Scouting Report: Tre’Davious White

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By: Shae Dougall

Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU

5’11”, 192 lbs

White

Tape Viewed:

LSU vs Florida (2016)

LSU vs Wisconsin (2016)

LSU vs Texas A&M (2016)

OVERVIEW

White is the kind of player who will likely fall in the draft due to poor size, measurables (a 4.47 40yd dash, only 32 inch vertical), and unremarkable if not unimpressive film. Tre’Davious White is a good outside cover corner, but when LSU used him in the slot, his lack of size and tendency to shy away from physicality displayed on tape could be a red flag (if I was a GM of a team that required tough cornerbacks, that is). I’ve seen White slotted as high as the early 2nd round, and I don’t know if that’s really realistic in a draft class of other strong cornerback prospects that do what White does just as well as him. Maybe the SEC bias will kick in?

COVERAGE

Play Recognition: 9 out of 10

I have no issue with White’s play recognition. It doesn’t take him very long at all to get into the proper position for covering longer routes.

 

Speed: 4 out of 5

He’s got pretty average speed for a corner, especially when it comes to making up time when beat on a quick slant or dig out of the slot. (Can you already tell I wouldn’t want White playing in the slot?) White does have the requisite (and undefinable) “quickness” that is required to be an NFL corner, however.

 

Mirroring: 8 out of 10

Of the tape I watched, his mirroring of outside routes was excellent because of his quick footwork, but he occasionally struggled with opening his hips during sharp receiver cuts while playing in the slot. His technique can also get a little sloppy when forced to get physical, whether in the slot or outside, although his instincts and impeccable footwork may make up for this a little bit.

 

Pursuit: 4 out of 5

Doesn’t seem to possess elite catch-up speed on hard cuts. Does seem to have the ability to make up lost ground on deeper routes, although I’m unsure about whether that will translate to the next level where the quarterbacks are much more accurate.

 

Man: 13.5 out of 15

White can play man very effectively against a large percentage of college receivers, guys who either don’t have the speed, footwork, agility, hands, or route running ability to make it in the NFL. The problems, as I believe I’ve mentioned in just about every blurb now, bubble to the surface when he’s asked to play in the slot, or cover quick routes. He’s too finesse for that position right now. Maybe he could cover Victor Cruz, but if Antonio Brown moves into the slot, look out. That ‘Killer B’ is going to have one heck of a fantasy day.

That’s just one negative in an otherwise solid 3 years of starting experience playing mostly man coverage, though. White’s specific strengths on the outside (and the slot, for what it’s worth) include covering post routes and crosses, and other types of intermediate routes that don’t allow the receiver to effectively box White out of the play. In fact, I would feel very comfortable allowing White to play slot if the other team made some type of promise that they were only going to call flag routes.

 

Zone: 11 out of 15

Similar to his man coverage ability, White can cover these receivers fairly well, and I think that his zone skills will continue to develop nicely if the drafting team’s coaching staff affords a deeper off-coverage zone scheme. White will likely excel if used in those types of situations, but he’s definitely in a little bit of a box if the physical nature of his game never develops.

 

Press: 2 out of 5

Of all the tape I watched on Tre’Davious White, I don’t recall ever seeing him put his hands on the receivers he was covering, even when he was in press coverage. This is something that will certainly delegate him to “project” status with a lot of NFL teams, and perhaps even “undraftable” status for others. He does have a quick first step however, and even if he refuses to touch the receivers, he can at least keep up with their explosiveness…unless he takes a stiff arm in the chin.

 

Tackle: 3.5 out of 5

Despite the lack of physicality that I’ve lamented a billion times on this writeup, White can tackle a little bit. He’s not anything more than average in this category, but tackling is a lower priority for cornerbacks than just about any other defensive position, so it would be unfair for me to punish him too much for this.

 

Ball Skills: 3 out of 5

I don’t see White as having an incredible career where he averages 5 interceptions a year, because his hands simply aren’t very good. He can play the ball decently to collect some “passes defensed” stats, but I can also see the NFL’s current crop of behemoth receivers going over the top of him to snatch touchdowns on hitch and fade routes.

 

RUN SUPPORT

 

Tackle: 3 out of 5

White can probably tackle running backs if he wants to, but he’s not often asked to run blitz or get too involved. And why should he be? How is a 190 pound, sub-six-foot corner going to bring down Fat Eddie or Shady McCoy on his own? Is the message getting across yet? I AM NOT COMFORTABLE WITH TRE’DAVIOUS WHITE’S LEVEL OF PHYSICALITY.

 

Play Recognition: 4 out of 5

I noticed a couple of plays watching film where White didn’t appear to be all too concerned with the running play, although he was usually able to get around a block or two and eventually end up near the ball by the end of the play.

 

Willingness: 2.5 out of 5

The question I have to answer to write this blurb is simple: Does the defensive back seem to be willing to get involved in tackling the runner? My answer is even simpler: Not particularly.

 

GENERAL

 

Injury: 9 out of 10

Rarely missed time due to injury in college, but one would speculate that his rather slight frame could possibly result in some unforeseen time off. It’s unfair to dock White too much based on expectation, though, so I won’t.

 

Total Prospect Rating: 76.5/100

 

Pro Comparison: Ellis Hobbs, CB, Philadelphia Eagles/New England Patriots

White 1

Hobbs

This makes me sad as a former Eagles fan (read: current Eagles fan). Ellis Hobbs was a too-small corner who was often forced into the slot. He could cover some receivers more than competently, but he was often steamrolled by huge receivers, including a 2010 performance against the Titans where he was abused by none other than Kenny Britt (also known as my least favorite player of all time). A couple weeks later, he got a horrible back injury and was never heard from again, but I hope that doesn’t happen to White, who seems like a nice guy off the field and apparently has great leadership qualities. That being said, both White and Hobbs are very small. It was a problem in 2010, and it’s a problem in 2017.

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Scouting Report: Adoree’ Jackson

Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC

5’10 186 lbs

Jackson

Tape Viewed: 2016 vs. Cal, 2016 vs. University of Washington, 2016 vs. Notre Dame

OVERVIEW

Jackson is definitely a mixed bag in terms of his prospects as an NFL cornerback. He has the attitude, confidence, short memory and athleticism to excel as a number 1 outside corner in this league. What he lacks is consistency, versatility in his skillset, and the ability to translate that elite athleticism into his coverage.

It’s quite bizzare watching the incredible fluidity of Jackson when he returns kicks and punts, versus the stiffness that shows up from time to time on tape in man coverage. Jackson is at his most comfortable rallying to the football, reading the QB’s eyes and contesting at the catch point. He did, however, have a brilliant game against Notre Dame in which he flashed press, bump and run capabilities. Too often, though, he loses his footing to give up huge plays, as he did in man against Notre Dame’s Kevin Stepherson and UW’s John Ross.

Jackson will immediately bring an electric edge to any team’s return game. I believe he has the ability to have a Devin Hester-like impact in that area with four kick return TD’s and four punt return TD’s in college to his name. Teams will need to be patient with bringing him along as a coverage man though, he needs to be coached up on his technique, but has all the traits to thrive, especially in a zone-heavy scheme.

COVERAGE

Play Recognition: 8 out of 10

By no means a weakness in Jackson’s game, it’s clear that coaches told him to run bail technique against John Ross to avoid the big play. In the other two games I reviewed, Jackson consistently puts himself in solid position to affect the play, however he got toasted by Notre Dame’s Kevin Stepherson on a sluggo which resulted in a TD.

Speed: 5 out of 5

Just watch one play and you know you’re dealing with elite, game-changing speed. This stretches into his agility and acceleration as well. More often than not, he’s an ultra-explosive athlete.

Mirroring: 8 out of 10

An area of the game that has improved steadily over his career, it doesn’t seem that Jackson has any issues following receiver movements in terms of recognition, but his footing causes him to trip up more often than you’d like to see from an elite prospect.

Pursuit: 5 out of 5

This is the single greatest attribute Jackson possesses, and likely what makes him such a great returner, he closes so well, and he loves it. You’ll constantly see Jackson trick QB’s into thinking he’s left his man open, only to jump in front of the ball and snag a pick or PBU.

Man: 11 out of 15

This is not so much of an indictment of his abilities going forward, because he has improved greatly in this area, but nearly every bad play Jackson has on tape is in man coverage. Make no mistake, he has many good plays as well. He has the attributes you want in man, but must take coaching to learn how to use his feet better.

Zone: 15 out of 15

There isn’t a better zone corner prospect in this draft. Jackson, in a zone-heavy scheme, could be an immediate impact starter in the NFL. His natural ability and fluidity in the return game translates perfectly to his zone coverage. He’s an absolute playmaker when he’s reading the QB’s eyes.

Press: 3 out of 5

The Notre Dame tape shows a lot of reasons to expect this area to improve going forward. Jackson looked natural bumping with one hand in press and flipping his hips to perfectly mirror receivers downfield. He just doesn’t do it often enough to warrant a higher score.

Tackle: 2 out of 5

This is a concerning area. He has one outstanding form tackle on tape, that’s it. He also has one impressive open-field tackle of John Ross. Both times, he needed help to bring his man down. There are also a few bad misses on tape in which Jackson throws his body out of position, to somewhat comical results.

Ball Skills: 5 out of 5

Another area where Jackson might just be the best in the draft, his 5 interceptions in 2016 are insane when considering he’s the single most talented member of that USC secondary, and QB’s didn’t challenge him much. That’s not even to mention his 28 career PBU’s.

RUN SUPPORT

Tackle: 3 out of 5

It’s tempting to give this an incomplete, because he only has two tackle attempts on running backs on tape, which are successful. However, he consistently puts himself in position as a last line of defense and often allows tackles to happen by maintaining lane discipline.

Play Recognition: 5 out of 5

Jackson plays like the savvy three-year starter he is, and that doesn’t change against the run, in which he immediately (and often quicker than most members of the secondary) rallies to his position as a run defender.

Willingness: 2 out of 5

This is not to say he doesn’t like being a run defender, more that he doesn’t like being directly involved. Jackson prefers to become essentially a deep cover safety when a run play develops, trusting his speed and athleticism as the last line of defense. This approach has its merits and will be appreciated by some NFL scouts, though I would really like to see a nastier demeanor from Jackson.

GENERAL

Injury: 10 out of 10

This guy has started nearly every game since week 1 of his first year as a true freshman. And that’s while playing in all three phases of the game. You couldn’t find a more encouraging sign that injuries won’t be a systemic issue in his NFL career.

Total Prospect Rating: 82 out of 100

Jackson 1

Norman

Pro Comparison: Josh Norman, CB, Washington Redskins

While it is incredibly difficult to find a player with the exact (and incredibly unique) skillset of Jackson, Norman shares the same ultra-confidence, short memory and explosive pursuit which I expect will propel Jackson to quick success in the NFL as an outside corner.

Scouting Report: Marshon Lattimore

By: Shae Dougall

Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State

6’0”, 193 lbs

Lattimore

Tape Viewed:

Ohio State vs Wisconsin (2016)

Ohio State vs Michigan (2016)

Ohio State vs Oklahoma (2016)

OVERVIEW

Marshon Lattimore is a beast of an athlete. His combine numbers were fantastic, and the tape backs those numbers up. He has ridiculous, natural coverage ability and makeup speed that could make any defensive backs coach swoon. His soft tissue injury history is concerning, but his raw talent and instinct are tantalizing beyond any team’s wildest dreams.

 

COVERAGE

Play Recognition: 10 out of 10

Appears to always know what is required of him on any given play, and I never once saw him out of position on any tape that I watched.

 

Speed: 4.5 out of 5

(4.36 40yd)

Excellent speed for a shorter corner, easily able to keep up with any college receiver. Should be able to use remarkable athletic ability to recover against the fastest NFL receivers to make up for any straight line speed deficiencies.

 

Mirroring: 10 out of 10

Can instantly recognize, process, and mirror any route thrown at him. Frequently runs routes better than some WRs, especially deep ones.

 

Pursuit: 5 out of 5

One of Lattimore’s best skills; can catch up to any play, and can consistently outspeed receivers to defense or intercept underthrown passes (and overthrown ones)!

 

Man: 14.5 out of 15

Per NFL.com, Lattimore was only challenged 35 times in the entire 2016 season (average of less than 3 times per game), and it didn’t work out well for those quarterbacks, as it resulted in 4 interceptions and a whopping 14 passes defensed. Man coverage is definitely Lattimore’s strength, as he’s able to use his mega-athleticism to keep his receiver locked down.

 

Zone: 12.5 out of 15

At his best, Lattimore might be able to play safety with how instinctive he usually is in zone coverage. At his worst, he sometimes freezes when the zone coverage around him breaks down. As I’ve said 100 times already, though, he can use his great talent and athleticism to make up for those rare moments of indecision.

 

Press: 4.5 out of 5

Very willing to get up into opposing WRs grills. Will lock them up at the line without hesitation. Doesn’t win every single time and can get burned as a result, but it’s a trait I like to see in corners, and Lattimore also has the hip speed to catch up to anyone but the fastest receivers in these situations.

 

Tackle: 4.5 out of 5

Great open field tackler (for a corner). Was able to catch up to and bring down running backs and tight ends running route patterns if the initial tackler whiffed.

 

Ball Skills: 5 out of 5

Willing to go up and get overthrown passes, sacrificing his body for a diving interception in the Oklahoma game that I watched. The pass was deemed incomplete, but it wasn’t a great call. Lattimore has soft hands that would impress any cornerback in the NFL.

 

RUN SUPPORT

Tackle: 4 out of 5

Able to bring guys down when needed, but I question if his “go low” approach will work every time, especially in the NFL.

 

Play Recognition: 5 out of 5

Coverage ceases immediately when the run play begins.

 

Willingness: 3 out of 5

 

As willing as the average NFL corner to get involved in a run play; I didn’t see any tape to suggest otherwise.

 

GENERAL

Injury: 3 out of 10

This is easily the biggest concern for Marshon Lattimore. Chronic hamstring problems sidelined him for the majority of the 2015 season. They got so bad that he even had to have surgery. Don’t expect Lattimore to have many career years where he plays a full season, especially not in the NFL which practices harder and more often, plays more games, and generally requires more from cornerbacks from a physical standpoint. I don’t think these concerns are enough to keep him out of the first round or anything, but it’s definitely something to watch out for.

 

Total Prospect Rating: 85.5 out of 100

 

Pro Comparison: Jason Verrett, CB, San Diego Chargers

OU OHIO STATE FOOTBALL

Jason Verrett, Jeremy Maclin

Verrett is perhaps the greatest coverage cornerback left in this league (a talent which I’ve endlessly touted Lattimore for above), and yet most people outside of the darkest inner regions of NFL fandom have no awareness of his existence or incredible work. This is because, like Lattimore, he cannot stay healthy for an entire season. With such a supreme and promising talent like Lattimore coming into the league, I think I speak for everyone when I say that I sincerely hope we see more of Lattimore than we have of Verrett up to this point in his career. Both Verrett and Lattimore share the ability to match up and truly shut down even the best competition, when they’re on the field, despite their relatively diminutive stature for the outside corner position.

Scouting Report: Sidney Jones IV

Sidney Jones, CB, Washington

6’0 181 lbs.

 

Jones IV 1

 

Tape Viewed: 2015 vs. USC, 2016 vs. USC, 2016 vs. Colorado, 2016 vs. Washington State, 2016 vs. Oregon

 

OVERVIEW

 

Jones is being hailed as a top prospect on the level of Marlon Humphrey and Marshon Lattimore, and I think people are overlooking some deficiencies.

Jones gets a lot of credit for not giving up touchdowns, and keeping plays in front of him, but struggles with closing speed on timing routes against good route runners. He is especially susceptible on tape to one of the most basic routes: the 10 yard hitch. Quarterbacks tended to shy away from testing him in college, but this aspect will be exposed in the NFL.

There are many things to appreciate about Jones game though, starting with his confidence. He plays the game with the mentality that he’s better than you, and it clearly intimidates his competition. His loose hips help with his exceptional mirroring ability in coverage, though he seems to have a lot of wasted movement that needs to be cleaned up by NFL secondary coaches.

Jones also has exceptional physicality in both the passing game and run support as a tackler. Watching the tape, the word that comes up again and again for him is feisty. While I believe Jones will struggle early in his career, he has pro bowl potential as a reliable number one corner.

 

COVERAGE

 

Play Recognition: 9 out of 10

 

Diagnosing in the pass often helps Jones to be in the right position, as evidenced by the fact that he’s thrown against so seldom despite there being NFL talent all over the Washington secondary.

 

Speed: 3 out of 5

 

I have my concerns about Jones’ burst in particular, as he is often burned by sharp cuts. He is also unable to keep up on deep crosses at times, and uses bail technique constantly to prevent big plays.

 

Mirroring: 9 out of 10

 

It’s clear that Jones is a natural in reading even the most experienced college receivers, as he reacts immediately and often anticipates route changes.

 

Pursuit: 3 out of 5

 

This is an area that concerns me with Jones, though it is not necessarily a weakness.

 

Man: 14 out of 15

 

A true lockdown corner in college, Jones consistently shutdown his man in one-on-one, evidenced by his dominant performances against future NFL receiver USC’s Juju Smith-Schuster.

 

Zone: 11 out of 15

 

There isn’t much zone to review on tape for Jones, but some of his skillset would seem to translate well to zone coverage. Some of his less impressive plays were in zone though, and his pursuit is concerning.

 

Press: 5 out of 5

 

Jones loves to mix it up and hang in the receiver’s hip pocket off the bump, it’s where he’s at his best.

 

Tackle: 4 out of 5

 

He can get moved off his spot, but once he engages, he consistently brings the ball carrier down or out of bounds.

 

Ball Skills: 4 out of 5

 

This is an area where I’d like to see a top prospect earn top marks, but it’s by no means a weakness, Jones has some exceptional plays on the ball on tape, but several missed opportunities as well.

 

RUN SUPPORT

 

Tackle: 5 out of 5

 

Can get moved off his spot, but is exceptional in run support at bringing an end to the play prematurely.

 

Play Recognition: 4 out of 5

 

Most of his diagnose is solid, and he has some impressive reads on tape.

 

Willingness: 5 out of 5

 

Jones is clearly eager to be active all over the field and this extends in a very noticeable way to his run support.

 

GENERAL

 

Injury: 3 out of 10

 

Jones sustained an Achilles tendon tear while running the 40 at his pro day, putting his 2016 season effectively on ice. This could be an injury that affects his career going forward as Jones relies heavily on his sudden explosiveness.

 

Total Prospect Rating: 79/100

 

Pro Comparison: Aaron Colvin, CB, Jacksonville Jaguars

D.D. Goodson, Sidney Jones

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans

Colvin was far less touted coming out of Oklahoma, but proved to be an incredibly reliable cover corner that excelled as a run supporter, peaking in 2016, his fourth year in the league. Jones possesses a similar skillset with his ability as a run defender to go along with his incredibly confident play in coverage. Like Colvin, I expect Jones to take a few years before settling in as a solid starter.

2017 Free Agency Grades

Welcome back to my personal favorite time of the year, the offseason! A time of hope and wonder where we can even pretend that the Browns might improve to a four-win team if we just give them that extra 20 million in cap space.

Here, I will be covering what I feel to be the most interesting moves of the offseason, providing grades and insight as to potential fit and contract worthiness.

 

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NEW YORK GIANTS

Brandon Marshall, WR: 2 years, $12 million

Grade: B+

Marshall

After the absurd spending spree that kicked off last offseason for the Giants, which I roundly abused in last year’s edition, I’m digging the more under-the-radar approach, at least to start with here.

Marshall is not the player he once was, but there was no stability at quarterback for the Jets, and we saw similar decline in production in similar less-than-ideal quarterback situations for much younger guys in DeAndre Hopkins and Allen Robinson.

This, at least, should give the Giants brass hopes that a merely adequate starting quarterback in Eli Manning can help Marshall in the twilight of his career.