Brigham Young Senior
40: 4.65 (estimated)
Plays with toughness and smarts. Shows some closing burst on the edge to make stops. Is comfortable working up near the box. Can deliver the hit to the receiver over the middle to break up a pass. Shows some ball skills to make the interception on a tipped pass or errant throw.
Doesn't take great angles and his lack of speed makes the issue even worse when trying to make stops in the open field. Will whiff on stops. Will struggle in coverage for similar reasons.
Was productive in his two years as a starter, combining for 195 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 11 passes broken up, 9 interceptions, and 5 forced fumbles. He's a guy that is going to work hard, but he's too athletically limited to like his chances in the pros. Lucky for him, that is what special teams is for.
Rich is very limited in terms of his potential to contribute on defense. You like his size and he shows some ability to contribute as a run stopper. But he's not quite as physical as he could be with his size and won't make major contributions in run support. His major limitation is his lack of speed, and while he does show decent ball skills, he won't be able to match up in coverage. He's a guy however that has the work ethic and toughness to think he can stick on special teams and have a nice productive career in that realm. But unless a team falls in love with his special teams prowess, he'll have tough sledding to stick in the pros. A guy that can bounce around the league for a couple of years, but at best you're hoping he's a Matt Giordano-level journeyman. But at least Giordano had speed.
If Rich comes in and contributes on special teams, he could potentially land a practice squad position. But his upside on defense is too limited to think he can actually make the Falcons roster even as a reserve. In his second summer, if he could parlay his year of experience on the practice squad and get a break here or there with an injury he might be able to make the roster as a fourth or fifth safety. But unless he's a top-notch special teams player, he'll have a hard time holding that spot for more than a year. He's more the type of player that the Falcons pick up mid-season when they have an injury to fill in on special teams, than someone the team would carry themselves.
Rich isn't worth a draft pick. He's just too limited on defense and too big a question mark in terms of making an NFL roster to be drafted. But he's definitely a player that can get a look in camp and potentially make a roster as a special teams maven.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
BALL SKILLS: 2.5
Scouting reports of the safeties in the 2011 Draft.
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