2018 Season Countdown: #13 David Long

2018 Season Countdown: #13 David Long

August 15, 2018

David Long (image via Twitter)

Name: David Long
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 198 lbs.
High school: Los Angeles (CA) Loyola
Position: Cornerback
Class: Junior
Jersey number: #22
Last year: I ranked Long #22 and said he would be a backup cornerback (LINK). He made 21 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 0.5 tackles for loss, 6 pass breakups, and 2 interceptions (returned for 105 yards).
TTB Rating: 92

Long seemed to be in a battle for the starting cornerback job going into his sophomore season last year, and I had Keith Washington pegged to be the starter over him. Washington ended up transferring (he’s now at WVU), which was a pretty good indicator he didn’t win the gig. The winner in that battle was Long, obviously, who started all thirteen games. With this cornerback crew, the starters have got to be studs, and Long was a lockdown guy. No matter what metric Pro Football Focus uses (completion percentage, passer rating against, etc.), Long pops up as one of the top few corners in the nation.

This year Long appears to be a shoo-in for the cornerback spot, where he can build upon his sophomore season. He was listed at 187 lbs. going into 2017, and now he’s listed at 198 lbs. after the arrival of new strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert. He was all-conference honorable mention, and a lot of times that portends a slide up the charts as long as he maintains – or improves – his performance. Of course, Michigan has an excellent defensive line and blitzes a lot, so that helps Long and the other defensive backs. It should be another excellent season for Long, and I expect him to get some more all-conference honors in 2018.

Prediction: Starting cornerback; 25 tackles, 2 interceptions


  1. Avatar
    Comments: 1863
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    Aug 15, 2018 at 9:03 AM

    Long is too often overlooked by Hill, but would otherwise be “that CB” on our roster that fans tout as our latest & greatest. If he can stay healthy, I can see him with a better draft status than his (shorter) counterpart

  2. Avatar
    Comments: 2
    Joined: 9/19/2015
    Aug 15, 2018 at 11:44 AM

    Although these rankings take into account team need and positional replacements, it still says something about the current talent level that David Long, with all his accolades, is only the 13th most important player on the team. Back in the Hoke and RR years, a player of his caliber would have been much higher on this list.

  3. JC
    Comments: 313
    Joined: 8/17/2015
    Aug 15, 2018 at 12:20 PM

    Initial thought: 13th feels low. I understand Thomas and Watson are behind him, but Long was very good last year, and I expect him to be just as good this year.

    Players left on the countdown are:

    I would make the argument Long is more important than one of Black or DPJ, and I could make the argument Long is slightly more important than a couple others.

    Current thought: now that I’m listing these players out, as low as 13th may feel for a corner of his caliber, the depth/talent we have at other roster spots ahead on the list is more pressing.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3849
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Aug 15, 2018 at 12:33 PM

      LOL. Yeah, I had a really hard time ranking these guys when I got this high on the list, more so than in past years.

  4. Avatar
    Comments: 79
    Joined: 10/3/2015
    Aug 15, 2018 at 1:00 PM

    @ Thunder

    Curious how you determined your ranking between Long / Hill this year – both were extremely impressive last year, although if I recall Long posted slightly better numbers via PFF. Long also seems to possess a higher ceiling for the position given his size, although we’re obviously splitting hairs here. Just curious as to your rationale. Also, excellent job on the countdown as always! I think I probably speak for many visitors of the site when I say that this countdown is my favorite content to consumer going into the season.

    My guess at the remaining 12 spots, FWIW:

    1) Rashan Gary – potential to be most dominant player in CFB this year; could argue Patterson #1 as well
    2) Shea Patterson – obvious; mobility will be huge behind suspect line
    3) Chase Winovich – iron man; no proven depth at WDE
    4) Devin Bush – despite buzz at linebacker, lack of proven depth; fits Don Brown’s scheme perfectly
    5) Ben Bredeson – has to take big leap forward, and should
    6) Karan Higdon – lack of depth at RB behind Higdon and Evans; should challenge for all conference
    7) Tarik Black – looked like a potential star before injury; lack of depth at WR increases importance to team
    8) Khaleke Hudson – proven star; should be all conference
    9) Cesar Ruiz – has to make big jump and should
    10) Lavert Hill – should be all conference, but substantial depth at corner
    11) Quinn Nordin – great, if slightly uneven freshman year. Only option at kicker
    12) Donovan Peoples Jones – should make big leap with experience from freshman year

  5. Lanknows
    Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Aug 15, 2018 at 1:41 PM

    Long might be in the Top 5 NFL draft prospects on this roster.

    Feels ridiculous to put an all-conference/all-American caliber player outside the top 10, but I have him outside even the top 20 on my own list.

    Not a knock on him just the reality of the abundance of depth at CB. There wouldn’t be much worry if Watson & Thomas step in.

    This secondary is so loaded. It probably says something that the starting CB on Utah’s defense (ranked #35 in the country) isn’t even on the 2-deep here, working at backup safety/nickel instead.

    Contrast the secondary depth and talent now to a decade ago…credit to Hoke and Harbaugh both. Zordich is killing it.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1357
      Joined: 8/13/2015
      Aug 15, 2018 at 2:16 PM

      Ooofff! I would really not like to be down 2 corners when the big games come around. But I mostly agree with rating Long right around here and wouldn’t have thought it wrong a touch higher because of the depth we have at the position. Which depth, while great on paper, past Watson the worst athlete of the group, is almost completely not game tested.

      Outside the op 20 is s pretty strong position to take.

      I’m glad your back Lanky.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 6285
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Aug 15, 2018 at 6:16 PM

        Thanks. I would hate to be down 2 starting CBs also. Rather that though than down 2 DT, DE, LB, etc. If you can lose both starters and still be better than most teams you’re in elite company.

        You’re also right to point out that Thomas is unproven, but not much different than some of the guys we are counting on to start including ones we feel comfortable with (e.g., Dwumfour).

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