NAME: David Long
JERSEY: No. 22
RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star
WT: 187 lbs
Man Cover Skills –Has good patience at the LOS to hold his water and not provide a swinging gate for route releases. Can get pushed around by bigger bodies and despite effective footwork lose leverage as a result. Shows very good pattern matching skill once he’s transitioned and in phase.
Zone Cover Skills –Shows understanding of passing off routes when put in hi-lo situations and trusts his Safety to be in position, hoping to jump into a throw underneath. Short area quickness limitations restrict how effective he can be from further landmarks to drive and arrive at the football.
Feet/Change of Direction –Stays square at the line. Effective transitional quickness and if able to set his hands during transition, offers smooth flip up the field. Can get knocked off kilter by physical route releases and get his feet tangled up as a result. More smooth than sudden footwork.
Ball Skills –Nose for the ball is most effective in shallow areas as compared to playing over the shoulder reads, is more confident in his ability to track and attack the football. Has yielded some good ball production in tight spaces (red zone) thanks to condensed spacing.
Flexibility –Built low to the ground and hips are capable of flipping just fine. Doesn’t have a ton of dynamic base in his game, isn’t going to bucket step hard and create explosive change of direction.
Acceleration –Does not appear to have high end long speed, which can challenge him against more athletic boundary types. Has required a vertical safety behind him to prevent receivers from stacking him on an island on deeper targets. Click and close from off coverage is modest.
Zone Spacing –Conservative, isn’t going to be consistently jumping double moves and getting toasted if tasked with playing over top. Will be better served in man due to lack of spring to explode and close ground, which limits ball production when keying on the throw.
Competitive Toughness –Does not bring a lot of supplemental skills to the game, isn’t going to be collapsing down blockers, flying into the face of a D-gap run or drop booming hits. Physical strength is not especially effective unless playing against receivers of a similar stature.
Run Support –Uninspiring. Gets stuck on blocks and doesn’t appear to have a lot of length to press and create space to pull away. Needs to be more assertive as soon as he processes run to beat blocker to the hip and play through lateral contact.
Tackling –Limited opportunities to tackle in noted games, wasn’t targeted particularly often across four games and didn’t find his way into the pathway of a lot of runs due to poor run support. Is well built but more of a wrap up tackler than a pad popper.
BEST TRAIT – Press Technique
WORST TRAIT – Run Support
BEST FILM – Ohio State (2018)
WORST FILM – Notre Dame (2018)
RED FLAGS – None
David Long projects as a potential press corner on the boundary in the NFL. He does not possess the desired length or size of an outside receiver, however. These physical limitations show up against longer, more physical receivers, which may regulate Long to a role in the slot for many teams. In the slot, Long’s physical play and effective press can re-route and get passing schedules out of sync. Needs to play more effectively against the run to press for a starting role.