Ohio State Senior
40: 4.60 (estimated)
Has a good combo of size, speed, and athleticism. Shows good closing burst and speed in space. Willing to throw his weight around and can cut a ballcarrier's legs in the open field. Shows burst as a blitzer off the corner. Has pretty good hips for a safety and experienced covering receivers in the slot.
Doesn't have the ideal hips or burst to match up in man coverage against receivers and tight ends. Lacks ball skills, and has a tendency to play the man rather than the ball. He'll go for the big hit when he could make the interception. Too often he looks to hit guys rather than breaking down and wrapping up, leading to missed stops. Doesn't take great angles and has trouble getting in position to make a good open field tackle.
Hines is a guy that looks the part as an NFL safety and was the full-time starter at free safety for only his senior season. He split starts with Anderson Russell as a junior, and served primarily as a nickel guy in 6 starts as a sophomore. But Hines is not a heady defender and doesn't make a ton of plays. In his three years as a contributor, he tallied 3 picks and 8 pass breakups, with 3 fumble recoveries.
Hines will likely get an opportunity to develop as a reserve free safety with some team liking his speed, size, and athleticism. But he just lacks the awareness and consistency to think he'll make anything of that opportunity. He's a guy that projects to special teams and would be very much overmatched in the starting lineup. There really just isn't anything to like about his game to think he can be more than an average guy. I would be surprised if he was still in the league four years from now. The only way I think he could stick beyond that point is if he turns into a really good special teams player. He's the type of player that teams draft or sign because they like his measurables, but he's out of the league by his second or third summer because there is nothing he does well enough to stick on an NFL roster.
Hines could compete for a roster position in Atlanta, but he's not going to win one unless there are some injuries and he shines on special teams. He's a guy that could land a practice squad position, but by the time his second training camp rolls around, it's likely the Falcons have brought in someone new that is better and he won't be able to stick. He's basically just a body that has very limited upside to be worth developing beyond a year or two.
If he tests well at the Combine, some NFL team might be fooled into drafting him. But he's really an undrafted prospect in terms of his ability. Worth a look in camp for a team that is looking to carry five safeties on their roster. But he's not worth drafting because he doesn't project that strongly to special teams or have the upside to be worth developing down the road.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
BALL SKILLS: 1.5
Scouting reports of the safeties in the 2011 Draft.
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