Yahoo Sports' top 2019 NFL draft prospects: Temple CB Rock Ya-Sin

Yahoo Sports
(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

6-foot, 192 pounds

The lowdown: Abdurrahman "Rock" Ya-Sin was hardly on the NFL’s map when he spent his first three seasons at FCS Presbyterian College – a school that only has produced one NFL player since the late 1980s: special-teams ace Justin Bethel. But Ya-Sin stepped right in there as a freshman contributor and made first-team All-Big South in 2017 with five interceptions before transferring to Temple as a grad student. And in a shocking show of respect for his talent and work ethic, Ya-Sin became the first player in program history to be allowed to wear a single-digit uniform number in his first season with the program, and he was granted it after less than two months on campus.

Ya-Sin backed it up with a fine senior season with the Owls, earning first-team All-AAC in leading the team with 12 passes defended along with two interceptions before skipping Temple's bowl game, presumably to prepare for the draft. Although he lacks great footspeed, Ya-Sin is incredibly adept at sticking with receivers downfield and playing the ball in the air. He also held his own with a solid week at the Senior Bowl.

One NFL defensive backs coach we spoke to has watched Ya-Sin and feels that his technique is a bit crude, although his natural instincts, physical conditioning and competitiveness all are NFL-caliber. Even though he’s been in more man-heavy schemes in college, Ya-Sin might be best working with a defense that slants toward more zone coverage – such as the Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Chargers or Dallas Cowboys, for instance – where his long arms can be used to reroute receivers and his lack of great speed can be mitigated. We expect him to be a Year 1 reserve with the chance to be an above-average to good starter in time.

Fun fact: Ya-Sin was a two-time state champion wrestler at Southwest DeKalb High School in Decatur, Georgia, and he didn’t start playing football until his junior year of high school.

“I continued to wrestle, but in the spring of my sophomore year my wrestling coach had me go work out with the football team,” Ya-Sin said at the combine. “Just lifting weights with them, then the football coach asked me to come out for spring ball.”

It appears that it was a wise decision.

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