NFL draft prospects thumbnail scouting reports
NFL draft prospects thumbnail scouting reports
By RALPH D. RUSSO
Apr. 20, 2017
Scouting some of the top prospects available in the NFL draft that will be held April 27-29 in Philadelphia ((asterisk)-denotes early entrant):
(asterisk)Myles Garrett, 6-4, 272, Texas A&M
Notable: All-American last season and one of the best pass rushers in the country, despite some nagging injuries.
Sum-it-up-in-a-sentence scouting report: Elite speed, quickness and strength add up to a potentially dominant pass rusher with only the need to stay on the field more.
Outlook: Odds-on favorite to be No. 1 overall pick.
(asterisk)Solomon Thomas, 6-3, 273, Stanford
Notable: Pac-12 defensive player of the year in 2016 and has been gaining steam in the postseason draft process.
Sum-it-up-in-a-sentence scouting report: Gets rid of blockers with strength and quickness, though he might need to add some bulk and power to handle massive NFL linemen.
Outlook: Top-five probable, top-10 seems a lock.
Jonathan Allen, 6-3, 286, Alabama
Notable: Finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting in 2016 and won two defensive player of the year awards (Bednarik and Nagurski).
Sum-it-up-in-a-sentence scouting report: A fundamentally sound and furious competitor who can play inside and out, but not ideal length on the edge.
Outlook: If Allen slips out of the top-10, it won't be very far.
(asterisk)Derek Barnett, 6-3, 259, Tennessee
Notable: Set a school record with 33 career sacks.
Sum-it-up-in-a-sentence scouting report: Makes up for lack of burst off the edge with strong and fast hands, plus good power for his size.
Outlook: The NFL loves pass rushers and Barnett does it well enough to go in middle of first round.
Takkarist McKinley, 6-2, 250, UCLA
Notable: Junior college transfer who took three seasons at UCLA to become a star.
Sum-it-up-in-a-sentence scouting report: Relentless effort and raw technique.
Outlook: The NFL loves pass rushers and McKinley does it well enough to go mid-first round.
Charles Harris, 6-3, 253, Missouri
Notable: Missouri has been pumping out NFL defensive ends recently (Shane Ray, Markus Golden, Kony Ealy). Harris is next up.
Sum-it-up-in-a-sentence scouting report: Good first-step pass rusher who needs to better hold his ground against the run.
Outlook: The NFL loves pass rushers — get the message? — and Harris does it well enough to go late in first round.
Reuben Foster, 6-0, 229, Alabama
Notable: All-American and MVP of the SEC championship game last season.
Sum-it-up-in-a-sentence scouting report: Vicious hitter who is probably too light to play middle linebacker in the NFL.
Outlook: Top-10 talent who might slip a bit because the value of linebackers who are not edge rushers is down in the NFL. He also was dismissed from NFL combine for argument with hospital worker.
Haason Reddick, 6-1, 237, Temple
Notable: Former walk-on defensive back grew into force as an edge rusher and then showed potential at linebacker at the Senior Bowl.
Sum-it-up-in-a-sentence scouting report: Freaky athlete whose only limits seem to be lack of experience at the position he seems best suited for in the NFL.
Outlook: Reddick went from possible first-rounder to borderline top-10.
Jarrad Davis, 6-1, 238, Florida
Notable: A leg injury cost Davis about a third of last season, but he was still second-team All-SEC.
Sum-it-up-in-a-sentence scouting report: Athletic outside linebacker who needs to be better working his way through traffic to ball carriers.
Outlook: Strong pro day could push him into the first round.
(asterisk)T.J. Watt, 6-4, 252, Wisconsin
Notable: Brother of Texans All-Pro and former Wisconsin star J.J. Watt. Knee injuries limited him to one full season of college football.
Sum-it-up-in-a-sentence scouting report: Frame to grow into a full-time defensive end, but not necessarily the athleticism to be an elite rusher.
Outlook: Last quarter of the first round.
(asterisk)Marshon Lattimore, 6-0, 193, Ohio State
Notable: Hamstring injuries and good players in front of him meant Lattimore only started one season at Ohio State.
Sum-it-up-in-a-sentence scouting report: Long, athletic and aggressive at the line, but needs to locate the ball better.
Outlook: In a deep cornerback class, Lattimore is mostly likely to be first off the board.
(asterisk)Quincy Wilson, 6-1, 211, Florida
Notable: Was overshadowed by teammate Teez Tabor, but Wilson is the better prospect.
Sum-it-up-in-a-sentence scouting report: Perfect size, very tough, but does he have the speed and athleticism to keep up with deep threats?
Outlook: That size could make him the first cornerback off the board.
(asterisk)Marlon Humphrey, 6-0, 197, Alabama
Notable: Son of former Alabama star and NFL running back Bobby Humphrey.
Sum-it-up-in-a-sentence scouting report: Can be overly reliant on his elite athleticism and sprinter's speed.
Outlook: There could be a half-dozen cornerbacks taken in the first round and Humphrey should be among the first group.
(asterisk)Gareon Conley, 6-0, 195, Ohio State
Notable: Started every game for the Buckeyes the last two seasons.
Sum-it-up-in-a-sentence scouting report: Good footwork and quickness, but gets a little lost in when he is not in press coverage.
Outlook: Middle of the first round.
(asterisk)Tre'Davious White, 5-11, 192, LSU
Notable: White broke up 14 passes, eighth in the FBS, last season.
Sum-it-up-in-a-sentence scouting report: Shows skills on the outside and in the slot, but needs to be more physical.
Outlook: Could be first LSU cornerback drafted in first round since Morris Claiborne in 2012.
(asterisk)Adoree' Jackson, 5-10, 186, USC
Notable: Played some offense and caught 39 passes in three seasons, and had eight career touchdowns on punt and kickoff returns.
Sum-it-up-in-a-sentence scouting report: Spectacular athlete, though size could make him better fit in the slot but could be a problem in run support.
Outlook: Jackson's return skills are likely to push him into the first round.
Kevin King, 6-3, 200, Washington
Notable: Played safety his first two seasons at Washington before moving to cornerback as a junior.
Sum-it-up-in-a-sentence scouting report: That height makes NFL scouts excited, though his speed tempers that enthusiasm.
Outlook: There are about six other cornerbacks who grade out around King, so maybe he slips to the second day of the draft. But 6-3!
Jamal Adams, 6-0, 214, LSU
Notable: Son of former Kentucky running back George Adams, who played for the New York Giants.
Sum-it-up-in-a-sentence scouting report: Adams gets high marks for leadership, on top of elite athletic ability, and makes it difficult to find flaws here.
Outlook: Adams won't go first overall, but he can make the case.
Malik Hooker, 6-1, 206, Ohio State
Notable: Hooker was a Division I basketball prospect coming out of high school and started just one season at Ohio State.
Sum-it-up-in-a-sentence scouting report: Sideline-to-sideline range and excellent instincts in the passing game, but needs improvement playing close to the line.
Outlook: Safeties are not often selected in the top-10. Hooker and Adams are likely to buck that trend.
Jabrill Peppers, 5-11, 213, Michigan
Notable: Three-way player (defense, offense and special teams) who lined up all over the defense for Michigan last year. Finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting.
Sum-it-up-in-a-sentence scouting report: Explosive athlete who was mostly used as a linebacker in 2016, but does not have an obvious position fit.
Outlook: The versatility could get him into the second half of the first round, but the 'tweener' label could push him out.
Budda Baker, 5-10, 195, Washington
Notable: Given name is Bishard, but was nicknamed Budda as a baby because his mother thought he looked like a Buddha doll.
Sum-it-up-in-a-sentence scouting report: Undersized, instinctive and tough.
Outlook: Late first-round because he has just enough similarities to Tyrann Mathieu.
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