The “Let’s Talk Prospects” editions of this column have been really popular so I wanted to keep the train rolling again and discuss some of my recent studies, offering thoughts on them in a non-scouting report type format. More conversation style, if you will.
I hope that this column has become a staple for you each week, but just in case you are new, 6-Pack Thursday is my weekly brain dump on six football-related things that involve the NFL, College Football or NFL Draft.
Let’s crack this thing open.
**You can click on the name of each prospect to read my full formal film evaluation on them**
Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware
I’m not saying Adderley is a top-10 player in this class (although that’s not much of a stretch) but I am saying film is among the ten best players I will study for the 2019 NFL Draft. He is outstanding and executes at a high level.
Processing skills? Exceptional. Plays fast and aggressive while making correct reads and positioning himself to make plays. Physicality? Tone-setter on the back end. Plays with a high level of urgency, rivaling what we see from Jamal Adams. Coverage skills? Extremely sound in zone coverage and clearly understands coverage spacing. Plays the ball at a high level. Range? Sideline to sideline. Versatility? No limitations to what he can do and function at a high level. Split zones, single-high, in the box, blitzing, man coverage are all within his realm of capabilities. Interchangeable and highly versatile. Has made big plays as a punt and kick returner. Does everything.
Adderley checks a lot of boxes and does so emphatically. He was an absolute joy to study on film and is a first-round safety all day long assuming he tests where I believe he will.
Anthony Ratliff-Williams, WR, North Carolina
Ratliff-Williams went from playing quarterback in high school to being the Tarheels’ leading receiver in 2017 and 2018. A versatile weapon, Ratliff-Williams is a three-level threat as a receiver, can run the football, has made big plays in the return game and is capable of throwing a pass when trickeration is desired.
Comparing his 2017 to 2018 tape, I saw a lot of growth from him in terms of his ability to win in the contact window and beat press coverage during his release. There was a lot more variety with how he got into his route stems and defeated press with hand technique, footwork and the ability to reduce his surface area and get into his route. With that said, there is still work to be done in becoming a better route salesman but the tools are present to develop.
I think ARW can become a more nuanced player at the next level and make a team really happy in Round 3/4.
Charles Omenhiu, DL, Texas
Omenihu’s toolbox is loaded! A versatile prospect, Omenihu has inside and outside playmaking ability as as pass rusher and run defender. His length, burst, motor, processing skills, power and hand usage serve as a strong foundation to develop from.
Like I’ve pointed out with other prospects, we’d like for them to dominate for 4 seasons in college but that isn’t always the case. With that said, illustrating steady growth and playing their best football in their final season is something I look for. That was the case with Omenihu who racked up 18 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks in his final campaign as a Longhorn.
Look for Omenihu to have a big week in Mobile in the Senior Bowl and for the R1 hype to start.
Terrill Hanks, LB, New Mexico State
This was a really interesting study. Hanks transitioned from safety to linebacker for his senior season and there are a lot of traits present with him that NFL teams are looking for in second level defenders.
When watching his tape, it becomes pretty clear Hanks is new to playing linebacker. His tape is full of misreads and running himself out of plays. He almost always takes the cheese on play fakes and falls for false reads. He also must clean up his tackling technique to become a more consistent finisher and his contact balance/power is lacking.
With that out of the way, Hanks does have upside in a pursuit-style role and in coverage. He is a high urgency player that would function well in a see and chase role. His experience at safety lends itself favorably to performing in coverage and he looks natural in both man and zone.
As a nickel linebacker and core special teamer, Hanks has a lot of intrigue given his size and athletic ability and could become more if he develops.
Dontavius Russell, DL, Auburn
A four-year starter at Auburn, Russell played a lot of football against premier competition in college. I think he has the ability to become a successful run-stuffing defensive tackle in the NFL.
Great run stoppers are unselfish football players that understand the importance of eating space, maintaining run fits and occupying blocks so second level defenders can cleanly fill windows and attack downhill. That quality is evident in Russell who is extremely stout at the point of attack and plays with a hot motor.
While he isn’t a dynamic penetrator or offers much pass rushing upside, Russell does well to win with first contact, reset the line of scrimmage and even shoot gaps.
Russell’s skill set isn’t overly valuable but I think he’ll get picked on Day 3 and provide his team a quality piece for early downs.
Drew Sample, TE, Washington
Sample doesn’t stand out in any one area but he does a little bit of everything which is exactly what NFL teams want in No. 2/3 tight ends on the roster.
Despite being a limited athlete with modest play strength, Sample illustrates baseline receiving ability and good technique as a blocker. He wasn’t ever a priority for Washington to get the ball to in the passing game but was reliable as a check down option/space finder with a few productive vertical shots. He was utilized in a variety of ways as a blocker including in-line, flexed and leading into holes.
I don’t think Sample will ever be a starter but he’s primed for an unheralded career as a depth player.