Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

Matt Elam Scouting Report

Posted by Brad On April - 10 - 2013
"Matt Elam"


Matt Elam – Florida

Height: 5097

Weight: 208

Age when drafted: 21

Hometown: Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Position: SS

Collegiate Number: 22

Combine notables: 4.54 40 with 1.57 split, 17 bench reps, 35.5” vertical, 9’10” broad jump

Games Viewed: 2012 – Texas A&M, LSU, South Carolina, Florida State, Louisville 2011 – Auburn, Florida State, Ohio State


Matt Elam attended William T. Dwyer High School in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Elam was a highly recruited prospect that won the Gatorade Player of the Year and Florida Mr. Football as a senior. Elam was rated as the 14th overall prospect in the 2010 recruiting class and joined a vaunted class of prospects for Urban Meyer.

Elam made an immediate impact at Florida as a true freshman in his only season playing under Urban Meyer. Elam finished his freshman season with 22 tackles and a sack, playing in all 13 games for the Gators.

Elam would take over as a full-time starter in 2011. Elam would make his presence felt with his physical style of play as he became one of the most feared hitters in college football as a sophomore. He finished the season with 78 tackles, 2 sacks, and 2 interceptions.

Elam’s final season in Gainesville he was voted as a First-Team All American for his 76 tackle, 2 sack, and 4 interception season.

Elam has NFL bloodlines as his brother Abe has played seven seasons in the NFL after going undrafted in 2005. Read the rest of this entry » «Matt Elam Scouting Report»

Shamarko Thomas Scouting Report

Posted by Brad On March - 6 - 2013
"Shamarko Thomas"


Shamarko Thomas – Syracuse University

Height: 5087

Weight: 213

Age when drafted: 22

Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA

Position: SS

Collegiate Number: 21

Combine notables: 4.42 40, 1.50 10 split, 40.5” vertical, 11’1” broad jump

Games Viewed: 2012 – USC, Pitt, Rutgers 2011 – USC, West Virginia


Shamarko Thomas checked in at under 5-foot-9 at February’s Scouting Combine. He possesses solid musculature on his compact frame. At 213 pounds, he has plenty of bulk and his frame is completely maxed out. There will be concerns with Thomas’ size given his reckless style of play. Thomas has been compared to Bob Sanders, who was another undersized but physical safety. Sanders career was shortened due to injuries and NFL teams will carry similar concerns with Thomas. Read the rest of this entry » «Shamarko Thomas Scouting Report»

Kenny Vaccaro Scouting Report

Posted by Brad On February - 23 - 2013
"Kenny Vaccaro"

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Kenny Vaccaro I Texas I SS/FS I 6010 I 215 I Senior

40 Time (E): 4.55

Overview: Kenny Vaccaro epitomizes today’s NFL safety. With NFL defenses relying so much on the versatility of interchangeable pieces there’s no greater example than the safety position. Kenny Vaccaro is a true interchangeable prospect with the ability to play traditional strong or free safety roles and can cover the slot in sub packages. It’s this versatility that should have his name called on day one of the draft. Vaccaro was a guy that I wasn’t high on coming into the 2012 season but he impressed in several performances, making me a believer. Most impressive was his ability to neutralize Tavon Austin of West Virginia.

Man Coverage: The separation point between Vaccaro and other top safeties is his ability to cover the slot. Vaccaro can put the straps on the best of what was offered in the slot. His ability to press with strength and redirection skills are rare for a safety prospect. His hands are fantastic as he strikes first and directly to the chest plate. After release, Vaccaro redirects and runs with the receiver with better than average speed at the position. He gets downgraded for perceived lack of speed but watch the WVU game when he tracks down Tavon Austin from behind. I don’t see many examples of him not being able to run vertically with faster receivers. Shows excellent ball/spatial awareness. Not a great playmaker in coverage with average to below average ball skills. Read the rest of this entry » «Kenny Vaccaro Scouting Report»

D.J. Swearinger Film Study

Posted by Brad On February - 7 - 2013
"D.J. Swearinger"

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Dayario Jamal Swearinger caught my eye in 2011 in a game against Mississippi State. In a tight ballgame, D.J. Swearinger came up huge in the waning minutes of the game when he picked off a pass to preserve at 14-12 victory. In South Carolina’s star studded defense, it’s easy to overlook anyone not named Jadeveon Clowney. Swearinger seemed to relish his moments in the sun amongst the likes of Stephon Gilmore, Melvin Ingram, and Jadeveon Clowney.

Swearinger’s junior season was nothing short of spectacular considering he was hampered with a foot injury for much of the season. In film study on Ingram and Gilmore for preparations for the 2012 NFL Draft, I wrote in my notes to keep a close eye on D.J. Swearinger for next draft season.

Turns out I wasn’t disappointed. For evaluators of talent there’s nothing like your feelings on a player being reaffirmed by guys in the business that you respect. As I was watching Swearinger this season, some of the guys that I follow closely were blowing up their Twitter timelines with love for Swearinger. While it’s not a necessity to have folks reaffirm my evaluation, it sure helps to know that you are not alone with what you are seeing.

Swearinger’s game borders on reckless. In most cases that’s a negative but not when you’re evaluating a versatile safety prospect that has spent time at free safety and strong safety during his career. I have talked at length about the need or want of NFL teams to have interchangeable parts on the defense. The safety position may be driving that bus as teams look for guys to play the deep half, cover the slot, and play at the line of scrimmage as an extra run defender. Swearinger does all of that plus some.

Swearinger lines up all over the field in any given game and it’s hard not to notice him. Trust me when I tell you that ball carriers in the open field will have an eye on Swearinger’s presence. He brings knockout power as a tackler. He will certainly draw the league’s attention with some of his vicious hits. If Swearinger can improve on his ability to disengage from blockers he will be a dangerous downhill run defender from his safety spot.

As a pass defender, South Carolina opted to line Swearinger up in the slot frequently this season but I was most impressed when he lined up over the outside receiver. He will take a look at Swearinger versus the run and pass in the hopes of showing readers why I’m so high on this safety prospect.

Against the run

The big hits are sexy and draw the youtube highlight reel fame but Swearinger’s NFL future will be made or broke by his ability to read, react, and break down in space as an in the box defender. The first play we’ll look at is early in the Arkansas game. Arkansas is lined up in a one back set with receivers in a 2×1 (strength to the field) and TE attached to the boundary. The flow of the play is into the boundary with Swearinger lined over the No. 2 receiver to the field. As I said, Swearinger is a down the hill run defender and this play shows that ability at the next level.

"D.J. Swearinger"

Swearinger works his way downhill as he follows the flow of the ball. I love his instincts in the run game as he is highly effective when he can stay clean in traffic. I believe he will need to learn to detach himself a little more effectively at the next level but this is a great example of a play where he stays clean and works to stay squared and makes the tackle. Read the rest of this entry » «D.J. Swearinger Film Study»