High School and College Career
Carrington Valentine, from Archbishop Moeller High School, was a 3-star prospect prior to joining the Kentucky Wildcats.
In his freshman year, 2020, Valentine played in 8 games, accumulating 142 snaps as a cornerback for his team. Despite playing a significant number of snaps, he had a relatively low record having eight tackles, with no pass breakups or interceptions.
Valentine’s sophomore year, 2021, proved to be much more productive than his previous year. He played in 13 games for Kentucky and logged a total of 777 snaps. He amassed a solid 53 tackles, three pass breakups, and a QB rating when he was targeted of 101.6.
As a junior in 2022, Valentine played in 12 games for his team, accumulating 726 snaps. He had 45 tackles, six pass breakups, and one interception.
Carrington Valentine Scouting Report Introduction
Valentine’s strength lies in his aggressive and physical style of play in coverage. He uses both one and two-handed punches to alter his jam technique and has functional hip fluidity that allows him to stop and drive on routes. He can carry routes vertically, remaining hip-to-hip with the receiver and breaking down to come back to the football. His coverage ability is sticky, and he remains in phase on a good amount of his reps. He also showcases a nice burst out of his backpedal to close on routes breaking in front of him.
Despite his impressive skills, Valentine’s slim physical build can be a disadvantage when compared to bigger-framed receivers. He can be pushed around on stalk blocks once they are engaged and is easily boxed out on in-breaking routes by bigger receivers. In man coverage, Valentine tends to lean too far in press alignment, leading to poor weight distribution when attempting to turn and run with his assignment. This can open up underneath or in-breaking patterns. His technique also has room for improvement in his base and punch placement and timing.
Valentine offers value on kick and punt coverages for special teams and has the potential to work his way into the defensive lineup in heavy defensive back sets. However, his projection as a depth cornerback early in his career means he still has a lot of room for improvement. If he can improve his technical consistency and adapt a controlled aggression to play under control, he has the potential for a starter upside.
Carrington Valentine is a football player who possesses a unique combination of length, speed, and quickness. A quick thinker with a high level of instinct, he is extremely adept at reading and anticipating the movements of opposing players. However, Valentine’s expertise extends beyond just individual matchups. He understands zone coverage well and can quickly assess developing situations to make informed decisions.
Not only does he possess impressive speed, but his agility and ability to change direction quickly make him particularly effective.
Valentine is also active in defensive blitzing, demonstrating both willingness and effectiveness in this area. His versatility and range have led some experts to suggest that a move to safety could be considered, particularly given his sure tackling abilities. Additionally, Valentine has shown a keen ability to accurately assess and pursue the ball, even in complex zone coverage formations.
Strength is another area where Valentine excels. At the line of scrimmage, he’s able to deliver a powerful punch even while moving his feet. This strength extends down the field, where he’s able to stay in step with opposing players and move them toward the sideline. Overall, it’s clear that Valentine is a skilled and versatile player who earns his keep on the football field.
Valentine stays high in his backpedal, which can leave him vulnerable to getting beat on deep passes. Additionally, he has been known to breach his coverage call in pursuit of flashy plays, which can also lead to a breakdown in coverage. He also abandons scheme to chase turnovers on occasion.
Another area of concern for Valentine is his tendency to get beat over the top. When faced with a deep ball, he can often panic and get too handsy when running downfield, which can lead to pass interference penalties or even touchdowns for the opposing team. This isn’t so bad in college thanks to the 15-yard penalty but its a different issue when its a spot of the foul penalty in the NFL.
Finally, there are some concerns about Valentine’s ability to recognize routes when he is facing the action. He has been known to be hesitant in these situations, which can make him susceptible to double moves from opposing receivers. Additionally, he has a tendency to get too handsy when playing trail position, which can also result in penalties.
Carrington Valentine is the 145th prospect on our draft big board.