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SNS Weekly Scouting Report - November 3, 2023


(Cooper DeJean / CB / Iowa)


This week, SNS continues the roll out the 2024 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings. The 2024 NFL Draft could have several potential franchise QBs, quite a few stud WRs, a deep group of OTs, and a quality group of DTs. SNS is rolling out the first set of rankings that will be updated on a regular basis through the draft in April. So, let’s take a look at the Top 10 Defensive Prospect Position Rankings – Back Seven (LBs, CB, and Safeties)!



Linebackers


1. Cedric Gray / North Carolina


Prototypical build and athleticism for an off the ball NFL LB. Great speed, burst, and range. Excellent blitzer due to closing burst. Physical tackler. Improved his ability to shed blocks but still needs continued development. Instincts have noticeably improved over the last three seasons. Recorded 145 tackles in 2022, which led the nation.



2. Jamon Dumas-Johnson / Georgia


Prototypical size and length for an off the ball LB. Extremely fast with great range. Good instincts – reads the QB’s eyes. High football IQ – understands defensive responsibilities and what the offense is attempting to accomplish. Keys and fills quickly. Good tackler who typically comes in under control. Was involved in the street racing incident that led to two deaths last January – character will need to be thoroughly vetted prior to the draft in April.




Transfer from North Carolina. Very good build with solid size and length. Displays closing burst on the ball carrier. Exhibits the twitch and burst desired in pass rushers. Knifes through holes and spends a lot of time in the backfield. Hard hitter who drives through his tackle attempts.



4. Marist Liufau / Notre Dame


Good size with nice length. An explosive hitter with great closing burst on the ball carrier. Plays fast. Smart and recognizes formations and keys effectively. Keys quickly and accelerates towards the ball carrier. Explosive blitzer. Lines up off the edge and has the bend and burst needed to generate pressure on the QB. Great range and covers a lot of ground in pass coverage. Explosive athlete.



5. Tommy Eichenberg / Ohio State


Brother of Miami Dolphin OC Liam Eichenberg. Prototypical size and build for a MLB. Keys and diagnosis quickly and fills aggressively against the run. Excellent instincts and is generally near the ball. Smooth and athletic for his size. Very good range. Brings pads on tackle and is a reliable open field tackler. Gets good depth on his zone drops. Enough athleticism to match up with some RBs and TEs in space.



6. Aaron Beasley / Tennessee


Good size and build. Very good instincts and seems to always be near the ball. Keys and fills quickly against the run. Has experience playing MLB, WLB, and SLB. Fast and rangy – can cover ground due to speed and instincts. Solid tackler who breaks down well in the open field.




7. Barrett Carter / Clemson


Good size and length. Matches up effectively in coverage with RBs and TEs. Very good instincts. Plays well in space. Fills aggressively against the run. Brings his pads on contact and can deliver some powerful hits.




8. Payton Wilson / North Carolina State


Brother is a pitcher with the Milwaukee Brewers. Tall and long off the ball LB. Athletic, rangy, and covers a lot of ground at the second level. Very good speed – recorded a 23.7 MPH GPS. Experienced and productive. Good instincts. Keys quickly against the run. Comes in under control and is a disciplined tackler. Not used much in man coverage but looks comfortable in zone. Doesn’t offer much pass rushing ability but has an effective closing burst when he gets free. Too athletic and physical for most TEs to block. Has suffered numerous injuries during his career in Raleigh.




9. Cal Haladay / Michigan State


Undersized off the ball LB with great instincts and range. Three-year starter. Solid tackler who practices fundamentals well. Understands responsibilities and is always near the ball.



Possesses desired height with a good build and a frame to add more. Very instinctive. Fills against the run quickly. Assignment responsible. Good athlete who shows good range. Effective in zone coverage – watches the QB’s eyes and gets good depth in his drops.



Other Prospects Worth Monitoring – Power Echols / North Carolina, Jeremiah Trotter / Clemson, Junior Colson / Michigan, Smael Mondon / Georgia, Steele Chambers / Ohio State, Mason Cobb / USC, Eric Gentry / USC, Dasan McCullough / Oklahoma, Tristan Weaver / Richmond, Tatum Bethune / Florida State, Kalen DeLoach / Florida State, Nickolas Martin / Oklahoma State.


Cornerbacks



Average height, size, and length for an outside CB. Displays outstanding agility and movement skills. Very good ball skills. Excellent speed. Smooth and closes quickly. High football IQ. Knows how to bait QBs into ill-advised throws. Quality punt returner – recorded the game winning punt return TD against Michigan State in 2023.



2. Benjamin Morrison / Notre Dame


Good size, height, and length. Very good ball skills – recorded 6 INTs as a freshman in 2022. Attacks the ball in the air. Stays in-phase and has loose hips and great reaction skills. Effectively covered Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison by staying on his hip throughout routes in man coverage and aggressively playing the ball in the air. Very adept at zone and off man coverage and knows how to bait the QB effectively. Breaks down well and secures the tackle in the open field. Has the confident demeanor and moxie required in elite CBs.



3. Kool-Aid McKinstry / Alabama


Ideal size and length with a large wingspan. Very quick short area reaction skills and closing burst on the ball in the air. Quality punt returner.



4. Kalen King / Penn State


Very good size with desired length and wingspan for an outside CB. Exhibits the ability to stay in-phase with size throughout the route. Physical and strong in coverage – prone to penalties due to physical playing style. Good tackler and aggressive in run support.




5. Fentrell Cypress / Florida State


Transfer from Virginia. Has the desired size and length to handle the island in man coverage. Excels in physical, press coverage but also works well in off man coverage. Good ball athlete. Stays in-phase and has quick reaction skills in tight coverage. Impressive closing burst. Capable of big hits.



6. Mike Sanistril / Michigan


Undersized – lacks both height and length. Very quick and agile – fluid and flips hips smoothly. Excellent reaction skills. Primarily lines up on the slot receiver. Turns head and plays the ball in the air like the WR he used to be.




7. Woodi Washington / Oklahoma


Possesses desired size and length with a sizeable wingspan. Lines up mostly in man – both press and off man. Displays good reaction skills – mirrors movement well and maintains phase throughout the route. Exhibits very good lateral agility with loose hips and light feet. Very physical in man coverage and is susceptible to receiving PI calls. Competes and is physical at the catch point.



8. Justin Walley / Minnesota


Decent height with a solid build. Productive run support CB who doesn’t mind doing the dirty work. Effective at stripping the ball and creating fumbles. Solid technique and shows the ability to play in any coverage scheme. Quickness and fluidity to stay in-phase against speed in man coverage. Impressive closing burst.



9. Denzel Burke / Ohio State

Average size and length. Very experienced, multi-year starter. Has loose hips and plays the ball in the air well. Displays quick twitch reaction skills. Not afraid to support against the run.



10. Ricardo Hallman / Wisconsin


Average size and length. Very fluid athlete, can flip his hips, and stay in-phase. Good closing burst. Excellent ball skills with reliable hands. Competes at the catch point and challenges the WR for the ball. Very effective in zone and off-man coverage where he can read the QB and jump routes. Not experienced in press and body type is not ideal for that kind of coverage. Lined up on M. Harrison in OSU game and held his own.



Other Prospects Worth Monitoring – Terrion Arnold / Alabama, Dwight McGlothern / Arkansas, Renardo Green / Florida State, Cam Hart / Notre Dame, Aydan White / North Carolina State, Shyheim Battle / North Carolina State, Nate Wiggins / Clemson, Sheridan Jones / Clemson, Quincy Riley / Louisville, Cobee Bryant / Kansas, Eddie Heckard / BYU, Davison Igbinosun / Ohio State, Tarheeb Still / Maryland, Cam Lampkin / Washington State, Jaden Robinson / Oregon State, Christian Roland-Wallace / USC, Kamari Lassiter / Georgia, and Daylen Everette / Georgia.



Safeties


1. Tyler Nubin / Minnesota


Prototypical size and length for an NFL safety. Great ball skills – recorded 2 INTs in the 2023 season opener against Nebraska. Great athlete with body control and closing burst. Very instinctive and smart. Reads the QB’s eyes well and shows closing burst on the ball in the air. Has the ability to cover TEs, RBs, and some WRs. Physical tackler. Keys quickly. Very good instincts. Very good special teams player.



2. Malachi Moore / Alabama


Good size with a big wingspan. Lines up on the slot the majority of the time. Matches up well with TEs and RBs due to length and physicality. Very good tackler – relishes contact. Keys quickly and fills aggressively against the run. Breaks down well in the open field.



3. Billy Bowman / Oklahoma


Excellent size and length. Big hitter – leads with his shoulder and knocks the ball out of the receiver’s hands (see INT created against Texas). Physical and tough. Instinctive. Fundamentally solid tackler. More likely to go for the big hit than the ball. Soft hands and is capable of making INTs.



4. Kenny Logan / Kansas


Looks the part - very good size who covers ground with huge strides. Fast. Very good range. Good tackler. Matches up will with TEs in coverage. Physical and tough. Keys quickly and comes downhill in run support. Experienced and productive multi-year starter.



5. Cole Bishop / Utah


Well-built safety with good length. Keys quickly against the run and fills aggressively. Good instincts. Effective blitzer. Displays nice hand techniques to shed blocks. Good range with deceptive deep speed. Good ball skills and can bait the QB into bad throws. Versatile – is used in single high looks and in the box against the run. Not afraid to drill the receiver.



6. Javon Bullard / Georgia

Average size. Extremely fast and has tremendous range. Has enough agility and fluidity Closes quickly on the ball carrier and drives through the tackle. Very good instincts.



7. Lathan Ransom / Ohio State


Big, thick, and physical. Very physical tackler who pops pads on contact. Keys and supports against the run aggressively. Capable of crushing hits (see v ND Sam Hartman failed QB sneak).




Ideal length and reach on a long, athletic body. Very good athlete – smooth and rangy in coverage. Follows the QB’s eyes and displays great ball skills. High points the ball. Excellent leaping ability. Excellent range with great speed. Lacks some mass and falls off some tackles – lacks desired strength. Solid open field tackler.



9. Jaden Hicks / Washington State


Good size and length – ideal frame for the position. Active and always near the ball - very good instincts. Covers ground and has tremendous range. Unloads on the ball carrier – big time hitter. Breaks down well in the open field.


10. Andrew Mukuba / Clemson


Good size, length, and wingspan. Flows smoothly and displays great range. Athletic enough to cover TEs, RBs, and some WRs. Likes to lay the lumber on the runner. Very good instincts.



Other Prospects Worth Monitoring – Malaki Starks / Georgia, Kamren Kinchens / Miami, Fl, James Williams / Miami, Fl, Bryson Shaw / USC, Jalyn Phillips / Clemson, Jaylen Stinson / Duke, Jalen Catalon / Texas, Reggie Pearson / Oklahoma, Deshawn Pace / Cincinnati, Mark Perry / TCU, Rod Moore / Michigan, Josh Proctor / Ohio State, Ja’Had Carter / Ohio State, Desmond Igbinosun / Rutgers, Nick Emmanwori / South Carolina, Da’Rickey Wright / Vanderbilt, and Jaylin Simpson / Auburn



(Cedric Gray / LB / North Carolina)


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