6’3” – 203 lbs.
Has been a major contributor for the past three seasons. Posted 60 tackles, eight breakups, and an interception as a freshman, then saw his production explode the following year (74-9.5-5.0, nine breakups, five interceptions). Won the Thorpe Award this past season, posting 65-4.5-2.0 with seven breakups and two interceptions. Has excellent size and length for a pro defensive back; looks a little bit lanky but could definitely handle more weight on his frame. Played a lot of high safety in college, whether patrolling the back end of the defense with another player or in single-high coverage; would creep down into the box at times to defend against the run, or shade over and play off-coverage against an opposing receiver in the slot. Overall temperament in coverage is pretty conservative; can typically be found well off the line of scrimmage, keeping the play in front of him. Backpedals with good balance and relaxed footwork. Timed speed will be interesting, as he can often be slightly late to get to the sidelines and provide help from high coverage. Has a good feel for routes developing, with some burst when planting and driving on a spot; times his hits well to dislodge receivers from the ball at the catch point on routes over the middle of the field. Comfortable identifying his responsibilities when defending against route combinations. On-ball production is very good; didn’t see him intercept passes during the games reviewed, but seven picks over the past two seasons suggests he has solid hands. Makes quick tackles to limit yards after the catch when in position. Unfortunately, wasn’t asked to play a lot of man coverage, but has intriguing length for that type of role. Not afraid to stick his nose in and deliver hits on opposing running backs; rushing off the edge actually constitutes a fairly large portion of his snaps for a prospect who’s more of a deep safety on passing downs. Able to shuffle and find open lanes to the ball, but can also throw his body around a little bit at times and disrupt opposing blockers. Not the most reliable or technically-sound tackler and can be overpowered by some running backs. Can come in too hot and run himself out of some plays; would like to see a little bit more discipline. Susceptible to having his legs cut out when playing downhill. A vey productive three-year starter with the length and pattern recognition skills teams look for in a safety, but who may lack elite athleticism and who doesn’t always play under control in the run game. Looks likely to come off the board in the first round, but that may be a little bit risky.