Congratulations! You've just made the wonderful decision to draft Geno Stone! Like most new Geno Stone owners, you're no doubt filled with questions about your new family member. We here at GIA will try our best to answer any questions you might have.
HELLO BALTIMORE RAVENS!
WHAT'S SO SPECIAL ABOUT GENO STONE?
Stone arrived at Iowa as a lightly-recruited player (Iowa was the only Power 5 school to offer him) with a chip on a shoulder a desire to prove himself. He immediately carved out a role for himself on special teams and saw enough action on defense to snare his first career interception. The needle was pointed up for Stone after his first year and he jumped to the next level in 2018 when he earned a spot in the starting lineup. He immediately brought a physical style to the secondary that punished opposing running backs and receivers and had a nose for the ball, notching four interceptions. With the departure of Amani Hooker (drafted by Tennessee last year), Stone took over as one of the leaders of the secondary in 2019 and was a key figure in the back seven in another very stingy Iowa defense. Stone earned second team All-Big Ten honors for his efforts as a junior. Stone was a guy we loved to watch; always active and often around the ball.
WHAT DID HE DO THAT'S SO GREAT?
Stone's strength comes from his football instincts and his excellent sense of the game; he can diagnose plays quickly and breaks on the ball well. He's extremely physical in all aspects of the game, too, from forcing receivers out of their preferred routes to laying the lumber in tackles in run support (which he does with gusto). Stone makes up for some physical shortcomings (which we'll get to in a minute) by excelling in the mental side of the game; his takes good angles and finds ways to make plays again and again and again.
|YEAR||TACKLE||TFL||INT||PASS DEF||FOR FUM|
HOW ARE HIS PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES?
|40 YD DASH||BENCH PRESS||VERT JUMP||BROAD JUMP|
|4.62 sec||12 reps||33.5 in||116.0 in|
The Combine exposed Stone's clear physical shortcomings -- he's a little short and a little stocky and he doesn't have great speed or leaping ability. If Stone was a little taller, had longer arms, and was a few ticks faster, he wouldn't have been around on Saturday to be drafted. That said, those shortcomings didn't prevent him from being a tremendously effective and productive football player for Iowa over the last few seasons.
WHAT ABOUT THE BAD?
Well, it's the physical issues we talked about above. While he can read plays superbly and knows where to go, he doesn't always have the speed or length to get there and actually make the play. He's not an explosive leaper and his speed and quickness are far from elite. Will those things hold him back as a pro? TBD.
SO WAS THIS A GOOD PICK?
Yep. While the physical shortcomings are real, the upside with Stone is real, too. He's an extremely smart, physical player with a knack for making good plays; guys like that will definitely add value to a football team. The Ravens seem like an excellent fit for him, too, given their track record for developing defensive players. Getting to learn from Earl Thomas seems like a great boon for Stone as well. Stone could be an immediate boost on special teams (that's where he got his start at Iowa, too), with the potential to grow into a role in the secondary, too. We wish him the best of luck in Baltimore.