NAME: Germaine Pratt
SCHOOL: North Carolina State
CLASS: RS Senior
JERSEY: No. 3
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 245 lbs
Serving as a rotational and subpackage player in 2017 playing behind seniors, not starting any games last season didn’t preclude Pratt from making a major impact on the Wolfpack defense. Pratt was still NC State’s fourth leading tackler and secured game-clinching interceptions against Louisville and North Carolina. Expected to earn a starting role, Pratt is a breakout candidate for 2018 and he has my attention when it comes to his NFL upside.
Projecting nicely to a pursuit-style role, Pratt executes with a high level of urgency, quick processing skills and has terrific range. Able to cover ground and rapidly shut down distances, Pratt has the athletic ability and burst to make an impact in a wide radius. A converted safety, Pratt has a natural feel for defending zones with the upside to remain in phase with running backs and tight ends in man coverage. His ability to win in space and on passing downs is exciting. Pratt is a sound tackler that does well to wrap up at the the thighs and drive his legs through the ball carrier.
When it comes to areas that Pratt needs to improve, the primary area is functional strength. While he has positive moments playing off contact and keeping his hands active, stacking blocks and not getting worked out of gaps is problematic. His ability to play into the line of scrimmage is inconsistent and adding strength is critical.
Given it’s defensive line talent last year, all eyes were on the front four but Pratt’s impact was still notable. He has a prime opportunity to burst onto the scene during his senior season on the second level of the Wolfpack’s defense.
Football Intelligence –Can appear scatter brained between the tackles, doesn’t always look confident in finding the football. Visual pursuit skills pop the most but putting him into the fire and asking him to process action flashing across his face seems disadvantageous.
Tackling –Powerful, potent pads when in pursuit and scraping within his tackle radius. Once aligned to the ball carrier, brings a lot of pace to finish plays. Doesn’t have a lot of length to press blocks and challenge ball carriers in the gap.
Block Shedding –Gets glued onto blocks quite easily. Lacking in the needed extension to keep his chest clean in high traffic areas and subsequently gets erased by bigger bodies in high traffic. Also lacking in pop through hands to reset the LOS.
Competitive Toughness –Functional play strength is an issue in it’s own right. Doesn’t bang heads in gaps effectively due to high pads and a lack of lower body power to jolt and establish himself. Effort level is admirable, however. Presses with urgency away from the ball to find a way into the play.
Lateral Mobility –Once opened into pursuit mode can get down the line but due to required flip of hips, opens himself back up to cut backs. Short area quickness and and ability to flash across the face of blockers is modest and lacking in spring in steps.
Coverage Skills –Super tight in the hips. Labors in backpedal and will compromise posture and ability to challenge the ball once flipped open to push to his zone landmarks. Feel for route development is shaky as well, doesn’t offer a lot of anticipation to shade his zone.
Gap Shooting Ability –When able to let loose and aggressively charge a gap has the needed quickness to flash into the backfield. Would like to see him more aware of how to utilize hands and play off contact when blitzing or shooting a gap vs. the run.
Feet/Change of Direction –Feet look heavy when tasked with going any direction other than “forward”. Struggles to stick his foot in the ground and drive across his momentum when the ball changes pathways quickly. Severely restricted by lower body tightness.
Flexibility –Hips labor in lateral instances and is forced to swing his whole frame around in order to get any level of quickness. Does not have a dynamic base, feet need to be established underneath of his hips if he’s to keep himself under control.
First Step Quickness –Has a nice initial burst of acceleration when driving down-hill or attacking as a predetermined blitzer. Seems quickness flashes the most when he isn’t required to think and process plays, rather just attack.
BEST TRAIT – Tackling
WORST TRAIT – Flexibility
BEST FILM – Syracuse (2018)
WORST FILM – Notre Dame (2017)
RED FLAGS – None
Germaine Pratt is a difficult projection to the NFL level, given his restrictions in mobility, lateral quickness, flexibility and lack of length. Pratt, a former safety, is tight in the hips and labors in space when drawing assignments in pass coverage. Therefore, an early down role is preferable. Pratt shows some modest burst in linear situations and would be best in an early down role as an ILB in an odd front, where he can play forward vs. the run without being tested laterally.