2016 NFL Draft Denver Broncos Scheme related positional review: S


2016 NFL Draft S class evaluation:

In the Safeties class this year there is talent but more concentrated in the middle rounds. A lot of developmental prospects between the late 3rd round and 7th round. Thompson is the best S for what the Broncos looks for and might be gone at 31st.

What the Broncos look for:

Quickness, physicality, speed, tackling, size but up to a point.

Type of player the Broncos look for:

Physical prospect that could play both SS and FS, quick to react and fearless in tackling. Speed up to a point is a need.

Best prospects related to team scheme and required skills

  1. Darian Thompson (Boise State, rSr, 6’1’’, 208 lbs): Best prospect related to scheme and skills required.
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
2nd 1st

General Overview: Not as athletic as Ramsey, but not so far behind. Aggressive and instinctive player, with quickness and love for hitting the opponent. He’s really disruptive both in the run game and in the passing game. Kind of a modern S that can play well enough both SS and FS. Has good enough tackling technique and does a good job in open field. Ball hawk.

My Broncos Evaluation: wow. I think that if Thompson will be there at 31st, he should be in serious conversation to be the pick. No joke. He’s really good and vastly underrated at the moment. I don’t care about his 40 yard dash at the combine, he has instincts and is a playmaker and could play both at FS and SS. With a year of learning play behind Stewart and Ward, in 2017 he’d be more than ready to take over as a starter, having potential to become a Pro-Bowler.  UPDATE: He run 4:50 something in the 40 yard dash at his Pro Day. Might be gone at 31st especially with Green Bay looking at DB in the first round.

  1. Tevin Carter (Utah, rSr, 6’1”, 218 lbs): Second best prospect related to scheme and skills required.
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
7th – CFA 4th – 5th

General Overview: Good instincts, good athletic skills, quick to tackle after the catch is made, he’s aggressive and does a fine job tackling in open field.

My Broncos Evaluation: Wow, he’s my favorite SS in the draft I think, really underrated, lacks elite athleticism and speed but plays hungry and he’s aggressive to the ball. I do think that, unless there are character concerns, he should go in the 5th round max and he’s a big upside.

  1. Doug Middleton (Appalachian State, rSr, 6’0”, 209 lbs): Third best prospect related to scheme and skills required.
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
7th – CFA 5th – 6th

General Overview: underrated, has really good instincts and dominated at his level of competition. Might need some time to adapt to the NFL speed, power and competition.

My Broncos Evaluation: the Broncos could think about pick him as developmental project and also because he can play special teams. Denver just got a compensatory 6th round pick and could be used in this case. Maybe even a 5th rounder, the instincts are really there.

  1. Sean Davis (Maryland, Sr, 6’1”, 201 lbs):
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
3rd 3rd

General Overview: Interesting prospect that has quickness and plays very aggressive. Have some coverage skills and doesn’t bother giving big hits in run support and blitzing. Does not have elite speed.

My Broncos Evaluation: all in all a very good prospect at S, a modern S that could play deep and also in the box. His aggressiveness and physical play should put him under Broncos radar and his quickness in the box makes him a 2nd day pick.

  1. Kavon Frazier (Central Michigan, Sr, 6’0”, 217 lbs):
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
5th – 6th 5th

General Overview : good size, good speed, good quickness and great instinct in run support. Lacks elite power and has a finesse style of tackling. Rarely I did see him going for the ball instead of just tackling. Didn’t play against top competition.

My Broncos Evaluation: I would like him to become more aggressive, but he has impressive game speed and impressive instincts in run support. Coverage skills have to be discovered but he has athletic skills and enough speed and quickness to develop into a solid modern S.

  1. Kevin Byard (Middle Tennessee, rSr, 5’11”, 217 lbs):
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
5th – 6th 5th

General Overview : Byard is an Athletic rangy player that is aggressive and can play against good competition. Has a really good acceleration and closing speed, at times looks like he has not very good speed but has some quickness and explosion. He’s very good in run support and has solid tackling technique.

My Broncos Evaluation: Denver might be looking for depth at S and he is the kind of aggressive and agile player that the Broncos could think to develop in a couple of years to see if able to then substitute TJ Ward.

  1. Justin Simmons (Boston College, Sr, 6’2”, 102 lbs):
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
5th – 6th 4th

General Overview : athletic, aggressive but could be more physical. Has some good explosion and has good speed. Does a quite good job against the run. Lacks top lateral speed and movement.

My Broncos Evaluation: a little underrated at the moment. He has some skills the Broncos covet at the position, quickness and aggressiveness. Lacks elite athletic skills but does a good job in run support and looks solid in tackling. The Broncos has been rewarded with a compensatory pick in the 4th round and might very well use it to select Simmons. He could provide nice depth at SS and learn to play at NFL speed while studying at being a modern S that can cover and play in the box.

  1. Trae Elston (Ole Miss, Sr, 5’11”, 195 lbs):
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
6th – 7th 6th – 7th

General Overview : he has good size but not great, plays very aggressive football and likes to hit. Has better coverage skills than advertize and a tackling technique that could be improved.

My Broncos Evaluation: interesting prospect that does not have any elite measurement and that will need a bit of time to develop and get use to NFL speed and power. If he’ll work to get on top of it, he could become a good starting S.

  1. Stefan McClure (California, rSr, 5’10’’’, 200 lbs):
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
CFA 7th– CFA

General Overview : Plays aggressive and hits hard. Also has some very good athletic skills. Little bit undersized and lacks lateral quickness a bit too. He was used as modern safety, SS or FS no difference. Has great acceleration and speed when is north-south. Coverage skills are not so bad, could be much better. Will have to add some muscles to be ready to play in the NFL. Leader of Cal defense.

My Broncos Evaluation: has some issues in the short area quickness and tackling angles. Has some good instinct and react fast to the play. Has an aggressive style of play that the Broncos usually like. Lacks ideal frame and height that will penalize him in the NFL. Still has flashes of great things. I will take him to training camp, maybe put him in practice squad for 2016 so he could physically get ready and mentally start to understand NFL quickness, speed and power. He could really be a finding if he could prove to be mentally stout.

 

 

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