DB Marvell Tell III, Southern California

6’2” – 198 lbs. – N/A
Started in two of ten games played at strong safety as a freshman, missing time due to a broken collarbone. Took over the starting free safety job the following year and posted 43 tackles and an interception. Reprised that role the following season and posted 85 tackles, three interceptions, then saw his production dip to 56 tackles and one interception this past year. Tall, long-limbed safety whose arms measured over 33” at the Combine. Lined up well off the line of scrimmage, typically in single-high or cover-two looks. Has a controlled backpedal with good balance and a seamless transition to driving on a spot. Has pretty sound instincts and often finds himself around the ball; a smooth, fluid athlete with good top-end speed. However, at times looked just a little bit late to get to the sidelines and provide help over the top on downfield throws. Likes to come up and support the run, taking solid angles to the ball and using his length to wrap up ballcarriers. Physical when it comes to taking on blocks. Tendency to come downhill and help out can sometimes cause him to take false steps on play-action, although he didn’t get beat over the top during the games reviewed. Would occasionally drop down and line up on the edge of the defense, blitzing the quarterback; however, didn’t often see him slide down into the slot and play in man or zone coverage against opposing receivers. Ball skills are a little bit hard to get a feel for based on the games reviewed, but has the type of length and leaping ability to make plays when in position; a player with more of a conservative approach in coverage than the type to try and undercut routes for interceptions. Boosted his stock with an outstanding Combine workout; didn’t run the 40, but blazed a 6.63-second cone drill, put together a 42” vertical, and broad-jumped 11’4”. Doesn’t have the sexiest tape but looks like a trustworthy safety who stays under control and keeps the play in front of him to limit big plays over the top; also offers an excellent combination of height, length, and athleticism which could make him a starter at the pro level. Currently projected to go in the mid-rounds, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he snuck into the second day as a high-floor prospect with plenty of tools and experience.

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