Poor pre-draft testing doesn’t hurt Kamari Lassiter’s draft stock, selected by the Houston Texans in Round 2

Georgia cornerback Kamari Lassiter didn't ace the NFL Scouting Combine, but he was still drafted in the second round of the 2024 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans to start at nickel.
Georgia defensive back Kamari Lassiter (DB23)
Georgia defensive back Kamari Lassiter (DB23) / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kamari Lassiter had an excellent career at Georgia, anchoring Kirby Smart’s secondary as an outside corner, but there was a chance he would fall down NFL draft boards after disappointing performances throughout the pre-draft process. Despite running just a 4.64 40-yard dash, the Houston Texans used the 42nd overall pick, their first of the 2024 NFL Draft on the former Bulldog. 

Lassiter’s 40-yard dash may not have scared off Houston general manager Nick Caserio and head coach DeMeco Ryans because he will likely move inside to the nickel position in the NFL. In his final season at Georgia, Lassiter played 596 of his 706 snaps at outside corner and only 48 defending the slot, though he is built for the transition with his 5-foot-11 186-pound frame. 

Coming out of the NFL Scouting Combine, Lassiter was widely considered a third or fourth-round draft pick, but that evaluation exposes one of the dangers of NFL draft season, double counting. Scouts and teams already knew that Lassiter was undersized coming into the process, so when he confirmed that in Indianapolis, it clearly didn’t affect his NFL stock. 

Lassiter only allowed 15 catches on 39 targets with five pass breakups on Kirby Smart’s defense and that production outweighed his poor test results. 

Houston is set at outside cornerback with Derek Stingley Jr. and Jeff Okudah, two former top 10 NFL draft picks. However, the Texans were desperate for an upgrade over Desmond King and Tavierre Thomas, who split time in the slot to mixed results. Lassiter will be given a chance to start right away for a Super Bowl contender.

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