6’0” – 214 lbs. – 4.56
Father, George, was a pro running back. Rotated onto the field extensively as a true freshman, then spent the past two seasons as a starter. Very long, big safety with excellent size for a strong safety role at the next level. Plays the game with a physical temperament and has received more praise for his leadership than arguably any other prospect in the draft. Can do a little bit of everything in coverage. Often lines up in off coverage across from slot receivers; takes more snaps in this capacity than as a traditional deep safety. A lot of his work comes in off-zone coverage, rather than being asked to press or carry receivers downfield in man on a consistent basis. Plays a lot of shuffle technique; wasn’t asked to backpedal quite as much but looks smoother and more natural when working backward or changing directions than most other big defensive backs. Seems to have a good feel for route developments underneath and will sniff out some screens and shallow patterns. Has some ability to plant and drive in order to make plays on the ball, but his best weapon appears to be his ability to separate receivers from passes with well-timed hits. As a deep safety, tends to play a little bit conservative, which can make it a little bit difficult to evaluate his ball skills, as he wasn’t targeted when in-phase particularly often. May be a little bit faster than he is explosive, but tested well enough to assuage most doubts about any athletic limitations he may have. Will likely be asked to work against tight ends and possibly receivers in coverage at the next level on a fairly regular basis. Has pretty sound instincts against the run; likes to play downhill, coming up to make tackles on opposing ballcarriers. Although he’s an aggressive player, does a good job of preventing his aggressiveness from being exploited; takes sound angles to the ball and is pretty rangy in pursuit. Helps set the tone defensively with good pop on contact and good on-field energy; length gives him an impressive tackling radius as well. Uses wrap tackling technique, although he may be slightly more physical than he is reliable as a tackler. Also served as a gunner on special-teams units. The type of safety who can help set the tone defensively with his physicality and leadership skills and who has the skillset to do a little bit of everything both in coverage and as a run defender; looks like he’ll be one of the top six or seven prospects selected, as teams view him as the type of player who can change their culture.