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NFL Draft Profile: Qwuantrezz Knight, Safety, UCLA Bruins

NFL draft profile scouting report for UCLA safety, Qwuantrezz Knight

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#24
Pos: DS
Ht: 5105v
Wt: 195v
Hand: 0958v
Arm: 2978v
Wing: 7258v
DOB: 10/10/97
Eligible: 2022
Quincy, FL
East Gadsden High School

Qwuantrezz Knight
UCLA Bruins


One-Liners

Energetic nickel with average size and below average athleticism. 

Pros:

Primarily deployed in the nickel, Knight is a playmaker with good mental alertness, allowing him to read and react quickly. A high energy player in all phases of the game, he stands out on the blitz, showing excellent timing and getting into the backfield frequently. An above-average tackler, he gets ball carriers down reliably after locating them quickly. Knight is savvy when it comes to avoiding blockers, managing to stay clean in the box. In off coverage, he shows good timing to turn and run. Consistently low hips and a wide base, allow Knight to change directions while staying on balance and absorb unexpected contact. 

Cons:

Possessing average size, Knight has below-average speed which prevents him from carrying wideouts vertically and across the field. His explosiveness and burst are also below average. He lacks the strength required to take on blockers in the box consistently. Knight does not trust his speed in coverage, leaving big cushions underneath. He can lose receivers in his blind spot and lacks the athleticism to make up lost ground. When bumping receivers, he is not physical, failing to impact route timing. His angles when breaking on routes from depth are often overaggressive and cause him to adjust. Miscommunications and an inability to consistently locate routes behind him, lead to open receivers. 

Summary:

Energetic nickel with average size and below-average athleticism. Knight is a consistent tackler and shows very good urgency when blitzing. His lack of athleticism limits him in coverage and space. Knight projects as a practice squad player who could bring energy to special teams that allow him to make a roster, if he can overcome his athletic limitations. 

Background:

Born on October 10th, 1997, Qwuantrezz Knight attended Gadsden High School in Havana, Florida as a two-way contributor playing defensive back, quarterback, and receiver. Gadsden County High School is in the 4A division of Florida football, a relatively lower level of competition than many top-tier Florida high schools such as IMG Academy or St. Thomas Aquinas. Though he showed positional versatility throughout high school, colleges recruited Knight to play defensive back. He was rated a three-star prospect in the 2016 class, per the 247Sports Composite. Knight received offers from multiple smaller programs such as Eastern Michigan and Chattanooga but committed to Maryland when they extended him an offer. Knight played sparingly over his first three seasons at Maryland, accumulating 45 tackles across 27 games. He opted to transfer to Kent State in 2019 as a redshirt junior to earn more playing time. Knight immediately made an impact, racking up 74 tackles over the season and being named the defensive MVP of the Frisco Bowl. His performance raised eyebrows at other programs and he transferred once more in 2020, this time to UCLA as a redshirt senior. He played in a limited capacity for his first season as a Bruin, generating 40 tackles. Using the extra year of eligibility afforded to him due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Knight stayed for a sixth year in 2021. He started all 12 games as a super-senior, making a team-leading 65 tackles with one forced fumble. His senior-season performance earned him second-team All-PAC-12 honors and an invitation to the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. Knight currently projects as a day-three selection in the 2022 NFL Draft.


Grades

Current Player Value/Potential Player Value

5.6/6.6

11/14/21 - Coming down the backstretch of the college football season, one player who has had an impressive year is UCLA nickel defender and safety Qwuantrezz Knight, who leads the Bruins in tackles. In their first victory at the Rose Bowl since the week two upset over LSU, UCLA beat Colorado 44-20. Knight was once again all over the field, totaling six tackles with a sack and two tackles for loss. Few nickel defenders in the country show the ability for timing blitzes and attacking the backfield at the right times as Knight does. His improved tackling has allowed him to finish plays week in and week out. Having spent his first three seasons with the Maryland Terrapins, Knight joined Kent State for 2019 before being a graduate transfer to UCLA ahead of the 2020 campaign. The extra eligibility granted due to COVID-19 allowed him to return and help the Bruins reach bowl eligibility once more in 2021.

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