2018 NFL Draft: Picks 146-150
NFL Draft Scout
146 Seahwaks: SS Tre Flowers
Tall, long-levered frame. Physical run defender. Gets involved in the tackle whenever possible (279 career stops). Strong upper body to punch the ball out or finish tackles when he properly wraps. Keeps outside leverage downhill in run support. Understands route concepts. Reads the quarterback and attacks underneath route. Excellent timing and thump when he arrives at the catch point to break up passes. Voted a senior captain. Graduated with a degree in Management (Dec. 2017)…Durable resume with 42 career starts. – Dane Brugler 2/7/2018
Slender for the position and lacks body mass. Below average sideline-to-sideline speed. Herky-jerky movements when changing directions. Legs go dead when tackling downhill. Technique breakdowns as an open-field tackler. Excessive weaving and wasted motion in his pursuit angles. Finds too many blockers en route to the football. Backfield awareness runs hot/cold. Savvy route runners tie him in knots. Doesn’t have a great feel for coverage zones and not a playmaker in pass defense. Marginal ball skills. – Dane Brugler 2/7/2018
IN OUR VIEW
Flowers has limitations that probably make him a back-up safety at-best in the NFL, projecting similar to former Central Michigan safety Kavon Frazier (212th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys
147 Rams: ILB Micah Kiser
Physical and fast to the hole. Downhill speed to corral ballcarriers before they reach the line of scrimmage. Quick feet and aggressive hands to work off blocks. Trusts his backfield vision with his eyes attached on the ball. Football smart and has been making defensive calls since high school. Form tackler, sticking his shoulder in the gut of the ballcarrier and wrapping his hands to finish. Outstanding timing and closing acceleration as a blitzer - finds the soft spots, gets skinny and doesn't let off-balance blocks slow him down, ranking top-10 in Virginia history in sacks. Well-rounded individual and strives to make an impact on and off the field - classroom and community are important to him. Winner of the 2017 William V. Campbell Trophy, which is also known as the "Academic Heisman" - graduated with an undergraduate degree in foreign affairs (May 2017) and currently pursuing a master's in higher education (3.42 GPA). Led the football team's response to the Charlottesville riots, including a photo of team unity with arms interlocked. Led the ACC in tackles each of the last three seasons and no active college football player has more tackles over the last three years. Proven durability, playing every game the past four seasons. - Dane Brugler 12/12/2017
Limitations moving laterally. Doesn't have the change of direction skills or burst to turn and cover backs or tight ends in coverage. Allows too much spacing in zone and man coverage and late to react. Ordinary range and won't narrow the gap chasing. Often plays too fast downhill, hindering his ability to calm his feet and break down vs. shifty ballcarriers. - Dane Brugler 12/12/17
148 Steelers: SS Marcus Allen
High batting average as a tackler. Fearless competitor and seeks out physical contact. Forceful striker, but also a smart striker, lowering his pads to create leverage and power. Squares the ballcarrier and uses sound wrap-up technique. Aggressive nature and timing creates break-up or forced fumble opportunities (five fumbles forced the last three seasons). Doesn’t shy from attacking blocks like a Kamikaze. Lateral quickness to avoid pulling blockers. Effective blitzer and forces the quarterback to move his feet. Terrific straight-line speed downhill and in pursuit to go from A-to-B in a blink. Blocked the field goal that led to a score and eventual victory vs. Ohio State in 2016. Named a senior captain and carries himself with the humility and down-to-earth attitude that NFL coaches covet. Graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism (Dec. 2017). Durable and missed only one game the past four seasons. Godson of Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Curtis Martin. – Dane Brugler 1/6/2018
Lacks desired build and body armor for strong safety. Stiff change of direction skills with obvious tightness when attempting to turn-and-run with wideouts. Not a burst player unless moving downhill. Late out of his pedal. Bad habit of grabbing receivers on vertical routes due to poor cover technique, leading to flags. Too calculated in coverage and needs to take more chances. Marginal ball skills and only one career interception in 46 collegiate starts. – Dane Brugler 1/6/2018
COMPARES TO: Deone Bucannon, Arizona Cardinals – Although there are some questions about Allen’s ability to hold up in coverage, there is no question about his toughness and tackling skills, drawing parallels to Bucannon due to their ability as box players
IN OUR VIEW: While he won’t be the best “Marcus Allen” to ever play in the NFL, the Penn State version already has a NFL mentality and projects as a starting box safety with his athleticism and tackling skills. He is the No. 1 senior safety prospect in the 2018 class.
149 Seahawks: P Michael Dickson
Prototypical frame for a punter with good height and an athletic build, including good overall weight distribution... Three tackles and one fake for a 6-yard run to his credit... Possesses a powerful leg, generating impressive velocity with excellent trajectory, scraping the clouds with sky-high kicks which force punt returners to fair catch the ball. Can deliver howitzers when he needs to reverse the field with a 65+ yarders (in the air) on tape... Shows good directional accuracy to pin returners in the corner. Varies his grip and drop on the ball to create different spins, showing the ability to draw the ball with back-spin. Possesses the ability to resort to Australian rules "rolling" punts, showing good athleticism and coordination to buy time and clear initial pressure while still getting off powerful, accurate kicks. -- Rob Rang 2/8/2018
Picking nits but Dickson could step up the quickness of his catch, drop to punt speed, showing a rather methodical, measured approach. Has practiced as placekicker and on kickoffs but has no game action in this role, nor does he have much experience throwing the ball out of fake field goals, though he was the primary holder at Texas... - Rob Rang 2/8/2018
IN OUR VIEW
Dickson announced his intentions to leave early for the NFL prior to the Texas Bowl but he certainly left on the right foot, earning MVP honors in the Longhorns win with 10 of his 11 punts landing inside the Tigers' 15-yard line. None of them went for touchbacks. His uncanny touch, accuracy and leg strength could earn Dickson top 100 consideration.
150 Browns: ILB Genard Avery
STRENGTHS: Speed to chase down ballcarriers from behind…packed-on muscle and no stranger to the weight room (two-time state champion powerlifter)…forceful tackler and lays a lick on his target…lowers his pads at contact to gain leverage…mean attitude and plays with conviction to compete in the trenches…impact blitzing skills, using speed, bend and body leverage to win the corner…flashes violence in his hands with a baseline understanding of how to set up rush moves…only two interceptions in college, but returned both for touchdowns…two-year team captain…graduated with his undergrad degree (Dec. 2017)…versatile experience at inside and outside linebacker and as a hybrid edge rusher, leading the team in tackles for loss the last two seasons.
WEAKNESSES: Shorter stature and arm length…sticks to blockers at the line of scrimmage, opening second level run lanes for the ballcarrier…overmatched downhill at the goal line or short-yardage situations…questionable backfield vision, losing sight of the ball mid-traffic…speed to mirror, but late to key-and-diagnose…straight-linish athlete and hips/lower body look stiff in coverage…tight redirection skills eat away at his range…arrives too hot as a tackler at times…aggressive hands as a rusher, but counter measures and move-to-move transition are raw…suffered a season-ending wrist injury (Nov. 2015) and required surgery.
SUMMARY: A three-year starter at Memphis, Avery spent most of his collegiate career as the starting WILL linebacker, but finished his Memphis career as the “KAT” hybrid outside linebacker to utilize his rush skills – finished second in school history in career tackles for loss (45.5) and third in sacks (21.5). Avery is at his best as a downhill defender with his speed and toughness to attack, creating stopping power on clean-view tackle attempts. However, he has questionable instincts and twitch, often getting eaten up by blockers near the line of scrimmage. His pass rush skills and versatile experience are encouraging, but he is more of a blitzer than rusher right now with limited length and coverage skills. Overall, Avery has tweener traits and might struggle to find a home on defense, but his straight-line speed and competitive make-up could keep him on a roster as a special teamer while he fights for playing time on defense.