Is an active and tough corner that is willing to come up in the box and stick his nose in run support. Shows good straight-line speed and closing burst on the ball. Will look to deliver hits to receivers crossing the middle and backs. Shows ability to come upfield and wrap up the receiver on the underneath route. Shows decent ability as a drag-down tackler when he's working in pursuit.
Is an undersized and unreliable tackler. Struggles to tackle bigger backs who truck him or roll off his tackles. Is not a sound tackler, that tackles too high and doesn't break down and drive through as a tackler. Misses a lot of stops in the open field. Doesn't take great angles to the ball when trying to defend the receiver along the sideline. Lacks ideal speed and range when working in centerfield. Lets receivers get behind him when he has deep responsibilities and gives up big plays. Will bite on play and shoulder fakes, blowing assignments. Lacks ball skills and rarely makes plays on the ball in the air. Struggles when he's in man coverage, and is too straight-line without good hips. Struggles to turn and run with quick receivers down the seam, letting them blow by him for big plays.
Gideon was a four-year starter that first came to my attention a few years back when he was productive opposite Earl Thomas on Texas' National Title team. While he wasn't a great player then, one could imagine with improvements he could potentially develop into a competent NFL starter. But the more I've seen of Gideon, the more limited he seems. He's just an unreliable tackler that doesn't make up for with his abilities in coverage. But he's the type of player that could manage to stick in the pros as a reserve because he is the type of guy that should play well on special teams.
2011 GAMES WATCHED:
(9/10) vs. BYU: 1 missed tackle; 1 target, 0 rec., 0 yds
(10/8) vs. Oklahoma: 2 missed tackles; 2 tgt., 2 rec., 55 yds (27.5 avg), 13 YAC, 1 TDs
(11/12) at Missouri: 0.5 stuffs; 1 tgt., 1 rec., 3 yds, 0 YAC, 0 TDs, 1 PD
(11/24) at Texas A&M: 0 tgt., 0 rec., 0 yds
(12/3) at Baylor: 3 missed tackles; 3 tgt., 3 rec., 87 yds (29.0 avg) 17 YAC, 1 TDs
(12/28) vs. California: 0 tgt., 0 rec., 0 yds
2011: 13 GP/13 GS, 84 tackles, 2.0 TFLs, 1.0 sacks, 2 INTs, 4 PD, 0 FF, 1 FR
Gideon is just too limited to really think he can carve out a consistent role on defense. He is a poor tackler by college safety standards, which will only become more apparent at the next level. If he was 190 pounds, it could be excused as just not being big enough. But he's played at the 205-pound range, and he's just not a technically sound tackler so even with added strength, he'll still be unreliable. He's not good in man coverage, and lacks the speed, range, and ball skills to really offer much in zone. He might be OK playing as a reserve in a team that likes to make use of a lot of Cover-2, but you still can't trust him playing deep coverage because he'll have trouble matching up with speed. But his play might be able to translate to being on special teams. If he can come in and impress there, then he might stand a chance. The type of player I could see him developing into is a player like Steve Gregory. Gregory has earned a lot of reps on defense in recent years thanks in large part of injuries, but he's a poor stopgap. In five years, it's possible that Gideon could be that sort of player. But if any team gives him significant reps on defense, they are going to regret it. You simply can't trust him vs. the run or pass, and if you cannot trust a safety, then what good is he. If he cannot wow anybody on special teams, then he might find himself out of the league by his third summer. But he's mostly a guy you project as a practice squad guy that can use his special teams ability to work his way onto a roster as a backup.
Gideon could push for a roster spot in Atlanta and if he proves himself on special teams, he could potentially make the Falcons practice squad. But he doesn't bring anything to the table that Schillinger doesn't already have, plus Schillinger is a better defensive player. So unless the Falcons were hit with injuries, then he would not be a candidate for a roster spot. But if he could stick on the practice squad for a year or two, he could potentially make a roster spot a few years down the line as a fourth or fifth safety. But his upside is limited and if he was ever to get extended reps on defense, it would likely signal the end of his Falcon career shortly thereafter.
Gideon is not worth a draft pick, but for a team looking for a hard-nosed special teams guy that could boost competition in camp, he is well worth a pickup as an undrafted free agent.
1-pathetic, 2-poor, 3-weak, 4-below average, 5-average, 6-above average, 7-good, 8-very good, 9-excellent, 10-elite
Man Coverage: 3.5
Zone Coverage: 4.0
Ball Skills: 4.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.