NFL scouts will be hard-pressed to find a better inch-for-inch defender in the country than the hard-hitting 5-foot-8 Joyner, who produces big plays with his physical tackling and ability to time blitzes and penetrate the backfield.
The instinctive defender played for perennial powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas in Ft. Lauderdale and chose the Seminoles over Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Miami, Ohio State, Notre Dame and USC. Joyner signed with Florida State initially as a highly regarded prep cornerback and logged his first action there in 2010, posting 23 tackles, two passes broken up and an interception as a true freshman.
He moved to strong safety in 2011 and started all 13 games, earning second-team All-ACC honors while registering 54 tackles, one sack and three pass breakups. Joyner started all 14 games as a junior, giving him 27 consecutive starts at safety before moving back to more of a cornerback/nickel back role as a senior.
Joyner proved to be one of the nation’s top overall defensive backs in 2013, earning first-team All-ACC honors from the coaches and media and was selected as a First Team Walter Camp All-American.
The versatile defensive back has bounced between safety and cornerback most of his career, but played mostly a cornerback role as a senior, seeing a lot of action as a nickel back covering the slot receiver.
With his marginal size, Joyner won’t be a fit for every NFL defense, but he plays bigger than he looks and has a future at the next level in some capacity, most likely as a nickel back. Defensive backs coaches in the NFL will appreciate Joyner’s versatility, as he’s logged action against legitimate competition while lining up outside, inside and deep.
Despite his smaller frame, Joyner plays like he’s 6-2 and 225 pounds, hitting like a truck in run support. He has bounced between safety and cornerback, showing NFL scouts his versatility to help out anywhere in the secondary.
Aggressive striker who only knows how to play full-speed, showing excellent timing to make plays on the ball. Plays fast with natural acceleration to go from 0 to 60 in a flash, displaying impressive closing burst. Possesses the build of a running back and loves to deliver punishing hits with his violent playing style. He also adds value as a kick returner and looks natural as a ballcarrier.
Excellent awareness and instincts with quick diagnosis skills as well as the balance, agility and speed to handle coverage duties.
Though he plays with desirable aggression and intensity, he can be overaggressive at times, biting on fakes and allowing receivers to gain a step. While playing with no fear, does lack ideal size for safety. Where will his ideal position prove to be in the NFL?