6-1/205 Arizona State
Pros: He shows some pop as a tackler and does a nice job wrapping up. Does a good job keeping things in front of him in coverage. Shows decent ball skills and nice burst to make stop.
Cons: Has poor hips and struggles at times covering receivers in the slot. Can be a step or two late playing the ball in the air when he's working in centerfield. Not a huge hitter and tackles too high at times. Will miss some stops in the open field at the point of attack and can over pursue.
Overview: He has potential to develop in coverage and is able in run support, but nothing special. A former JUCO player that missed all of 2006 with a knee injury. But took 3 of his 4 picks as a senior back for touchdowns.
NFL Forecast: Nolan could make it as a dime safety working in coverage. He has some upside to develop there. He's an adequate run stopper for the college game, but would need to improve to keep him from being a liability in the pros. I think he could be a starter, but the type of guy that teams are desperate to upgrade. I think the upper end of his upside is a guy like Keion Carpenter, but more the way Carpenter played in his final year in 2005 as opposed to earlier. That Carpenter missed a lot of tackles and wasn't quite the ballhawk in coverage he was earlier in his career. Basically, he's a backup that down the road might be a serviceable stopgap starter for a year or two.
ATL Forecast: Nolan could add depth in the secondary, but isn't a long- term fix for the Falcons. Eventually, the team would be looking for someone else to develop as the future starter behind Coleman at free safety. But he's a guy that could play three or four years as a reserve player and special teamer. But he'll eventually be let go and become a journeyman at best.
Value: For a team that is looking for some depth at safety, Nolan might merit a seventh round pick.
Scouting Reports of safeties in the 2009 NFL Draft
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