TDN Scouting Roundtable: UCLA Safety Quentin Lake Deserves Attention

Photo: Photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports

It seems like the 2020 NFL Draft just happened, but we move fast here at The Draft Network.

Currently going through summer evaluations for the 2021 NFL Draft class, our scouting team of Kyle Crabbs, Joe Marino, Jordan Reid, and Drae Harris are meeting up every day to discuss prospects, traits, and concepts. New to TDN is a daily scouting roundtable where we go through and identify the most important points of conversation from that day’s meeting.

On Tuesday, we talked about one particular player who isn't getting enough love in the scouting community: UCLA safety Quentin Lake.

Lake Love

Maybe the most surprising part about today’s meeting, and the thing we’ll highlight here, was Harris’ infatuation with UCLA safety Quentin Lake.  

“Reading his info at first, you just think this is going to be another guy, but I was surprisingly impressed,” Harris stated.

Able to play both nickel or pure safety, Lake isn’t on many big boards nor has he been talked about much. But all of that, at least by Harris’ indication, looks like it’s about to change.

“He's a good athlete with great agility, balance, and body control,” Harris brought up. “He (also) has excellent instincts and always seems to be in the right position.”

Recruited to UCLA as a 3-star, Lake is the son of former UCLA legend Carnell Lake, a linebacker who was so good that he was selected to the NFL’s All-90s decade team. No, the younger Lake likely won't end up as a superstar like his father, but Quentin still has a ton to work with when it comes to his pro future.

When mentioning positives, Harris listed an abundance of them, highlighting key traits such as footwork, technique, and instincts.

“He’s fluid with loose hips and moves similar to how a corner would,” Harris stated. “When you look at his attributes as a player, you just wonder why he hasn’t made more plays.”

Although the lack of production is a concern, Harris believes this is largely due to Lake’s hand injury a season ago, which derailed his entire year after only four games. Going back to 2018, you can see that Lake racked up plenty of tackles and two picks as a sophomore, which helps lessen these worries.

Harris also notes that “(Lake) is not a killer in the run game and he’s more of a drag-down tackler,” but remains efficient in this regard.

All in all, we aren’t talking about a first-round player here, but certainly one that could make some noise on day two.

“A healthy 2020 should put him in the conversation for one of the best safeties in the conference,” Harris gushes. “He has size, instincts, footwork, hips, he’s fluid, he’s got a great pedigree. If he plays a full year, I guarantee you’ll be talking about him in the top 100. Don’t @ me.”

It’s quite high praise, but from all accounts, it seems well deserved.

Written By:

Carter Donnick

Publications Intern

Publications Intern at The Draft Network. Very Canadian.