2017 NFL Draft Scouting Report
Prospect:  Jamal Adams


School:          LSU
Ht:  6'1"       Wt:  213
Eligibility:      JR
Uniform:       #33
Position:      S

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Adams is one of the smartest players in the country. On a defense full of future NFL talent, he is the emotional leader and the voice that relays calls on the back end. He may not have all the pretty numbers that Jabrill Peppers does, but his presence in that defense is equally as valuable. He plays all over the field but is usually found near the ball by the time the play is over. Whoever gets their hands on him is going to get a future leader and a heck of a player.

Against the run Adams is outstanding, and he is at his most natural position when he is up near the line. He diagnoses plays quickly, and when he is responsible for a gap, he is not hesitant to fill it. He is in constant pursuit of the ball, even when it goes the opposite way, and misdirection plays or reverses rarely fool him. He also seems to have a good idea when he is responsible for taking on a blocker which is not always easy for defensive backs to comprehend.

When playing deep, he comes downhill hard on runs to his side of the field. He breaks down in the open field and usually gets a solid piece of the ball carrier. Open-field tackling is never an exact science, but his long arms and quick-twitch athleticism make him adept in this area. Receivers usually don't have much success blocking him, and he is usually involved in the play if it gets to the second level. He takes smart angles and understands he is the last line of defense in his approach. These traits also make him a natural special teams' player.

Against the pass, he is solid but not nearly the same player. I haven't seen him get isolated in man coverage very often, but when he does, he understands his limitations. He keeps the receiver in front of him and drives hard once they break down. He may take a more cautious approach to breaking when the receiver breaks, but it is because he doesn't have the change-of-direction skills nor the recovery speed to help him if the receiver runs a double move. He is much more capable of defending tight ends one on one because of his strength and long arms. On the other hand, he is much better underneath in zone coverage. He sees and reacts quickly and punishes receivers while also wrapping them up.

He also gets a lot of reps as a deep safety, whether single-high or splitting the field in cover-two. Once again, he sees and reacts quickly, but he does not cover enough ground to be a permanent deep safety. He does take good angles, but I don't see the leaping ability to win 50-50 balls. He is best to swat the ball away or drill the receiver, but high-pointing a pass is not his strong suit. I also don't think his ball skills are anything more than average. He does, however, have a tendency to jump crossing routes when the quarterback's eyes give the play away.

Most defensive backs see their stock rise most at the NFL Scouting Combine. There I look for him to do two things, should he decide to declare. First, I expect him to blow everyone away in the interviews. As mentioned earlier, he is a natural leader, and one of the more instinctual and intelligent players in the country. Second, I want to see him prove that his pure athleticism is good enough to keep his stock in the first round. I don't expect him to be the fastest nor best with his footwork. Still, he is not an undersized linebacker like so many strong safeties. He is a truly versatile safety that can handle a number of tasks, and while he may not be able to play at a high level at all of them, he should be able to hold his own at worst. Playing up near the box is where he belongs, but he can occasionally play deep or matchup against tight ends. If he does those two things, I can't imagine him falling past the middle of the first round.

Compares to (Current NFL Player): Morgan Burnett (Green Bay Packers) or Barry Church (Dallas Cowboys)

- As smart and instinctual as any DB in the country
- Versatile to play both in the box and deep
- Sturdy frame with long arms
- Better athlete than most strong safeties
- Reliable tackler
- Terrific leader

- Not an elite athlete
- Doesn't have the footwork to matchup with most receivers in man coverage
- Ball skills are average at best

Austin Smith
December 23, 2016

1)   NFC executive: LSU's Jamal Adams is my favorite player   - NFL.com
2)   Jamal Adams and LSU's 'DBU' Tradition   - CBSSports.com
3)   Last game?: LSU safety Jamal Adams, a projected first-round draft pick, stays coy about returning for senior year    - MMQ.SI.COM
4)   Jamal Adams Twitter
5)   Jamal Adams Instagram

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