6’1” – 214 lbs. – 4.51
Started two games as a freshman before taking over a full-time starting role the following season. Redshirted after herniating a disc in 2014, then recovered his starting role over seven games the following season and for his entire senior year. Tall, long-limbed safety who really looks the part. Capable of helping to set the tone with his physicality. Willing to come up and hit in the running game, but isn’t much of a form tackler; more likely to try and cut out a back’s legs than to engage him. Falls off of a lot of tackle attempts when using his arms. Doesn’t shy away from taking on blocks to establish run fits and funnel backs inside. Sometimes comes in a little bit too hot and takes himself out of the play, or has trouble locating the ball. Good in a straight line but play speed doesn’t always match his athletic gifts because of tentativeness in making his heads. Generally lines up as a deep safety, but also has some experience playing in the box or blitzing from deep; will take the occasional snap opposite a wide receiver or tight end, albeit with a large cushion. Despite his length, has a pretty balanced, smooth backpedal and is able to cover a reasonable amount of ground in coverage; able to open his hips down the field. Comes up and makes hits on routes over the middle to break up passes. Best when he’s able to keep the play in front of him and drive on a spot; rarely aligned close enough to the line of scrimmage that he’s forced to turn his back to the passer and run with a receiver. Can be coaxed into biting on play fakes and misdirection, creating one-on-one opportunities down the field. Has nine career interceptions but plays so far off the line that he’s often not in position to make plays on the ball. As a blitzer, has the speed to rush the passer from deep in the secondary. Back injury will require further medical investigation and could affect his draft stock, especially given his aggressive style of play on the field. Probably more of a mid-round pick because although he has the temperament, physicality, and length to play at the pro level, doesn’t really get the most out of his tools at this point and will need to develop his instincts and technique further in order to succeed. Could eventually be a serviceable starter but might end up as more of a reserve option with the type of demeanor to succeed on special teams.