NFL Draft Diamonds Scouting Report: Nathaniel Black, DB, Faulkner University
- Name: Nathaniel Black
- Position: Safety/Linebacker
- School: Faulkner University
- Height: 6’4”
- Weight: 220 lbs.
- Class: Senior (RS)
- Games Viewed: Career Highlights
Background: A Pittsburgh, PA native. He began his career at Alabama State (FCS) before playing out his last two years of eligibility at Faulkner University (NAIA).
Strengths: Black has excellent size for a safety at 6’4” and 220 pounds with great arm length. On film, he looks to be the most productive when attacking the line of scrimmage from either a 2-Deep alignment, from within the box in a 3-3-5 defense, or in the box in a 4-2-5 defense. He can read & react to the ball at a decent rate, can get off of WR blocks, and uses okay closing speed to bring down the ball carrier in run support. In pass coverage, he flashes some ability to read flag & post routes to be able to make a play on the ball. He is a tough & strong tackler when he can get the ball at a decent pursuit angle. He shows some traits to be able to play special teams at the next level.
Weaknesses: Black does not show a ton of athletic ability & production in pass coverage. Despite having some closing speed, he has tight hips, making it hard to adjust & break quickly from his backpedal. In zone coverage, he does not get the ball at a consistent rate to make a play. When playing man coverage, he tends to trail behind a receiver rather than staying on his hip or back pocket. He can make tackles in run support & after the catch, but he does not always use the best form.
Summary: Black was a versatile player during his two years Faulkner University Eagles as a safety & linebacker. He can line up in multiple spots in different defensive alignments, and provide run support near the line of scrimmage with his closing speed & strong tackling ability. His abilities in pass coverage will be a big concern for coaches due to having tight hips & not reacting fast enough to make plays on the ball. Overall, I see Black making a pro team by being an effective special teams player. With a year or so of development, he can develop into a quality box safety for a 4-2-5 defensive scheme. If he cannot improve his pass coverage abilities, he has the size, the frame to add more weight, and the athletic ability to consider moving to weakside linebacker.
Draft Projection: Undrafted Free Agent