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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: LB Garret Wallow

  • The Draft Network
  • January 13, 2021
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PROSPECT SUMMARY – GARRET WALLOW

Garret Wallow is a former safety that converted to linebacker. He has remained a loose mover and it’s easy to see that he’s a former defensive back. An outstanding blitzer, he has the closing speed in order to finish plays in a hurry by bringing targets down to the ground. Wallow’s speed to the ball is slightly above average and he has the speed necessary to chase down ball-carriers. His instincts are still developing, but he shows an understanding of concepts being developed in front of him. One of his greatest assets is his athleticism in all types of coverage. He’s proven to have the awareness to play zone, but also the elusiveness in order to sustain in man coverage. A consistent tackler, he runs his face and chest through rushers and has lots of hitting power behind his body. Wallow isn’t shy at all with showing up in run support. Naturally, Wallow is still feeling his way out at the position even though he’s had experience at the WILL (weakside) spot. He still often takes false steps and there are periods of guessing rather than reading and reacting to the actions that are presented in front of him. Wallow has plenty of promise, but he remains raw in many important elements. Listed at 230 pounds, he could serve to add some more weight onto his frame and possibly even make the switch to the strong side as he gains more second-level experience. For now, he’s at his best on the weak side where his strengths and athleticism can be utilized the most.

Ideal Role: Developmental WILL linebacker.

Scheme Fit: 4-3 or 4-2-5 weakside linebacker.

FILM EVALUATION

Written by Jordan Reid

Games watched: Texas (2020), Kansas (2020), Baylor (2020), West Virginia (2020), Texas Tech (2020), Iowa State (2020)

Best Game Studied: Iowa State (2020), Kansas (2020)

Worst Game Studied: Texas (2020)

Tackling: Wallow is a chest-up, face-up tackler that’s consistent with running his facemask through ball-carriers. In the middle of the team's defense, he had a nose for the ball but also displayed that he can be a closer with coming to balance and bringing the opposition down to the ground. 

Football IQ/Instincts: Wallow is quick and agile to ball locations. His previous experience on the third level as a safety and now moving down a level have only sharpened his wits with getting to the ball. He has a well-developed understanding of the when, why, and how of ball locations. His aggressive forward stepper nature can get him into trouble at times as well as play-action and run-pass option concepts have frequently been targeted into his coverage areas. 

Competitive Toughness: He's an extremely physical player that has an endless amount of intensity to his game. After transitioning to the middle of the defense, he’s been the key cog that’s continuously kept the ship afloat. With an infectious personality, he’s been able to galvanize an entire unit. A lot of that is due to his competitive nature, knowledge, and ability to adjust on the fly as the communicator.

Pass Coverage Ability: Mostly a spot dropper in coverage, Wallow has average hips that enable him to turn and run into his coverage zones. Even though he’s now at a lower level of the defense, his experience as a safety helps him read and react to passing concepts. Wallow's width, depth, and drop spots are accurate and he makes calculated decisions in coverage when targets enter and exit his areas. 

Run Defending: Wallow is an active and instinctual run defender that has a nose for the ball. He’s accurate with reading and reacting to pulling offensive linemen, as he allows them to guide him to the ball. His nosiness can be put to the test if offensive linemen are able to square him up and drive block.  

Block Deconstruction: Wallow experiences struggles with slipping or bypassing blockers that are able to latch onto him. His former tendencies as a defensive back appear when his frame is crowded and he’s forced to shed off of blocks. The next stage of his development will be understanding how to untangle himself or avoid bigger matchups when on the move to ball locations.  

Lateral Mobility: Known for scraping over the top of plays and then attacking downhill when the opposite color jersey is within his sight, he has above average side-to-side movements. Wallow keeps his shoulders and chest square prior to shooting gaps. Once he feels that he’s within target range, he will attack clean alleyways violently.

Flexibility: His agility and flexibility are mostly seen in coverage as he has little trouble with flipping his hips and getting to his spots. In tight spaces where he is forced to minimize his frame and get skinny in order to slip blocks, he has proven to consistently be capable of doing that. 

Leadership: Played primarily on the strong side, but he’s treated as if he’s the man in the middle. Frequently seen communicating and getting everyone into proper positions, Wallow has a high understanding of the scheme. His understanding of the scheme combined with his production has helped him become one of the biggest leaders on the team. 

Versatility: Wallow is capable of playing on all three downs as a WILL linebacker.  Playing mostly on the strong side during his transition from safety, he’s experienced in that area as well.

SCOUT GRADES

TDN Consensus: 70.50/100

Joe Marino: 70.50/100

Kyle Crabbs: 70.50/100

Jordan Reid: 71.00/100

Drae Harris: 70.00/100

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