Pros: Has great instincts and plays very smart. He reads plays quickly, doesn’t bite hard on play action and has great closing speed and burst to close on the ballcarrier. He is a good tackler and has good pop as a hitter. He also excels in coverage, reads plays and the QB’s eyes well and closes very well once he knows where the ball is going. He has great ball skills and is dangerous as a returner after he makes an interception. He will also take on much larger blockers when he is playing the run, and routinely takes out offensive lineman to try to give his teammates a chance at making a play. He also played special teams even though he was the superstar of the team, which is great to see. He seems to be a good team leader.
Cons: Doesn’t always make tackles when he should. He supports the run well but at times he will go for the big hit instead of just wrapping up his man, but he shows plenty of ability to break down and wrap up, so he just has to learn to go for the big hit less. He isn’t a very good blitzer unless he has a clean lane to the QB as he lacks many pass rush moves and it is hard for him to shed blocks from huge offensive lineman when they pick him up. Will occasionally go for a tackle when he is out of control and he will try to arm tackle.
Overall: He is easily the best safety prospect in this draft class and is one of the top three prospects in this entire draft class. I think he will be able to contribute as a starter immediately and should have an alright rookie season even if he has some growing pains as he adjusts to the NFL. He will be a good ball hawking safety but he also supports the run well and can blitz off the edge if he gets a free lane to the QB. If he can clean up some of his tackling issues when he goes for the big hit a little too often he will be a truly elite safety in the NFL. He plays with such great instincts, he is a good team leader and he is an elite playmaker at the safety position and is legitimately worth a top 5 selection in the NFL draft.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
BALL SKILLS: 4.5
Scouting reports of safeties in the 2010 draft.
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