be surprised if Echols comes off the board earlier than expected.

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