When it comes to playing football at Louisiana State University, the talent pool is insanely deep. LSU has developed a reputation in recent seasons where some would call the school “DBU” or Defensive Back University. With former players such as Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu, and Jalen Collins, the Tigers have themselves a respectable case for that claim.
Safety Jamal Adams is probably the next name on that list of talented defensive backs from the Bayou. The defender has been forecast to be a top five draft selection by most draft analysts. At worst, Adams has been projected as a top 10 pick. Slap on his tape and his talent will clearly be enough evidence to convince you why. Today, I will examine the skill set of Adams in preparation for the 2017 NFL Draft
Weight: 215 lbs
Position: Strong safety, Free safety
Games Watched: 2016 vs. Auburn, 2016 vs. Alabama, 2016 vs. Texas A&M, 2016 vs. Florida, 2016 vs. Wisconsin, 2015 vs. Texas Tech, 2015 vs. Alabama, 2015 vs. Arkansas, 2015 vs. Auburn
- 2014 All-SEC freshman team, 2015 second team All-SEC, 2016 first team All-SEC, 2016 second team All-American
- 209 career tackles in three seasons (36 games) at LSU along with 18 tackles for loss and five interceptions
- Aggressive hitter, willing to attack the line of scrimmage in run support
- Natural instincts, can diagnose plays efficiently
- Has the ability to filter through traffic while maintaining visual contact on the ball carriers
- Effective in zone coverage, sees the play in front of him and reacts quickly
- Has experience as in zone coverage as a single-high safety and split safety in cover two looks
- Reliable as a box safety near the line of scrimmage
- Played in every game during his three seasons including a couple of starts as a freshman in 2014
- Vocal leader
- Can be overly aggressive at times, can be reeled in by a proper play action fake by the offense
- Ball skills are decent, not known to high point the football
- Long speed is in question
- Size is not ideal as a strong safety for some NFL coaches
- Needs work against receivers in man coverage
Conclusion: It’s easy to watch Adams and gravitate towards his overall skills. He’s compact in size but he does not play like it. Adams is also versatile and able to bring effective ability at both free and strong safety. There is a reason why most do not see Adams escaping the top 10 of the draft.
His passion for the game and aggressive style is contagious. His leadership can rub off on teammates. The tone-setter ability applied by Adams is what most teams look for at the safety position.
While he can play both safety positions, teams that draft Adams will likely insert him at the strong safety spot. He does have his limitations of course, as does every prospect. His ball skills are average and his coverage in man-to-man needs polishing also. I will be shocked if Adams somehow falls out of the top five. Regardless where Adams lands, the talented defensive back will provide Pro Bowl potential to a defense.