Southern California Senior
40: 4.57 (Campus)
PROS: Does a nice job coming up and defending the run and can deliver a hit to ballcarrier. Tends to better when he can play near the line of scrimmage and not afraid to mix it up in the box. Works well in short zones and able to stay with backs and receivers in the flat. Shows ability to keep things in front of him. Breaks down and can make the tackle at the point of attack.
CONS: Will overpursue at times and can get caught out of position as a run defender. Needs to take better angles and will miss stops in the open field. Doesn't have ideal range or ball skills to make a lot of plays in coverage. Can be late breaking on the ball.
OVERVIEW: Replacement for Kevin Ellison at strong safety is a guy that is limited in coverage, but good enough to compete on the next level. Started 5 games as an injury replacmeent in 2008, finishing year with 38 tackles, 4.5 for loss, and 2 picks. This past year as full-time starter, had 69 tackles, 3.5 for loss, and 4 picks. MIssed a lot of time earlier in his career due to injuries. Missed all of the '05 season with sprained ankle and knee. Tore an ACL in that same knee the following year in a pickup basketball game.
NFL FORECAST: He can be a nice backup NFL strong safety, but I don't think has the range or run support abilities to really excel as a starter. In a few years I think he could develop enough where he could be a decent stopgap starter like a Ronnie Heard, but not good enough where I think a team would want him starting. Honestly, I also see him a bit as an undersized linebacker. If he was to put on 20-30 pounds, I could see him working just as well if not better as a reserve weakside linebacker. But either way, I don't see him ever being a reliable starter at the next level, and his NFL impact will largely impact on how quickly he can adjust to playing on special teams. If he sticks as a rookie, he'll have time to develop enough to where he might be considered a good backup down the road. If not, then he doesn't have the potential or upside that is really worth the time and effort to develop.
ATL FORECAST: He could be a decent backup in Atlanta, but I'm not sure there is a lot to like about his potential where he would stick long-term in that role. Not unless he excels on speical teams. He's not a lot different than some of the past fourth safeties the Falcons had on the roster last year like Peprah and Fudge, although he's bigger and might be more physical. He'd be limited as a starter, at least in the forseeable future and not sure he would be re-signed after his rookie contract expired.
VALUE: For a team looking for a backup strong safety, they might target him in the sixth or seventh round.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.