As we approach the end of the College Bowl season, we continue to see some great matchups under FCS 2020 NFL Draft prospects. One of those fights included two NFL Draft prospects in Star Liberty wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden and Georgia South striking cornerback Kindle Vildor.
The two major division two prospects recently faced each other in the Cure Bowl to end the 2019 season. Against Vildor and the rest of the second player of the Eagles, Gandy-Golden made only three catches in the game. Vildor made a name for himself in that matchup and with his excellent game during the Georgia Southern 7-6 campaign.
Below I will take a look at Vildor’s rise from obscurity to a legitimate 2020 NFL Draft prospect. Several Eagles have been established in the NFL in recent years, and Vildor will join that group in April.
Living in the state of Georgia
Vildor is a former three-star perspective, according to MaxPreps.com, and he signed with Georgia Southern from North Clayton High School. As a former two-way player, Vildor collected 892 universal yards as a junior and ended his career with six career interceptions and four awkward recoveries.
After having signed with Georgia Southern, Vildor played in 12 games as a first-year defender and special teams. He followed up his promising first-year campaign by starting five games as a second-year student and intercepting three steps. He made the Honor Roll in each of his first two seasons and showed great intelligence and dedication to learn on and off the field.
The talented corner was an emerging player who was heading for his junior season in Georgia Southern. Vildor started all 13 games and passed the team with four interceptions and 11 pass deflections. This striking year, Vildor earned second team FBS All-American awards and Sun Belt Player of the Year from Pro Football Focus.
One of the best games from Vildor was against defending champion Clemson Tigers. In that game he played extremely tight coverage against both Clemson star wide receivers, Justyn Ross and Tee Higgins. Covering the duo, he collected one interception and broke another pass. If he wasn’t yet, this game definitely put Vildor on the map and in the NFL Draft conversation.
Senior year and beyond
Vildor entered his senior season with towering expectations for himself and the Eagles. He closed the year with 27 tackles, two picks and six steps apart. His size and competitive character proved in every game, and he earned himself the respect of scouts, coaches and players. Vildor earned the first team All-Sun Belt in 2019 and is very impressive during his four college seasons.
The most impressive aspect of Vildor’s game is its ability to raise its game level to match its competition. His strong game against Ross, Higgins and Gandy-Golden has contributed to improving his supply over the past two seasons and shows that he belongs in the NFL. He is not the biggest turn, but he has done exceptionally well against these tall, gifted receivers.
A bright future for the NFL design is hopeful
According to Nick Farabaugh from PFN, Vildor has received an invitation to attend the Senior Bowl 2020 Reese. Down in Mobile, Alabama, the small school will get a chance to further strengthen its stock as a legitimate NFL design perspective against some more of the eligible College Football receivers and playmakers.
Vildor joins teammate Tyler Bass and colleague Sun Belt star linebacker from Appalachian State, Omar Gaither, with the crucial pre-draft extravaganza. Back in December, PFN’s Matt Valdovinos said Vildor as one of the best sleepers to watch in the Senior Bowl.
Vildor earned the trip to the Senior Bowl through his excellent game against the best competition and his aggressive, ball-hawking character. When studying Vildor’s film, you can’t help but notice how physical he is and how his height helps against larger receivers. That physicality and aggressiveness are clear both in the coverage and during the support. View this impressive game below.
GaSo CB Kindle Vildor is not tested much on the outside due to its strong talent. Here he is destroying a bubble. I suspect he will look pretty good on the all-star circuit this year. #SnapScout pic.twitter.com/jMTHp4PBZB
– Chad Reuter (@chad_reuter) 4 November 2019
Teams such as the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers who value value can become very intrigued by the tape and measurable values of Vildor. He does not take many false steps and uses his hands well in coverage. His lack of ideal height on the outside could deteriorate him to the slot, where his speed and ball skills would shine, but I would not exclude him as a perimeter angle in the NFL.
The 49ers could use some depth at the corner position behind starters Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon. San Francisco is a logical fit due to the need and the fact that they house another former Eagle-large house, which goes back to Matt Breida. Vildor is a prospect of an NFL draft that should settle in rounds 5-6 of the 2020 NFL draft, but perhaps even its name in round four.
Scott Gorman is a writer for PFN regarding the NFL Draft. Find him on Twitter: @sgormanPFN.