Scouting Report: Mitch Trubisky

By: Shae Dougall

Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina

6’2”, 222lbs

Trubisky

Tape Viewed:

North Carolina vs Stanford (2016)

North Carolina vs Florida State (2016)

North Carolina vs Miami (2016)

 

OVERVIEW

Mitchell Trubisky (also known as #MitchNotMitchell) is the young, talented up-and-coming quarterback out of North Carolina who is likely to fly up draft boards on draft day due to his immense talent, big arm, lack of injury history, intangibles, and a bunch of other things that NFL GMs moan about in their sleep. In my opinion, Mitch is being underrated in the draft process, as I think he could eventually develop into a Diet Aaron Rodgers type of player (more on that later).


Mitch is also technically a dual-threat QB who ran a boatload of read option plays in college, so he’d be well-suited to go to a team that is willing to let him tote the ball a bit, because he has a lot of experience in that area. As a result of these read option plays, Mitch will need to learn how to drop back in a proper, traditional NFL offense, but there’s no reason he can’t be successful as we recently saw Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota excellently transition from shotgun shotfun to taking snaps from under center. The key for Mitch is landing spot, he’ll need to find a situation where he can continue to develop. If he’s forced to start right away, I fear a worse fate than the perennially underwhelming Ryan Tannehill. Though again, this is not a knock on Mitch’s talent level, but rather his relative inexperience as a signal caller.

 

PASSING

 

Accuracy: 12.5 out of 15

Short- No issues on any quick routes or screens.

Intermediate- The first tape I watched had Mitch hitting an 18 yard streaking receiver into the endzone between two defenders. The window was fairly tight, and taught me all I needed to know about Mitch’s willingness to throw into coverage and to do so with excellent accuracy. Another note: Mitch completes 62.1% of his intermediate passes, easily outstripping other QBs in this class. I also saw him throw behind a receiver and throw a pretty bad interception, so

Deep- Mitch has a big enough arm and throws with enough velocity to consistently attempt the deep pass, but he’ll need to work on his accuracy in this area. He overthrew receivers a lot, which is at least better than underthrowing.

 

Power: 5 out of 5

Mitch has a big arm. There is no denying that. The ball explodes out of his hand with jaw-dropping velocity. I actually wonder if he can put consistent touch on his passes, but that’s a concern for a different category.

 

On the run: 5 out of 5

Mitch is absolutely brilliant on the run. I saw quite a few opportunities at the end of the Stanford game where he had to escape the rush and then make off balance intermediate-length throws without setting his feet…and he nailed every one of them. Unfortunately, almost all of them were dropped by the receivers!

 

Consistency: 7.5 out of 10

It was a little concerning that Mitch only started for one full season of his entire college career, and the team wasn’t particularly great during his tenure as the starter. This is a very hard category to judge because of the lack of data and tape to go off of, but it’s definitely concerning that he can complete 81.5% of his passes at Florida State and then hit under 40% at home against Virginia Tech the very next week! What the heck?

Generally, though, Mitch had a great season and very few head-scratching games. I’ll give him what I believe to be a fair score for a strong season.

 

Field General: 17.5 out of 20

Arguable the most important category for any quarterback is his ability to read the field and understand where pressure is coming from, in addition to understanding where the ball needs to be placed. Mitch is solid in both categories, making up for his slight blitz reading deficiencies with exceptional read quickness. He is very, very good at determining the assignments of downfield safeties, and I trust him to not make too many crushing mistakes. With just one year of starting experience, Mitch has so far shown tremendous potential to get even better.

 

Athleticism: 4 out of 5

Great speed and lower body explosiveness to get away from oncoming defensive ends. Frequently ran read option plays out of shotgun, so he clearly has the ability to outspeed slower defensive edge players and break through weak tackle attempts.

 

Pocket awareness: 8 out of 10

Competent in the pocket by any definition, but it remains to be seen whether or not Mitch has the ability to drop back in a traditional NFL offense, since 100% of his college snaps came out of the shotgun.

 

Poise: 10 out of 10

Mitch is consistently ready to go in any and all pressure situations. He can dodge defenders and make plays down the field with flair and spectacular awareness.

 

Clutch: 4 out of 5

Came up just short against Stanford in the Sun Bowl, but did have a spectacular final drive that featured no fewer than 4 dropped touchdown passes and terrible offensive line work. Lost close games against Duke and NC State (tape not viewed), but engineered a terrific game-winning drive against Florida State early in the season.

 

Size: 4 out of 5

Mitch has decent height at 6’2”. Plays at an appropriate weight for his height.

 

Reliability: 9.5 out of 10

Mitch is tough both mentally and physically, never missing a game due to injury or choking under pressure due to mental fatigue. Despite only being 6’2”, he plays much bigger than his advertised size, and probably won’t suffer too many early NFL career wear-and-tear related injuries since he rode the bench for much of his college tenure.

 

Total Prospect Rating: 87/100

 

Pro Comparison: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

Trubisky 1

Rodgers

Okay, don’t freak out. I know that there is almost no way that Mitch will reach the career heights of Aaron Rodgers. But the category says to look for similarities in play styles and the number one thing that sticks out to me is how much Mitch is willing to gun the ball in there every single time. Seriously, the ball explodes out of his hands and he has great short and intermediate accuracy. Both players stand 6’2” and have the same playing weight. Both have outstanding read-the-field ability. WHAT MORE COULD YOU POSSIBLY ASK FOR? Can you tell I love the prospect of Mitch Trubisky under center for an NFL franchise? Time shall tell if he works out, but my money is on Mr. Ohio.

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Scouting Report: Jamal Adams

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Jamal Adams, S, LSU

6’0 214 lbs

Adams

Tape Viewed: 2015 vs. Alabama, 2016 vs. Auburn, 2016 vs. Texas A&M, 2016 vs. Alabama

 

OVERVIEW

Already an outstanding player early in his LSU career, Adams added a new dimension of polish and urgency to his game in his final collegiate season.  Very few plays on tape show Adams even remotely struggling.

While he’s an outstanding in-the-box safety who clearly likes to be close to the ball and set the tone, some of his most impressive plays on tape showcase his insane range playing from the deep middle. One knock I have is that he doesn’t appear to have much experience playing that “last-line-of-defense” role. I do, however, think he projects really well into that role.

He also has an ideally sturdy build which goes well with his rangy, physical style of play. When you think of the term enforcer on a football field, you need look no further.

 

COVERAGE

 

Play Recognition: 14 out of 15

Adams looks like he has a deep intelligence and understanding of the keys to read nearly any offense. There are few times where he appears to be out of position.

 

Speed: 5 out of 5

His 4.56 40 time notwithstanding, Adams’ speed on the field pops on tape constantly. He covers ground so quickly that he often reacts on screens before the receivers do.

 

Pursuit: 8 out of 10

This is a tough one to grade because Adams has the ability to close space so effectively on horizontal plays, but when plays move vertically, he struggles a bit and gives up ground. This doesn’t always happen, but it’s often enough to be notable.

 

Man: 3 out of 5

On a 5-yard out against Texas A&M, Adams runs the route better than the receiver, coming from the middle of the field. This shows his potential and ability to read the hips of receivers. His reaction time is outstanding, but his hips aren’t as fluid as they need to be.

 

Zone: 8 out of 10

The knock I have on Adams here is his ability in deep zone. There are times where he allows receivers to get behind him which is a concern for the next level where better QBs will torch him if he doesn’t clean it up. He does, however, have brilliant plays all over the rest of the field in zone.

 

Tackle: 9 out of 10

Adams uses a player’s momentum and leverage against them by wrapping up their legs and allowing them to take themselves down. This is consistently effective. When a player is already engaged, Adams also knows to go for the ball.

 

Ball Skills: 3 out of 5

In 2015, he had 4 interceptions, but this was an anomaly. While Adams has all of the attributes to be a ball-hawk and didn’t drop any opportunities that I saw, he needs to find a way to be in position to pick the ball off more, or at least rack up more PBU’s.

 

RUN SUPPORT

 

Tackle: 8 out of 10

He improved a lot in this regard from early in his career to 2016, where he not only increased his total tackles, but TFL’s to career best. However, as Adams tends to be flying around near the line of scrimmage, he sometimes forgets to sink his hips which causes him to fly off the players he intends to tackle.

 

Play Recognition: 15 out of 15

Adams is pretty unbelievable in this regard. He’s almost always the first to recognize a play-fake. This is showcased in the 2015 game against Alabama on a fake end around bootleg where Adams was the only one that stayed with QB Jake Coker. He turned what was undoubtedly a 15 yard gain into a TFL.

 

Willingness: 5 out of 5

Adams appears to be happiest and most eager on the field mixing it up at the LOS, flying in, even through interior lanes, to be involved in run defense.

 

GENERAL

 

Reliability: 10 out of 10

Adams has the character, squeaky clean injury history, stout frame, leadership qualities and empty rap sheet that makes him among the safest picks in this draft.

 

Total Prospect Rating: 88 out of 100

 

Pro Comparison: Reshad Jones, S, Miami Dolphins

Adams 1

Jones

While Jones is a more accomplished ball-hawk, both players share the same leadership ability, knack for the tone-setting play and outstanding run defense. Jones and Adams share a stout frame which allows them to deliver serious force as tacklers, and serious range to make plays all over the field and rally the defense on any given play.

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Scouting Report: Solomon Thomas

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Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford

6’3 273 lbs.

Thomas

Tape Viewed: 2016 vs. Kansas State, 2016 vs. Arizona, 2016 vs. Colorado, 2016 vs. North Carolina

 

OVERVIEW

Solomon Thomas stands out for his versatility, tenacity, quickness and sound hand usage. He’s also, by all indications, a fantastic guy with great work ethic that would fit in well in most locker rooms. He’s lacking the height that would ideally couple with a 270 pound frame on a defensive end which has caused some teams to view him as a tweener prospect.

None of that will matter once he hits training camp though, it will be clear immediately once the pads come on what kind of incredible prospect Thomas is. He could just be scratching the surface of his potential as he continues to learn the position on the edge.

He lacks the ideal bend that elite prospects have, but makes up for it with outstanding understanding of what an offense wants to do. This is on display against North Carolina as he tears up field towards Trubisky but pulls up on a dime and stops the screen back for no gain.

 

PASS RUSH

 

Moves: 5 out of 5

Rip and swim moves are Thomas’ bread and butter. The more tape I watched though, the more I saw him attack different opponents with different plans. He sometimes employed spin moves (to great effect) sometimes opted for straight up bull rushes, and sometimes he’d even win (both inside and outside) with his outstanding explosiveness on a speed rush.

 

Technique: 13 out of 15

The name of Thomas’ game is technically sound. He plays under control at all times, with nearly elite hand usage. He loves punching lineman away, which makes sense as he developed his game in the boxing ring. However, he can sometimes get his feet tangled and he’s still learning how to play on the outside as he lined up at 4-3 DT so much for Stanford.

 

Bend: 2 out of 5

This is the one area that will likely hold teams back from drafting Thomas in the Top 10, if they envision as a 4-3 DE. He doesn’t show natural ability to bend around tackles, and doesn’t even seem to understand how to do this. He tried once that I saw on tape, and it was almost hilariously bad. However, his balance and athleticism would suggest that he has potential to develop in this part of his game.

 

Finish: 4 out of 5

There are some frustrating misses for Thomas on tape, but they’re few and far between. In particular, one play in the Arizona game where he did a spin move to the inside, then chased the quarterback all the way to the sideline to force the incompletion shows Thomas’ ability to affect the game other than on the stat sheet.

 

Tenacity: 4 out of 5

Ordinarily, you will see Thomas showing off his exceptional motor straight to the whistle. But he also seems to have an understanding of when to turn the jets off since he can no longer affect the play. Because of this, sometimes he’s wrong and gives up on plays too quickly.

 

Consistency: 10 out of 10

What you see is what you get with Thomas on any given down. He’s an above average pass rusher that tries really hard and is physically intimidating.

 

RUN STOPPING

 

Edge Setting: 6 out of 10

Often on tape, Thomas shows his inexperience in this aspect, allowing lanes to form as he has the wrong leverage, however, there are some flashes that show his potential in the pros.

 

Tackling: 9 out of 10

Thomas misses some tackles, but very few, and even when he misses, he’s almost always a part of the reason the play ends prematurely. Besides that, he’s vicious, and delivers some serious body slams. A play early in the North Carolina game shows this aspect of his game quite brilliantly.

 

Double Teams: 4 out of 5

Thomas has the functional strength, leverage, and balance to consistently take on double teams through the whistle, though it would be nice to see him make more plays when he gets the extra attention.

 

Lane Discipline: 9 out of 10

On tape, there are some exceptional plays that show just how deep an understanding Thomas has of lane discipline and how to properly set up a team defense, and then there are plays like the one against Kansas State where he allows the QB to scoot right by him untouched for a 20 yard gain. Those are rare.

 

Consistency: 9 out of 10

I’ve seen on nearly every report of Thomas that he’s an outstanding run defender, PFF graded him number one among draft eligible players in fact. However, I do see times where his play falls off, particularly when he’s receiving extra attention or being stretched horizontally.

 

GENERAL

 

Reliability: 10 out of 10

Thomas is as rock solid as it gets. Seems to have the mentality any NFL GM would love. No character issues or injury question marks to speak of.

 

Total Prospect Rating: 85 out of 100

 

Pro Comparison: Michael Bennett, DE, Seattle Seahawks

Rice Stanford Football

Bennett

Though a lofty comparison for a player that hasn’t played a single down in the NFL, there really isn’t another player in the NFL that has the quickness and inside pass-rush ability, mixed with effective run defense like Bennett. Bennett has found a perfect niche as the designated Swiss army knife in Seattle’s defense, and has become one of the league’s best. I believe Thomas has that level of ability, but must find the right role to maximize  his potential. To me, a lot like Bennett, he’s a high floor high ceiling player.

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Scouting Report: DeShone Kizer

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DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame

6’4 233 lbs.

Kizer

Tape Viewed: 2015 vs. Stanford, 2015 vs. Ohio State, 2016 vs. Texas, 2016 vs. Michigan State, 2016 vs. Miami

 

OVERVIEW

I’ve had the pleasure to watch every single start of DeShone Kizer’s Notre Dame career and this kid was perhaps the most precocious starter in his first season that I’ve ever seen. His deep accuracy, dropping dimes to current Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller especially, was jaw-dropping. He complimented that with a poise and moxie that rivaled NFL veterans.

People forget that Kizer led a comeback and was within a two-point conversion of knocking off Clemson in 2015 (Clemson would go on to be undefeated until the National Championship). This was all with a relative lack of NFL talent surrounding him, and a very poor defense that he was forced to make up for week in and week out.

2016 was more of the same for Kizer, except with a worse defense, and replacing Will Fuller with some tall guy named Equanimeous St. Brown. The point being, the talent around him got even worse, and he felt the pressure to will his poor team to wins. The struggles were predictable, and partly the fault of Kizer for setting his original bar so high. Kizer’s 2016 season is a very difficult study because it was such an unstable situation all year in South Bend.

 

PASSING

 

Accuracy: 12 out of 15

Kizer is the most accurate deep passer in this draft, and his accuracy on deep passes rivals anyone in the NFL. He has unbelievable touch to drop it to deep streaking receivers in stride. Kizer also flashes incredible accuracy on intermediate and short throws, but has strange lapses that could potentially be due to his inconsistent footwork and incredibly live arm.

 

Power: 4 out of 5

Can throw a heat-seeking missile at times: look no further than the Texas game with Kizer throwing to receiver Torri Hunter Jr. between 3 defenders. However, there are strange lapses in which Kizer’s velocity on short and intermediate throws fizzles.

 

On the run: 5 out of 5

Kizer can run off to the left, or the right, and throw an accurate ball without setting his feet. He can reach any area of the field, or work the sideline. It’s pretty incredible.

 

Consistency: 7 out of 10

This rating should seemingly be lower, with the huge disparity in wins from year one as a starter to year two. However, Kizer himself doesn’t see many drop offs in his overall game. The talent around him is often what lets him down. You’ll see this constantly, especially in the 2016 tape where three of the starters on his offensive line have no business being on the field.

 

Field General: 17 out of 20

Works through his reads quickly and naturally. Very decisive when he sees what he likes. He does have a tendency to tuck and run rather than take an easy underneath completion, but it really depends on the flow of the game. When Kizer is in a rhythm, he’s as decisive as you could ask for and usually gets it to the right guy.

 

Athleticism: 5 out of 5

For a player his size, he’s an incredibly fluid and natural athlete. He flashes impressive balance against the blitz, weaves in and out of run lanes with ease and can get skinny or even vertical when seeking the pylon on a rushing TD attempt.

 

Pocket awareness: 8 out of 10

Kizer is never taken unaware. He feels pressure immediately and slides in the pocket with very sudden moves. The problem is that he sometimes doesn’t trust his protection which causes him to feel pressure when it isn’t quite there.

 

Poise: 9 out of 10

Much more often than not, Kizer thrives under pressure. He can deliver a pinpoint accurate ball from any number of contorted poses, and he loves to stretch a defense on a broken-down play.

 

Clutch: 4 out of 5

All of Kizer’s biggest games of his career feature solid to outstanding individual performances by him. In fact, his game against Stanford in 2015 for a CFB Playoff bid was perhaps the best of his career. The knock though, is he lost that game, and the bowl game against Ohio State, and the game against Clemson. It’s a slight concern.

 

Size: 5 out of 5

He is the quarterback prototype, in every single way.

 

Reliability: 9 out of 10

Kizer is sturdy, he doesn’t get banged up despite his very physical style of play. The only slight concern here is the issues he had with Coach Brian Kelly at Notre Dame and why he never quite seemed to get the keys to the Ferrari, so to speak.

 

Total Prospect Rating: 85 out of 100

 

Pro Comparison: Randall Cunningham, QB, Retired

Kizer 1

Cunningham

This comparison comes with a slight caveat: this is the Vikings’ Randall Cunningham, later in his career when he allowed his exceptional natural abilities as a passer to shine through. Cunningham and Kizer share that uncanny ability to deliver perfect passes running off to the left and right. They’re both outstanding natural runners that thrive on deep ball accuracy but flash accuracy to all areas of the field. Most of all, both appear to be very difficult to rattle and are borderline-unstoppable when in a rhythm. They also both happen to be prototype physical specimens.

 

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Scouting Report: Quincy Wilson

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Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida

6’1 211 lbs.

Wilson

Tape Viewed: 2016 vs. Alabama, 2016 vs. Florida State, 2016 vs. UMASS, 2016 vs. Missouri

 

OVERVIEW

 

Wilson has the look and attitude teams love to see in their cornerbacks. He’s a sturdy player with a tapered but well-proportioned body. For his size, he has impressive functional speed and athleticism while flashing seriously impressive ability in coverage.

He also happens to have enough confidence to fill an open-air stadium, which is clearly visible with his relaxed demeanor on the field. Wilson never panics, never seems to get rattled, and tends to use this ability to get in the head of his opponent. Wilson is an intimidator who likes to use his imposing size down the field to the catch point.

Wilson may never be the superstar he clearly believes he is, but he’s a solid cornerback prospect with a very high floor. As a safety, perhaps he could be a star, he has all the tools but needs to become a more reliable tackler.

 

COVERAGE

 

Play Recognition: 8 out of 10

He’s not elite in his quickness of diagnosing the offensive play, but he has some brilliant reads on tape that result in big plays for the defense.

 

Speed: 4 out of 5

This was a surprising aspect on film, for such a sturdy frame, Wilson is an impressively fluid athlete, showing impressive ability to stay with receivers downfield.

 

Mirroring: 9 out of 10

Another surprise based on his stature, Wilson has perhaps the most natural and technique-sound hip swivel of any prospect in this draft and it serves him very well on nearly every route. There are times where receivers shake him, but it’s not common.

 

Pursuit: 4 out of 5

This ability is very important with all the zone coverage he’s asked to do, Wilson closes as good as or better than most.

 

Man: 12 out of 15

Wilson has every physical attribute and technical skill needed to be a dominant man-corner, he just needs more experience on the island.

 

Zone: 14 out of 15

This is the area where Wilson’s most spectacular plays on tape happen, he flashes exceptional ability to effectively shut down multiple targets with his understanding of spacing and closing speed.

 

Press: 3 out of 5

While this aspect of his game doesn’t come up often, his physicality and imposing size would suggest that he has the ability to throttle refers at the line of scrimmage.

 

Tackle: 3 out of 5

While Wilson has an exceptional ability to get himself in proper position and shows strong form to drive through players, he must have greased up arms, because he flies every which way after bouncing off the player he’s attempting to tackle. This happens often enough to be a decent cause for concern.

 

Ball Skills: 3 out of 5

Only one interception on tape, and a few nice pass breakups, Wilson should be more involved with the ball than he is based on his coverage ability. Perhaps this is something that will develop with experience.

 

RUN SUPPORT

 

Tackle: 2 out of 5

Even more egregious are his tackle attempts in the run game. Routinely, whether going high or low against Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough, Wilson looked like a rag doll. Though he kept sticking his nose in there and giving it another go despite Scarbrough’s frightening combination of size and speed.

 

Play Recognition: 3 out of 5

Wilson looks like an ascending player in this regard, showing a decent understanding of how run plays develop. There are a few too many times where he runs with the receiver down the field on delayed handoffs. However, he was among the first to diagnose an incredibly tricky designed run play against Alabama, promptly missing another attempt on Scarbrough in the process.

 

Willingness: 5 out of 5

As mentioned above, Wilson has a nose for the ball and an eagerness to get down and dirty that rivals any cornerback on the NFL level. He’s physical and he loves lining up and attempting to deliver tackles.

 

GENERAL

 

Injury: 10 out of 10

It doesn’t appear that Wilson missed a single game in college due to injury. There is no cause for concern in this aspect as a prospect.

 

Total Prospect Rating: 80 out of 100

Pro Comparison: Malcolm Jenkins, S, Philadelphia Eagles

Wilson 1

Jenkins

Jenkins was an outstanding prospect back in 2008, a finalist for the Bednarik award (NCAA’s Best Defensive Player) and a winner of the Jim Thorpe (Best Defensive Back) as a cornerback. He had the size, length and coverage skills teams covet in a number 1 corner. His stature, relative lack of elite speed and impressive understanding of NFL offenses all led him to become a pro-bowl safety, finally flourishing with the Philadelphia Eagles. Wilson shares so much of this makeup, that it’d be almost redundant to describe it. Simply put, Wilson will find success in the NFL, it just remains to be seen at which position.

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Scouting Report: Cordrea Tankersley

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By: Shae Dougall

Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson

6’1”, 199lbs

Tankersley

Tape Viewed:

Clemson vs Ohio State (2016)

Clemson vs Virginia Tech (2016)

Clemson vs Troy (2016)

 

OVERVIEW

Nothing really stands out to me about Cordrea Tankersley, except his awesome name. As you read on, you’ll find that I view the former All-American third teamer to be slow to react, stiff, upright, and not particularly good in coverage. Currently projected as a fourth round pick, I wouldn’t touch Tankersley until the sixth round as a project pick. He’s a press corner with a lot of stuff that needs to get coached into him. He was able to get away with his deficiencies at Clemson because of the ridiculous talent around him, but will struggle to make a name for himself in the NFL except in very specific, beneficial circumstances.

 

COVERAGE

 

Play Recognition: 6 out of 10

Tankersley is consistently befuddled by deep routes with a lot of cuts. He might recognize the play, but it’s hard to tell. I’m not confident in his chances to successfully make the leap to the NFL because his reaction time is just too slow.

 

Speed: 3.5 out of 5

Tankersley perplexes me. His combine 40 yard time of 4.4 should speak to excellent straight-line speed, and yet…it doesn’t show up on tape, especially on deep routes. I feel like this indicates some sort of mechanical issue. He definitely seems to play a little bit stiff and upright, which isn’t conducive to maintaining top-level change of direction speed at all times. Until Cordrea can get coached up, a 3.5/5 his speed score shall remain.

 

Mirroring: 7 out of 10

Tankersley can blanket the receiver on just about any quick route, making it difficult on them and occasionally bumping them off of the route completely. This ability scales back the longer he has to cover and deeper the route gets.

 

Pursuit: 3 out of 5

Takes too long to come back to the ball on any route that ends with a hitch, although he does usually make a strong, squared-up tackle in those situations. He can catch up to some guys that have burned him, but usually only when the pass is inaccurately thrown.

 

Man: 8 out of 15

Tankersley has a bad tendency to get beat deep. Even worse, he gets called for pass interference a lot on those plays. He has the size necessary to cover bigger receivers, but the tape indicates that he doesn’t have the speed, despite his 4.4 40 yard dash time at the scouting combine. He also lacks the lower body explosiveness to go up and get the ball in jump ball situations. Finally, Tankersley allows way too much separation on off-coverage routes, failing to quickly close on the ball. This is either due to lack of recognition or lack of athleticism (or both).

 

Zone: 8 out of 15

Whiffed badly in some of the zone situations I watched on tape. On one play, Tankersley was so far out of position that he had to run nearly 8 yards downfield just to get to the receiver…and then he promptly missed the tackle. Simply lacks the instinct and reaction speed necessary to play effective zone coverage.

 

Press: 5 out of 5

I’m most confident in Tankersley when I see that he’s right on the line of scrimmage. Assuming the receiver doesn’t blow him off the line immediately, he’ll be able to compete with them for a while using bump-and-run technique. This almost always causes enough of a problem for the quarterback’s timing to be thrown off, which allows Tankersley to compete for underthrown passes, whether in zone or man coverage.

 

Tackle: 3.5 out of 5

I saw more than one occasion on tape where Tankersley was in position to make the tackle and made the tackle…and then there were some other times where he was in position to make the tackle and missed the tackle. So, he’s basically like a lot of cornerbacks.

 

Ball Skills: 5 out of 5

Despite mechanical issues and slow reaction time, Tankersley sure did seem to be in the right place at the right time a lot in college. He came away with 8 interceptions with just two years of starting experience at Clemson and he consistently plays the football very well when it’s not going over his head for a huge gain.

 

RUN SUPPORT

 

Tackle: 3.5 out of 5

Tankersley won’t be pulverizing guys in the open field too often, but he seems to have the mechanics of tackling down pat. You could certainly do worse at the cornerback position.

 

Play Recognition: 2.5 out of 5

Like on passing plays, Tankersley is often slow to react to a running play. Curtis Samuel made him look foolish on a cutback in the college football playoff, catching Tankersley out of position and blowing by him for a huge gain.

 

Willingness: 5 out of 5

On every running play I saw, Tankersley showed the want-to that a lot of cornerbacks don’t possess at any level. He consistently ran towards where the ball was going, even when it wasn’t close to his side of the field.

 

GENERAL

Injury: 8 out of 10

Missed a couple of games due to injury in 2016, but that might have been due to Clemson’s coaching staff not wanting to risk him aggravating something that was pre-existing (read: resting him because they were playing mediocre South Carolina and something called South Carolina State).

 

Total Prospect Rating: 68/100

Pro Comparison: Jonathan Banks, CB, Chicago Bears

Tankersley 1

Banks

Both have the prototypical size to match up with number one receivers and absolutely lack any further abilities necessary to do so. Whether in zone or man, these players look lost more often than not, though certainly not due to their prototypical size and tantalizing athletic abilities. Banks was a second round pick, a fast-riser following a solid pre-draft season. Tankersley could follow the same path to be horribly over-drafted as teams scramble to make sense of the absolute cluster-f of cornerbacks graded between the second and fourth round. 

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Scouting Report: Jalen “Teez” Tabor

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By: Shae Dougall

Jalen Tabor, CB, Florida

6’0”, 199lbs

Tabor

Tape Viewed:

Florida vs Alabama (2016)

Florida vs LSU (2016)

Florida vs Florida State (2016)

OVERVIEW

Teez Tabor can do a little bit of everything. He’s a very experienced, successful cornerback from Florida whose claim to fame is a rock-solid, consistent, high-quality presence in a very good group of DBs. Despite having fairly slow straight-line speed, he has that undefinable “quickness” quality that scouts love to talk about. Tabor was made to play more off-coverage, as he’s more of a finesse guy who would probably get beaten consistently downfield if he was forced to press big, fast receivers all the time.

 

Tabor is going to be a bit of a risk-taker in the NFL if his college tape is any indication. This will result in some picks, but will also result in some big plays going the other way. A team with a good group of safeties that play over the top would likely be the ideal fit for Tabor, because some of the craftier QBs will be able to take advantage of his gambling. Tabor is also not the biggest guy in the world, and much like Tre’Davious White, I’m concerned that his lack of size will result in him not only getting boxed out of quick routes, but also getting beat over the top. His vertical jump from the combine was only 31 inches, and he did struggle with deep speed at times in college.

 

COVERAGE

 

Play Recognition: 10 out of 10

The reason Tabor was so successful in college was due in large part to his ability to read the quarterback’s eyes and adjust to the receiver quickly. Since Tabor is not a once-in-a-lifetime type of athlete (not even close, really), he has clearly honed his play recognition skills to make up for these deficiencies. His read and react capability is off the charts, making a few plays where he actually left his assignment to follow a play that he knew was developing elsewhere on the field. This can also be viewed as a negative I suppose, but he seems to be instinctive and smart enough to understand when to take risks.

 

Speed: 3 out of 5

Tabor disappointed at the combine with a slow 4.6 40 time. Per NFL.com, there are also “whispers” that Tabor “fears deep speed”, which is evidenced by the amount of off coverage he played at Florida. I’m not that plugged in, unfortunately, but I did see several situations on tape where Tabor was pressing the receiver and backed off more than 8 yards before the play started. He has quick recovery time when the ball is in the air, but his penchant for getting beat over the top is concerning.

 

Mirroring: 10 out of 10

Even when pressing, Tabor’s mirroring ability is excellent. He sticks to receivers coming out of cuts like glue, consistently providing tight man-to-man coverage.

 

Pursuit: 4 out of 5

While Tabor isn’t going to catch up to any plays that are over his head, he has a very solid ability to chase down plays that develop on the other side of the field. More than once on tape (especially against LSU), I saw opposing quarterbacks scramble out of a collapsing pocket only to be chased down by Tabor once the line of scrimmage had been crossed.

 

Man: 12 out of 15

Tabor will be a good man coverage corner, as he is consistently able to read the play and mirror his receiver on shorter and intermediate routes. His deep coverage ability is a concern, though, especially with the precision deep passing of NFL quarterbacks. I’d also like to see Tabor get more physical at the line of scrimmage, but I don’t believe that his lack of physicality is unfixable or even necessarily undesirable. His desire to be physical at the line is probably affected by his knowledge of his own limitations on deep routes.

 

Zone: 14 out of 15

Tabor may be the best zone corner in this draft with his uncanny instincts and penchant for reading the quarterback’s eyes. Would be an ideal fit for a team that runs a lot of zone coverage. I expect some infrequent gambling-related breakdowns in zone coverage on trick plays and misdirection passing plays. Luckily, Tabor mostly knows when to hold ‘em, and when to fold ‘em.

 

Press: 3 out of 5

I don’t foresee an NFL future in which Tabor is playing much bump-and-run coverage. Tabor can press effectively on occasion, but Florida didn’t ask him to do much of it because it’s clearly not a strength of his.

 

Tackle: 3.5 out of 5

He’s not the best tackling cornerback out there, but he’s not the worst. Once the receiver is well-covered, he’s certainly not getting any yards after the catch. Open field tackles are more of a weakness though; Tabor was occasionally out of position to tackle on deep routes where the receiver wasn’t his responsibility but he was in the area.

 

Ball Skills: 5 out of 5

Tabor has great hands and the ability to affect the ball in the air. He’s also great at punching the ball out of the receiver’s outstretched hands, which I saw on more than one occasion. He finished his Florida career with 9 interceptions, an impressive number.

 

RUN SUPPORT

 

Tackle: 3 out of 5

This is a difficult category to speak to because I rarely saw Tabor stick his nose into a pile of guys and bring the runner down. I’m pretty sure he can do it because he can bring down receivers pretty consistently, but without seeing him take on the toughest college backs (even when Florida played LSU, I don’t recall seeing Tabor vs. Fournette on any occasion), I think it’s hard to be 100% certain.

 

Play Recognition: 4 out of 5

I caught Tabor out of position on a trick run play against LSU, but that was a special circumstance. I can assume that he usually realizes when the run is developing, similarly to how he always seems to know where the pass is going to go.

 

Willingness: 2 out of 5

He is not an eager participant in run support, but he will get involved if it looks like the play is getting serious or if he is the last line of defense. Usually he gets swallowed up by a block and lets somebody else do the dirty work.

 

GENERAL

 

Injury: 8 out of 10

This template is a bit flawed in the sense that I’m allowed to talk about a prospect’s injury history but not his suspension history. Tabor was suspended in college a couple of times, and it’s always difficult to say how that will translate to the NFL. It’s definitely a concern. Even though injury isn’t an issue with Tabor, I would say that it’s reasonable to see him miss some time for other, less wholesome reasons.

 

Total Prospect Rating: 81.5 out of 100

Pro Comparison: Asante Samuel

Tabor 1

Samuel

Okay, this is too easy. I don’t even have to write a lot. What other NFL player in the past 15 years gambled more and tackled less than Asante Samuel? He was also a good guesser, resulting in a lot of interceptions. I maintain that Samuel could have extended his career into his mid-40s if he had just switched to a situational free safety that had a contract requirement that he wasn’t allowed to tackle anybody.

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