Analysis of the Draft’s Most Underrated NFL Prospects

Chris Savold

Started writing for goingfor2.com in the June of 2016. I am the editor of the Potomac Pulse, my school's online publication, and also created Savoldfantasytalk.wordpress.com. The Redskins are far and away my favorite sports team, and the NFL Draft is my favorite part of the season. Fun Fact: My favorite movies are The Fugitive, Lone Survivor, and Tommy Boy

Ahead of the NFL draft in April, I’ll be identifying some of my favorite NFL prospects for Goingfor2.com

Budda Baker, FS, Washington

Measurables: 5’10” 195 lb

Combine Stats: 4.45 40 YD Dash, 15 reps Bench Press, 32.5 Vertical Jump, 115.0 Broad Jump, 6.76 3 Cone, 4.08 20 Yd Shuttle

Though it is a cliché, Budda Baker is a football guy through and through. Immediately after turning on his tape, he jumps off the screen as a competitor. Baker is a terrific athlete that is able to fluidly change direction and attack the ball. While in coverage, Baker is disciplined and is able to close on the ball in a flash. One of my favorite qualities in Baker is how instinctive he is. While you can improve one’s speed, hands, or tackling, instincts are something players are essentially born with.

In the run game, Baker is able to weave between WRs and TEs that attempt to block him. Baker takes good angles to the football and is a lock to bring down receivers and smaller RBs without giving up extra yardage. In the clip below, Baker quickly diagnoses a RB screen. After the pass is completed, Baker drives the RB back four yards using leverage and a strong lower half.

While Baker excelled at Washington, there are some aspects of his tape that are slightly worrisome.When facing bigger, stronger NFL players, Baker is a potential liability as a tackler. Baker is undersized, measuring in at just 5’10”. While his size hurts his stock, we have seen numerous small NFL safeties succeed such as Earl Thomas, and Bob Sanders.

 

Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State

Measurables: 6’1″ 209 lbs

Combine Stats: 4.42  40 YD Dash, 19 reps Bench Press, 36.0  Vertical Jump, 4.00  20 yd Shuttle, 7.01 3 cone

Chris Godwin, a junior out of Penn State, should provide to be an elite threat down the road in the NFL.

Godwin, originally from Middletown, Delaware, possess a rare blend of size and speed. He is able to adjust to deep balls well and run a numerous combination of routes. Against USC, he brought in countless throws over the middle and held onto the ball after contact.

Godwin is a multi-faceted threat as he can make plays over the middle, deep, and he excels as a run blocker. His aggressiveness as a WR in the run game allowed Saquon Barkley, Penn State’s running back, to extend runs to the outside.

In the first clip below, Godwin displays his ability as a WR. He adjusts and contorts his body well to the pass, and then shows impeccable balance to stay up after being wrapped up by the USC DB.

In the second clip, Godwin shows his run blocking skills. He comes flying in from the left side of the screen, in turn sacrificing his body for the sake of the run. He’s able to get lower than the DB and ultimately takes him out of the play.

Lorenzo Jerome, S, St. Francis

Mesurables: 5’10 204lb

Combine Stats: 4.70 40 Yard Dash, 11 reps Bench Press, 7.63 3-cone, 4.68 20 Yard Shuttle

If you’ve never heard of St. Francis University, you’re not alone. The Pennsylvania school has just over 1,700 students, and their football team had gone just above .500 while Jerome was on the roster. After gaining attention due to his incredible 2-INT performance at the Senior Bowl, his stock rose significantly.

While Jerome played against below average talent, his ball skills may be the best in the country. While at St. Francis he reeled in 18 interceptions, while defending another 47 passes. He is aggressive when jumping routes, and displays a large catch radius while ball hawking passes.

Jerome may lack straight line speed, but he makes up for it with his elite ability to diagnose plays and read the QBs eyes. Along with that, he is extremely instinctive in coverage. On multiple occasions last year he identified the play prior to the snap and was able to get a jump on the ball carrier.

In the first clip, Jerome identifies the screen early, eludes the slot WR’s attempt at a block, and delivers a forceful hit to the ball carrier’s lower half.

In the two clips below, Jerome displays both his play speed and his range as a safety. He covers around 30 yards of ground while the ball is in the air and is able to deflect a well thrown ball at the last second.

Lastly, Jerome makes one of the most incredible plays I’ve seen this draft season. While in zone coverage, Jerome stalks the inside slot receiver in the flat while keeping his eyes on the Robert Morris QB. The QB then misreads the coverage and attempts to fit in a pass to the other slot WR whose running a 10 yd out. In turn, Jerome correctly identifies the sail route concept and is able to back pedal and make a play on the ball. Jerome is able to jump the route due to having fluid hips.  Lastly, he uses an insane catch radius to reel the pass in.

All stats are from ESPN.com and Pro Football Focus

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Started writing for goingfor2.com in the June of 2016. I am the editor of the Potomac Pulse, my school's online publication, and also created Savoldfantasytalk.wordpress.com. The Redskins are far and away my favorite sports team, and the NFL Draft is my favorite part of the season. Fun Fact: My favorite movies are The Fugitive, Lone Survivor, and Tommy Boy

Chris Savold

Started writing for goingfor2.com in the June of 2016. I am the editor of the Potomac Pulse, my school's online publication, and also created Savoldfantasytalk.wordpress.com. The Redskins are far and away my favorite sports team, and the NFL Draft is my favorite part of the season. Fun Fact: My favorite movies are The Fugitive, Lone Survivor, and Tommy Boy

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Garret
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Wewwww!!!! Great article!

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