6’1” – 207 lbs. – 4.41
Started three of twelve games played as a freshman (20 tackles, one interception, one breakup), then took over as the team’s full-time starter at strong safety the following season (47 tackles, two interceptions, four breakups), a role he retained for the remainder of his collegiate career. Recorded 83 tackles, another interception, and two breakups as a junior and 75 tackles and an interception as a senior. Big, thickly-built strong safety who lined up in deep zones, dropped down closer to the line of scrimmage, and would shade over opposing receivers in the slot. Brings good energy to the defense. Hard-charging player who can help set the tone with his physicality; likes to come up and support the game and flowing toward the ball; delivers some pretty big hits. Does a pretty good job of sensing the play direction in the run game. Often around the ball and racks up a lot of tackles, but lacks the recovery speed to get back into position when he comes in too fast and doesn’t break down. In deep zone coverage, has sound balance and quick feet to backpedal into his area, and plays with pretty good instincts. Able to anticipate developments underneath and come up to deliver hits on targets; however, actual on-ball production was fairly limited over the course of his career, and is more likely to make quick tackles after the catch than to make plays on the throw itself. Pass defense suffers from the same shortcoming that his run defense does: is a little bit of a one-speed player who generally has good instincts but lacks the athletic ability to get back into the play when he takes false steps. Often looks a little bit late to get to the sidelines and provide help over the top in cover-two. Occasionally came down to the edge and rushed the passer or helped with run blitzes; managed to pick up 5.5 tackles for loss as a junior. A big strong safety who handled diverse responsibilities over three-plus years as a starter, but who will probably see a reduced role at the pro level unless he tests better than anticipated and proves he can reach spots on a consistent basis. Projects more as a third-day pick whose physicality and energy could help him contribute on special teams and in a reserve capacity.
6’0” – 208 lbs. – N/A
Started ten of fourteen games played as a true freshman, recording 58 tackles and four interceptions, then followed that up with seasons of 59 tackles, one interception and 58 tackles, two interceptions. Also recorded six career sacks and broke up six passes. Well-built with solid height and good musculature. Takes snaps as a single high safety, but will shade over to provide coverage on slot receivers on a regular basis. Plays with the type of conservative temperament that teams looking for a trustworthy option will appreciate; realizes that he represents the last line of defense and does a good job of keeping the play in front of him. Has an easy shuffle and gets good depth on his drops. Patient with his reads and does a good job flowing toward the ball; combination of play recognition and solid speed causes him to end up around the ball often, albeit not always as the first man on the scene. Risk-averse approach carries over into coverage, where he tends to play a little bit off to limit big plays over the top and yards after the catch; flip-side is that he could be targeted on higher-percentage throws underneath when playing from the slot. Able to place his hands and provide pretty good coverage down the seams, although he’s not the most fluid defender and might be susceptible to well-timed passes. Good plant-and-drive speed to close on a spot and deliver hits on ballcarriers; able to function as an enforcer when playing robber coverage over the middle of the field. Gets his arms extended and attacks blockers with physicality and active hands; good positioning to funnel runners back in. Uses effective wrap technique to bring down ballcarriers. Also has some experience as a blitzer off the edge, as evidenced by his career sack totals; does a good job of locating clear lanes and closes quickly. Despite being a bigger player, and despite his tough style of play, wasn’t really asked to come down into the box and defend the run as often as anticipated, although that is something he may be successful at. Teams looking for a fast, aggressive ball-hawk may want to look elsewhere, but has the smart, polished, and conservative temperament that teams running a bend, don’t break defense will be attracted to, with the size and physicality to support the run. Probably made the right choice to declare for the draft, as he doesn’t have any major weaknesses that would have made returning to school a good idea.
6’0” – 206 lbs. – N/A
Has been a full-time starter since his freshman season. Originally began his career as a cornerback, which he played for two years before transitioning to safety as a junior; tape reviewed is from his senior season. Also returned kicks and punts. Tall, lanky free safety who was typically playing well off the line of scrimmage in high coverage. Has a good-looking backpedal and quick feet to get depth in his drops. Clean footwork on his shuffle to spot-drop into deep zones. Makes the transition from backpedaling to driving on a spot smoothly, with good burst. Very rangy player who combines impressive top-end speed with fluid movement skills overall; can make his way out to the sidelines to defend passes or make tackles in the run game, exhibiting a strong motor in pursuit. Doesn’t have the strongest build but attacks blocks with aggression and doesn’t mind mixing it up on his way to the ball; generates a surprising amount of force and keeps his legs driving after contact. Good hit-and-wrap tackler with a wide radius; can also make it out to the sideline and separate receivers from the ball with well-timed hits. However, has a tendency to take angles which are too aggressive; was still able to put himself into position to make plenty of stops at the college level because of his speed and length, but left some yards on the field. Comes in too hot and would benefit from breaking down more consistently when defending the run. Could sometimes be fooled by misdirection and run himself out of the play; feel for the position is still a little bit of a work in progress. Consequently, at this point is more of a player who has the athletic ability to put himself in the right spot than someone who can consistently be counted on to do so. Length, athletic ability, and physicality allow him to shade over pairs of receivers and defend screens, or flip his hips and carrying opposing targets down the seams. A pretty interesting player who combines the physical, aggressive temperament of a safety with the athletic ability of a cornerback. Has a bit of a thin frame and is still developing his instincts, but has a higher ceiling than many of the safety prospects in this year’s class, which looks like it could earn him a spot within the top fifty picks or so.
5’11” – 205 lbs. – N/A
Redshirted, then started the last five of twelve games played the following year (39 tackles, one interception, two passes defensed). Went 100-5.5-0.5 with three interceptions and eight breakups as a sophomore, 96-4.0-1.0 with four interceptions and seven breakups as a junior, and 82-9.5-0.0 with two interceptions and six breakups as a senior to conclude his collegiate career. Free safety who tended to play in high zones, but would also come down to provide coverage over the slot from both press- and off looks on a regular basis, and occasionally even rush from the edge as an extra blitzer. Has a lanky build; looks a little bit more like a cornerback, but size and length look adequate for the safety position. Has controlled footwork when backpedaling or shuffling, and looks pretty smooth flipping his hips to carry receivers down the field from the slot. Covers a lot of ground and is able to spot-drop with quick feet on his backpedal. Pretty solid plant-and-drive to come down and deliver hits or make tackles on underneath throws. Had impressive on-ball production in college and does a good job of getting his head around and using his length when in-phase. Willing to come up and support the run, as his gaudy tackle totals over the past three years suggest; however, can let his aggressiveness get the best of him, having been exploited by throws off of play action against Tennessee, getting sucked up and losing opponents in coverage. Does a good job of reading keys and putting himself in position to make tackles on plays in front of him; often around the ball because of his combination of instincts, effective angles in pursuit, and good top-end speed. Homing missile who closes fast and can generate some pop on contact despite a frame which is somewhat thinner than ideal. Good wrap tackler who can bring down ballcarriers in space and breaks down well in the open field. Could do a better job of using his arms to play off of blocks instead of trying to run around them (more finesse than physical), but managed to get outside position and funnel runners back in. Three-and-a-half-year starter with an impressive combination of athleticism, instincts, technique, and tackling ability for a pro free safety; one of the more pro-ready defensive back prospects in this year’s class, with the ability to play in deep zones, drop down into the slot, or come up and support the run, qualities which could earn him second-day consideration.
6’3” – 210 lbs. – 4.84
Redshirted, then started the last of twelve total games played the following year, picking up thirty-five tackles. Started the last nine of twelve games played the following year, picking up 77 tackles, one interception, and three passes defensed. Totaled 87 tackles, three interceptions, and eight breakups as a redshirt junior, then declared for the draft. Tall prospect with solid bulk and impressive length for the position. Tended to take snaps well off the line of scrimmage and work his way up; snaps in the box were a relatively small part of his collegiate role. Has an easy backpedal and is an average to above-average athlete who looks pretty good when planting and driving or coming downhill to defend the run or rush the passer. Was asked to work in deep zones, demonstrating sound footwork and the ability to get depth, keep the play in front of him, read the quarterback’s eyes, and drive on spots. Got his hands on a lot of passes this past season and can also help enforce over the middle of the field with well-timed hit. Has an adequate closing burst and can generate some pop on contact. Instincts can often be a little bit off when working in deep zones, causing him to arrive late or get too shallow. Relatively limited work against opposing receivers and tight ends during the games reviewed, shading over for zone coverage at times but rarely playing man. Exhibits a pretty solid motor and a willingness to support the run. However, at this point there’s too much wasted movement to his game, possibly the product of indecisiveness. Looks a split-second late to recognize what’s going on and doesn’t always have the recovery speed to compensate for that. Despite his size and length, isn’t one of the most reliable tackles in the class; resorts too heavily to arm tackles or attempts to take out an opponent’s legs instead of breaking down, hitting, and wrapping. Needs to keep his head up more consistently. Despite having over two years of starting experience, doesn’t really look ready yet, needing to improve his instincts and tackling technique. He could have continued to polish his skills with another season at Fresno St., and having timed extremely poorly in Indianapolis, he might have trouble attracting interest before the mid-to-late rounds of the draft.
6’1” – 195 lbs. – 4.48
Originally attended Dodge City Community College, spending two seasons there before transferring to Utah for his junior season, a year in which he started six of nine games played before sustaining a season-ending injury (47 tackles, two passes defensed). Put together a full season to conclude his career, totaling 59 tackles, two interceptions, and two passes defensed. Has started at least one game at both safety spots and even one at outside linebacker. A tall, lanky player with an unorthodox usage relative to other safety prospects; was often taking snaps off the edge as essentially either a linebacker or as more of a box defender/edge rusher. Brings a good level of energy to the defense. Very fast defender with fluidity and flexibility; is able to provide tight man coverage on tight ends releasing into the flats or even bail out of blitzing looks into deeper zones. Has no problem running with opponents down the field on wheel routes or other releases out of the backfield. Would also take some snaps as a traditional deep safety, or shade over receivers in the slot, and that’s probably closer to what his role in the pros will be. Covers a lot of ground with his backpedal, demonstrating quick feet and good balance. Has loose hips and can make difficult spot drops; wasn’t playing single-high or halves that much in college, but is the type of athletic who can get over to the sidelines and provide help over the top on throws down the field. Not the caliber of run defender that his heavy usage in the box would indicate. At his best, can close off the edge and chase down ballcarriers from the backside. Likes to play downhill, but can be too aggressive in pursuit, overrunning spots and being sealed away from the play or being sucked in by misdirection. Doesn’t have the strength to play off of blocks effectively, frequently getting stuck just a split-second too long. That said, does close quickly when he’s able to find a path, with a wide tackling radius. Kind of a difficult evaluation because there’s a lot of projection necessary to imagine how he’d handle traditional deep-zone responsibilities, but there’s also a lot to like about his game, primarily his excellent athleticism, motor, and length. Teams who favor aggressive freelancing types may decide to take a chance on a versatile talent, whereas those who prize discipline may gravitate toward other options. Could probably play on special-teams and provide man coverage in sub packages earlier in his career.
5’11” – 190 lbs. – 4.64
Appeared in fifteen games over the first two seasons of his collegiate career, starting one contest. Stepped into the starting lineup as a junior and enjoyed a breakout season in which he totaled 83 tackles while intercepting seven passes and breaking up another ten. Put together a senior season of 49 tackles, one interception (a pick-six), and two passes defensed. On the small side for a pro safety, with a thin build. Free safety who was typically asked to play in deep zone coverage, but who is also capable of shading over opposing receivers and playing off-coverage. Pretty athletic player with solid speed and range to patrol down the field and provide help over the top on deep targets. Gets depth with quick feet and solid balance in his backpedal. Able to flip his hips and cover opposing receivers on deep posts. Comes up for a few snaps a game to play press coverage at the line of scrimmage; places hands effectively and looks comfortable turning and running. In off-man, does a good job of diagnosing underneath throws, with solid plant-and-drive skills to come up and deliver hits or break up passes. However, appears to play a little flat-footed at times and may not quite have the length or top-end speed to recover when receivers get past him. Racked up a ton of on-ball production over the past two seasons, particularly as a junior; appears to have soft hands to make plays when in-phase, with the vision and agility to create after securing the interception. Willing to come up and play the run, but is not a very effective tackler; in addition to his lack of size, saw him let a few runners slip through his grasp during the games reviewed. Comes in a little bit hot in run support and would be better-served by breaking down and trying to square up opponents. Would like to see him take more conservative angles, commensurate with his role as the last line of defense. One of the more fluid cover safeties in this year’s class, with solid athleticism, the ability to play both man and zone coverages, and impressive ball skills to make plays when in position. However, size and iffy tackling may limit his ability to play the run, and some teams may prefer a safety who plays with a somewhat more conservative temperament.
5’11” – 213 lbs. – 4.52
Started three of nine games played as a freshman before breaking his foot. Also started one of eleven games played the following year, totaling 41 tackles and three passes defensed over those two campaigns combined. Took over a starting role as a junior, posting a 71-5.5-3.0 line with two interceptions and three passes defensed, then picking up 77 tackles, another interception, and seven breakups as a senior. Big, well-built defensive back who played for a team which used field-side and boundary-side (short-side) safeties; he played the latter position, which was essentially a strong safety role. Smart player. Has solid instincts and flows toward the ball well in the run game, with the ability to pursue laterally and chase down ballcarriers in the open field. Although his overall level of athleticism is just average for the position, actually has a pretty good closing burst which he pairs with a solid tackling radius. Effective wrap tackler who makes the most of his opportunities and who can help set the tone defensively with physical play and good energy. Attacks blocks with power and aggression; gets good extension with his arms and uses heavy hands to shed. Coverage technique usually involved shuffling rather than backpedaling; has smooth, controlled footwork. When working in zone coverage, demonstrates a good feel for patterns developing underneath, with the timing to come up and deliver hits to break up would-be completions. Gets downhill to make tackles in the screen game quickly. Was utilized more heavily in coverage against receivers than he probably will be at the next level. Would occasionally drop down and get physical with opposing slot receivers, attempting to disrupt shallower routes, or line up in off-coverage almost like a cornerback. Even took some snaps out of press-man looks, although his average athleticism/fluidity might make that a bit of a risky gamble at the next level; got beat deep against Bowling Green as a junior but the pass fell incomplete. Also did a little bit of single-high but that probably won’t be his role as a pro. A smart player who has a good feel for the game, flows and tackles reliably in pursuit, and had an expansive role at the college level, but who will probably see that role constrained at the pro level because of his average athleticism. Looks like a potential mid-round pick.
6’0” – 205 lbs. – 4.42
Appeared in nine games as a freshman, then stepped into the starting lineup the following season and recorded 45 tackles, three interceptions, and three passes defensed. Followed that up with a 63-tackle, four-interception, 12-deflection junior year and a 98-tackle, six-interception, seven-deflection senior year, converting from cornerback to safety for his final season of eligibility. Tall, long-limbed, and well-built defender who played left cornerback in 2017, often lining up in press-man and using his length to disrupt releases. Has pretty good footwork to match receivers at the line, and uses his length to pin opponents to the sideline. Playing off-man coverage, gets physical near the route stem to disrupt routes. Has a basketball background, and his length and impressive leaping ability (reportedly has a 40” vertical) combine with solid ball skills; picked off thirteen passes over the past three years, breaking up twenty-two more. Pretty dangerous with the ball in his hands. As a safety this past season, typically took snaps opposite opposing slot receivers and would play off the edge or in the box in the absence of one. However, also played a handful of snaps per game in deep coverage. Offers a desirable, physical temperament. Quick to come up and support the run, flowing to the ball well. Does a good job of working through traffic and taking on blockers, using his quickness and length; can slip past bigger opponents or stack and shed against receivers. Not afraid to stick his nose in, with a wide tackling radius and some ability to thump; would like to see him break down more often instead of flying in and going low. Records more tackles because of his instincts than because of his fundamentals. Was able to blow up some plays in the backfield by rushing off the edge. Backpedaled fairly regularly and demonstrates good balance and footwork in his backpedal to gain depth, keeping plays in front of him. However, isn’t the fastest or most explosive player; lacks the explosive plant-and-drive skills to provide tight coverage through the stem, and is more likely to make quick tackles after the catch to limit additional yardage. Worth mentioning that he did time better than anticipated in Indianapolis. Has done a little bit of everything in college and has a tantalizing combination of size, length, leaping ability, and physicality, but may have to narrow his responsibilities a little bit at the next level in order to compensate for just average speed. Sort of a “jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none” prospect.
5’11” – 205 lbs. – 4.45
Originally attended Georgia, where he started four of ten games played as a freshman, totaling 25 tackles before transferring to junior college for a year. Started seven of twelve games the following season, posting 70-5.0-2.0 with five passes defensed, then followed that up with 99-9.0-3.0, intercepting two passes and breaking up another five. Very thickly-built defensive back with a rocked-up, maxed-out frame. Rangy safety who plays with toughness and physicality; loves to come up and deliver hits. Just an average athlete, but has an excellent motor which allows him to roam from sideline to sideline in order to bring down ballcarriers. Diagnoses effectively, then takes efficient angles to the ball, allowing him to fill the stat sheet. Active, heavy hands to shed blockers. Came in too hot and missed too many tackles during the junior-year games reviewed, but developed into a hit-and-wrap tackler with solid closing burst and who can generate plenty of force on contact to help set the tone; able to engage runners up high and sling them to the ground with extreme prejudice. Was frequently asked to line up over opposing slot receivers and work against them in coverage, those representing a higher share of his coverage snaps than deep zone responsibilities. Tended to play off-man, doing a solid job of keeping things in front of him; not a lot of wasted motion in his transition from backpedaling to shuffling, or from getting depth to planting and driving. Has pretty clean footwork on his backpedal and is able to flip his hips pretty well when he needs to turn and run. However, may lack the top-end speed to stick with slot receivers downfield at the next level, so he may not represent an ideal option for that type of role as a pro. Relies on his physicality to disrupt opposing route-runners, but needs to be careful in order to avoid penalties at the next level, specifically with regard to initiating contact too early at the catch point. Managed to record five sacks as a blitzer over the past two years, but has balance issues which sometimes crop up when he’s rushing off the edge; ends too many of his rush snaps in the dirt. Sort of a throwback to the intimidating strong safeties of years past, pounding runners and enforcing his will over the middle of the field. Aware in coverage, with fundamentally sound technique, but may struggle to match up with pro slot receivers because of his average speed.