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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