Jai Eugene, FS, LSU

Scouting reports of the safeties in the 2011 Draft.
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Jai Eugene, FS, LSU

Postby Pudge » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:37 pm

LSU Senior
40: 4.51


Has good speed and shows nice range potential and awareness when working centerfield. Has burst upfield to defend the short throw and can keep things in front of him. Willing in run support, coming up and deliver hit or cutting a back's legs. Shows decent ability to cover the slot receiver.


Undersized in run support. Doesn't do a great job breaking down and leads to missed stops. A bit of a soft tackler and hitter. Doesn't have the closing burst and doesn't take great angles when defending the run. Gets stuck in trash when working up in the box. Doesn't show good footwork and technique when working in man coverage, lacking burst and balance out of his breaks.


Eugene had a promising start at LSU, but sort of fizzled his last two years. He came to the school as a highly-touted recruit, playing both CB and QB in high school. As a sophomore, he started 9 games at corner and had 35 tackles, and 3 pass breakups. He moved into a reserve role as a junior (thanks to Patrick Peterson's emergence), finishing with 26 tackles, 1 INT, and 1 PBU. He moved to safety as a senior, with 1 start, finishing with 24 tackles. He has enough skills and ability in coverage to think he can carve out a niche as a dime safety at the next level, comparable to what he served this past year at LSU. But he's limited and doesn't have the ball skills or playmaking ability to really be more than an NFL reserve.


Eugene has good speed and shows a pretty good feel for zone coverage to think he can be a capable safety. But he's an undersized run defender and gets in trouble more often than not there. He's decent in man coverage for a safety considering his past at cornerback, but not quite good enough where you're comfortable leaving him on an island against good wideouts. He's a good athlete, but never really developed into the sort of playmaker that can be much more than a special teams option at the next level. He'll just be too limited to make any real plays on regular defense. If he can produce on special teams, he has a chance to stick in the pros. But you'll be in trouble if he is winds up playing extended minutes on defense. Down the road, playing in a Cover-2 scheme, he can be an acceptable dime safety that won't make the play in coverage, but shouldn't give it up either.


Eugene can come in and complete as a reserve safety since the Falcons depth there is weak. He's not going to make the roster as a rookie, not unless he really impresses on special teams. But if he can play there, and his athleticism can land him a practice squad spot. With a year or two's development there, he is potentially good enough to fill a role comparable to what Antoine Harris had in 2007 and help play deep centerfield in dime packages down the road. But he's a marginal product.


Eugene isn't worth drafting, but has enough athleticism and speed to give him a shot in a camp.

1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

Speed: 4.0
Tackling: 2.0
Coverage: 2.5
Ball Skills: 2.0
Range: 2.5
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