If you went into the war room of every NFL team and asked "who wants a safety that can do it all?" a vast majority of hands would go up. That's because almost every team in the NFL could use an elite safety, and there is one prospect who could fill the void for many – Jamal Adams.
The LSU product, simply put, is a stud. He can tackle, cover, blitz and do just about anything else you ask him to. In 2016, Adams recorded 76 tackles, 7.5 for loss and one interception. He had a standout performance against Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson and the Louisville Cardinals in the Citrus Bowl last December consisted of in a LSU's 29-9 victory.
Adams and the Tigers held Jackson to just 153 yards passing and 33 yards on the ground. Adams accounted for six tackles, including one tackle for a loss, and a pass defended as he was tasked with shadowing Jackson all day.
At the NFL combine last weekend, Adams posted a 4.56 sec 40-yard dash and a 31.5 inch vertical jump. No, those aren't eye popping numbers, but this GIF sure is.
Adams is a hard-hitting safety. He isn’t afraid to creep up to the line of scrimmage and get his hands dirty. He has a low center of gravity, resulting in tackles that don’t often miss which plays well in run defense. He plays downhill and can set a tone and change a game with one hit or interception.
People may wonder why he only had one interception in 2016. Well, there's really a simply answer.
Would you want to throw in the direction of someone who could make plays like this?
At the back end of the defense, Adams utilizes his high football IQ. He is adept at making changes pre-snap and aligning the defense. Adams also does not get fooled on trick plays, and stays at home on the weak side. Against tight ends, Adams uses his 6’1, 213 pound frame to his advantage. He doesn't get overpowered and bullied in the redzone or up the seam.
More than anything, though, GMs and scouts have raved about his leadership. Adams played on an LSU defense that was absolutely stacked and rose to the top. The intangibles he brings to the field are undeniable.
Areas of his game that need improvement are overrunning plays and being too physical. At times, Adams can be a bit overzealous. Fortunately he did not draw any penalties in 2016, but he will need to keep his head on a swivel to not get burned on play action in the NFL.
Adams was a star at LSU and has all the makings to be one in the NFL. As a safety who can play deep, fill the box, or even cover the slot, Adams will likely find himself taken among the first five picks. Several teams have a hole at safety – the question now just becomes who fills theirs by taking Adams.
Would you trade up to select Jamal Adams early in the first round? Share your thoughts with Reece on Twitter @ReeceWaddell15.