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Strong Safeties
2 Jabrill Peppers   8 Michigan Jr 5110 213 1

Has started to fall down our board just a bit. While his elite athleticism and ability as a returner is blindingly apparent every time he steps on the field, his play on the back end has been less than stellar. When targeted in coverage this season, he has yielded receptions on 20 of 26 targets and does not have a single pass defended when he is the primary defender...Also lacks the size to consistently take on and shed blocks going forward...majority of his impact plays have come when he has been unblocked. Are his coverage struggles due to his hybrid role? Or may he be a two-down player at the next level...Scout Says: "Some say Jabrill has poor ball skills. Are thy nuts? Have you seen the way he adjusts to passes and punts? He catches the ball very cleanly."- PFF

"Jack of all trades"( S, CB, LB, RB, WR, KR)...Great athlete with speed explosion and body control...Very instinctive/makes plays...Only one career interception....Lacks size to play LB...Has the suddenness to play corner but projects as a safety or $LB...Possible Top 5/Definite Top 10 draft pick... - PFW

What he lacks in size he makes up for with ferocity...One of the most instinctive players in the US...Lacks ideal length and may be viewed as a tweener by some....Has limited experience playing deep...The decision to move Peppers closer to the LOS in 2016 thought to be an indication of weakness in coverage. Instead, it may have been more to do with Michigan's experience and talent at DB and lack of speed at LB... One of the true stars of the 2017 draft class...compact, muscular frame and easy athleticism... terrific awareness and the closing speed...accelerates quickly, with a quick-twitch burst to flash through gaps and close on ballcarriers/ easily changes directions (has loose hips, greasy knees and flexible ankles) Agility and acceleration help him remain in the hip pocket of receivers...projects well to safety or even CB ...Despite his lack of ideal size, he's highly competitive and surprisingly physical...Occasionally come in too hot and off-balanced but is is a very reliable open-field tackler....wraps securely/does not back down from bigger ballcarriers...a natural with the ball in his hands - excellent vision, patience, elusiveness and acceleration as a returner. ...Tracks the ball well has good hands (can pluck outside his frame). Excellent straight-line speed...Surprisingly strong but will avoid rather than take on blocks...knocked to the ground too often. Hyper-aggressive in pursuit and will leave cutback lanes unguarded...Despite his reputation as a playmaker, he recorded just one interception (and one forced fumble) in college. Michigan featured him on offense, defense and special teams - a natural playmaker capable of starring in any number of roles...Comp: Troy Polamalu,- NFLDS ( Rang)

Had a good season 0- 72 tackles, 16 for a loss, 4 sacks and 1 forced fumble...phenomenal on punt returns. Also contributed on offense with 17 carries for 150 yards and t3 TD;s...The media has been busy overhyping Peppers to a degree....Teams said to be projecting Peppers to be a hybrid dime linebacker and safety, similar to Arizona's Deone Bucannon. Early impression of Peppers is that he is a better athlete than Jalen Ramsey...Mainly played SS. On offense, he was a gadget player. Campbell feels that Peppers is a better fit as a safety than a corner. Has some instincts and is quick to diagnosis rushing plays....also a physical tacklerwho doesn't hesitate to run into the scrum to make a tackle. In pass coverage, he has played a variety of techniques. Michigan hasn't lined him up deep as a free safety, however. As a press-man corner, he has the skills to battle big possession receivers .Looks a little slow to react in off-man coverage to flip his hips and run, so he can be caught flat-footed/there have been times when slot receivers and tight ends achieved some separation. With some development, he could be a SS who also contributes to playing man coverage against pass-receiving tight ends...good tackler and willing run defender, so playing in or around the tackle box shouldn't be a problem for him - WalterFB

Forty: 4.46...Twenty: ...Ten: ...BP: 19...VJ: 35.5...BJ: 128...SS: ...LS: ...3C: .

1 Jamal Adams   2 LSU Jr 6000 214 1

One of our Top 13. Forty time a tad disappointing - Gollin

SI (Ranks #2 safety) - Adams is another potential Pro Bowler at the next level. He’s more of a true safety than a hybrid S/LB-type.

Excellent size, speed, strength and overall athleticism...Excellent awareness and anrticipation in zone...Very good in run support/good tackler...Plays ball well/good hands...Good hitter but not a big thumper...Talented size/speed player with the skill set to become one of the more productive safeties in the NFL...Just needs to be a little more physical...Scout Says: "I hope everybody keeps arguing over Peppers and Hooker because I think Jamal Adams is the safest bet I've seen since Eric Berry came out. If Adams falls to us, I could end up with a bonus and a raise." - PFW

This feels like the best safety class in several years, topped by LSU’s Adams. Played a key role in slowing down Evan Engram earlier this year. Also excelled closer to the LOS, be it diagnosing screens, bringing players down in the backfield, or his work against the run (where he recorded 18 defensive stops this year). - PFF

Prototype at safety -- agility of a CB and the aggression and instincts of a LB...Draft him and forget about the position for the next decade. Often compared to Tyrann Mathieu/has a similar combination of instincts, aggression and athleticism but is significantly bigger and does not come with the troubling off-field issues that plagued the Badger. On the field and off, Adams is one of the cleaner prospects in this draft, and a possible top 10 pick.......Rare key and diagnosis skills. Hyper-aggressive in run support/almost another LB at the POA. Impressive awareness to sniff out misdirection /terrific open-field tackler. Never seems out of control. Plays on the balls of his feet with the flexible joints to change directions and accelerate fluidly. Plays bigger than he looks but also capable of dropping low to take out the legs of ballcarriers ...has a large strike zone and he doesn't miss often. Just as instinctive in coverage. Easy athleticism allows him to drop down and play nickel corner...excellent route anticipation...QBs rarely challenge him but he'll get involved in plays anyway...Good bloodlines. (Father: George Adams)...Finding weaknesses is difficult. Slightly smaller than scouts would prefer...shows great trust in his teammates - funnelingl ballcarriers back inside rather than attempting to make every tackle on his own. But in doing so, he appears to take very risky angles to the ball. Often used to spy on a QB but can be a tick late in diagnosis/decision making. ..Comp: Landon Collins....NFLDS

Should be a dangerous weapon in the NFL and a potential Pro Bowl safety. Has the versatility to play in all parts of the field. With his pass-coverage skills, speed, athleticism and instincts, Adams could be a difference-maker. Early on in 2016, he made some nice plays, but wasn't as big of a presence as last year. That changed around mid-season as Adams turned in superb games against Ole Miss and Alabama. Helped shut down Evan Engram and was all over the field against Alabama with an interception, clutch tackles and big plays on special teams. ..Has versatile size and brings a real presence to the Tigers' defense. Instinctive defender who always seems to be around the ball. In pass coverage, he's extremely instinctive....very good at covering a lot of ground and helping his cornerbacks over the top. Reliable last line of defense....adept at reading a quarterback's eyes and breaking on the ball. By being around the ball so much, Adams puts himself in position to make a lot of big plays. Has good hands and ball skills to create interceptions, particularly. In zone coverage, Very dangerous when he uses his instincts and intelligence to get in position to affect passing routes. In run defense, a reliable tackler who flies around the field. Will come downhill and pop running backs in the tackle box or on the perimeter. A reliable tackler who doesn't miss a lot of plays because he is going for knockout blows. - WalterFB

Forty: 4.56...Twenty: ...Ten: ...BP: 18...VJ: 31.5...BJ: 120...SS: 4.13...LS: ...3C: 6.96.

4 Justin Evans   70 Texas A&M Sr 6000 199 2

SI (Ranks #5 safety) - Evans will have Texas A&M well-represented even after Armani Watts elected to return to school.

Long and tall...Alert in zone...very good ball skills...KR...Bot very physical...lacks lower body strength...doesn't take great pursuit angles...Coverage skills and athletic ability is there Could be drafted higher than 3rd round grade - PFW

Above average athlete with ease of movement,controlled burst and aggressive temperment good for the NFL. Field fast...Needs more consistency in run support. Co-defensive MVP in schoo; with Myles Garrrett...Limited growth potential...plays too much back on his heels...waits for ballcarrier. Thin frame with limited growth potential - NFLDS

Evans created a real buzz with his Week 1 game against UCLA (8 tackles and 2 interceptions) and there is talk that he could be a first-round pick. Has good size with coverage skills in the pass game and an ability to tackle in the ground game. More of a SS type - a good tackler and defender in the tackle box. - WalterFB

Senior Bowl -

Forty: ...Twenty: ...Ten: ...BP: 14...VJ: ...BJ: ...SS: ...LS: ...3C: .

6+ Josh Harvey-Clemons   121+ Louisville rSr 6040 217 3

SI (Ranks #10 safety) -

Long and tall....Big hitter...Character red flag (multiple rules violations and suspensions)...Best used as $LB - lacks coverage skills to be a deep safety - PFW

"Modern day eraser" alternately can play centerfield and then rush in from the edge like a standup LB....Very long limbs...closes quickly...knack for punching out the ball...Off field issues earlier in college but clean while at Louisville. Long legs leave him vulnerable to shorter quicker receivers...lacks ideal stopping power - NFLDS

He has a good physical skill set, but he never really played or produced up to it. Accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl. Played well for Louisville to start the 2015 season and did well against Auburn, but had some quiet games otherwise....didn't play in the 2014 season after being dismissed from Georgia in February 2014 for multiple off-the-field issues. Broke into the starting lineup for UGA in 2013 - WalterFB

Forty: ...Twenty: ...Ten: ...BP: 12...VJ: 31.5...BJ: 121. ...SS: ...LS: ...3C: .

5 Eddie Jackson   93 Alabama Sr 6000 201 3-4

SI (Ranked #8 safety) -

Good height/excellent length...Willing in run support...PR...2 major injuries in 2014 and 2016...Played corner early in college, but couldn't hold up and moved to safety...A smart safety who can line up the defense...Not deluxe in run support but gets the job done. Will have to clear medical...Has to be a FS... - PFW

Leg injury history a concern...When healthy, he has above agility and speed for the position...Long frame with good COD skills...uncommon vision but will sometimes play out of control and be subject to misdirection/fakes - NFLDS

Was solid for Alabama as its deep free safety. Massively improved after a move to safety from cornerback for 2015....has looked natural as a coverage free safety who can cover in man and play the deep centerfield. As a sophomore, he was a corner who totaled 41 tackles with six passes broken up and one interception. ....needs to continue to add weight to tackle in the NFL. - WalterFB

Forty: ...Twenty: ...Ten: ...BP: 10...VJ: ...BJ: ...SS: ...LS: ...3C: .

6+ Montae Nicholson   121+ Michigan State Jr 6020 212 4

Excellent size to go with good to real good athletic ability...Strong...Big time hitter...but will whiff when he fails to wrap up...More reactive than instinctive...slow to pick up play...Projects as $LB....Talented kid..."Play him down low and he can be a force because he will hit." - PFW

Forty: 4.42...Twenty: ...Ten: ...BP: ...VJ: 35.0...BJ: 125...SS: ...LS: ...3C: .

6+ Xavier Woods   121+ Louisiana Tech Sr 5110 197 5-6

Good at diagnosing...Productive playmaker (14 career picks)..Lacks speed, suddenness or ideal height...Forty time may dictate where he is drafted. - PFW

Lacks ideal size/speed numbers...but can play multiple positions and create turnovers doing so...Shorter than ideal but has excellent diagnosis skills....Terriific hand-to-eye coordination...but only average straight line speed...fails to always wrap up...- NFLDS

Has a versatile skill-set that teams look for at the position. Against the run, he stays balanced well on the move and maintains a level strike zone in his tackle attempts/wraps with strong hands and wrists to finish. Speed and tackling skills allow him to be a successful blitzer and special teamer. In coverage, he does a nice job turning his head downfield to find the ball and make a play, using his body control and hand-eye coordination to undercut routes. (An NFL scout told Brugler that the Louisiana Tech coaches rave about his work ethic, preparation & makeup, along with the leadership traits to "get on teammates" Not a household name, but keep him on your radar. - NFLDS (Brugler )

Forty: .4.54..Twenty: ...Ten: ...BP: 19...VJ: 33.5...BJ: 122. ...SS: 4.13...LS: ...3C: 6.72.

6+ Tony Connor   121+ Ole Miss Sr 6000 225 5-6

Forty: ...Twenty: ...Ten: ...BP: ...VJ: ...BJ: ...SS: ...LS: ...3C: . .

6+ Tedric Thompson   121+ Colorado Sr 6000 204 6

Has some coverage skills but is limited in run support...Adequate range and ball skills in coverage...strength not elite -- PFW

True playmaker...obsessive film studier...not afraid to hit but size is not ideal...- NFLDS

Forty: 4.60...Twenty: ...Ten: ...BP: 17...VJ:32.5 ...BJ: 117 ...SS: 4.36...LS: ...3C: 7.11.

6+ Nathan Gerry   121+ Nebraska Sr 6020 218 6

Big, tough and strong...Disciplined player with instinctsAggressive run support guy...good tackler in close-areas...Tight-hipped/will have trouble playing man...- PFW

(Mention but no write up) - NFLDS

Played really well for Nebraska in 2015. Has put together a number of good games and clutch plays for Nebraska; however, he is a smart, gritty player who could be short on the physical skills for the NFL. If Gerry can maintain, or build on, that production, it could do a lot to mitigate concerns about his size and speed for the NFL. - WalterFB

Senior Bowl - (Day 2) - "...has shown good movement ability and range on the back-end for a player who has already shown NFL-caliber instincts and tackling ability in the box....earned one of the top coverage grades in the nation among safeties. - PFF"

Forty: 4.58...Twenty: ...Ten: ...BP: 17...VJ: 0.5...BJ: 122...SS: ...LS: ...3C: .

3 Obi Melifonwu   27 UConn rSr 6040 224 7

Keep an eye on this guy - 141 Broad Jump an 44.0 Vertical at combine were "out of the arena" numbers.. - Gollin

"Arrow is going up for this player"...Great size for a safety...Big hitter...Very good athlete - (smooth, loose-hips)Not good in coverage when he started out, but has improved from year to year - especially with regard to ball skills...... - PFW

Impressive physical specimen with combo of size, athletic movement and core strength...Still figuring out stuff mentally...Gigantic wingspan...Team leader with reliable football character...but not explosive...hyper-conservative (would rather play things safe and avoid mistakes)...Bad habit of stopping his feet at contact...- NFLDS

Every year, there are some size/speed freaks who rise up draft boards, and Melifonwu will be one of those prospects...has great size and also is a fast defender. Some say he needs development, and thus, they have him graded later on Day 3; however, they think the team that likes Melifonwu enough to draft him could do so in the mid-rounds. - WalterFB

Senior Bowl - (Day 2).."Showed very good short-area burst to fly up and make a “tackle” near the end zone. Melifonwu also showed impressive deep speed covering kickoffs (after a season in which he graded better in run defense than in coverage).."...Passes the 'eye test' and) he backed up his look with a strong week on the field....combines the ability to work downhill in the running game with strong tackling (only 26 missed tackles on 287 attempts last three years)...but perhaps most impressive was when he (worked out at) cornerback for one-on-one drills against WR's....held his own in that environment, only adding to his value in a deep safety class....high expectations for his combine workout..." - PFF

Forty: 4.40...Twenty: ...Ten: ...BP: 17...VJ: 44.0...BJ: 141...SS: ...LS: ...3C: .

6+ Jordan Sterns   121+ Okla State xx 5110 198 xx

Senior Bowl -

Forty: ...Twenty: ...Ten: ...BP: ...VJ: ...BJ: ...SS: ...LS: ...3C: .

6+ Damarius Travis   121+ Minnesota xx 6010 206 xx

Senior Bowl -

Forty: ...Twenty: ...Ten: ...BP: 13...VJ: 32.5...BJ: 115...SS: 4.28...LS: ...3C: 7.08

 

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