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2019 Small School Sleeper Spotlight – Defensive Backs Edition

Kurron Ramsey of Alabama State has NFL size and hits like a truck. Remember his name come April because he could be a guy that flies up boards after his pro day.

2019 Small School Sleeper Spotlight by Matt Anzio

Defensive Backs Edition

DB – Malik Brown, Henderson State University

  • School : Henderson State     
  • Prev School:  Tarleton State University    
  • Height – 6-0    
  • Weight: 198 lbs
  • Wingspan:  77 “             
  • Hand size: 9 ¾
  • Projected Forty- 4.45
  • Projected Reps at 225 –   15
  • Best Games: Had 12 tackles, 2 PBU 2 INT & 1 FF vs SEOSU – 2017
  • 10 tackles, 2 PBU, 2 INT & 1 TD vs South Ark  – 2018
  • Hometown: Huntsville, Texas  

Report

Brown  is a guy that had to grow up real fast & overcome tragedy.

Malik was a transfer due to a tragic event, who made the most out of his new opportunity despite his loss & pain. Showing what he is made of the young man is a resilient player & person. Can tell just in speaking with him shortly Brown is determined to make the most out of whatever comes his way in the Pro ranks.  In 2018, Malik had 66 tackles, 4 INT, 7 PBU, 2 FF & a TD in a terrific Senior outing.

In The Pass Game – Scouting Notes

Tracks the ball like a bloodhound tracks a fugitive.  Killer instinct able to dissect plays read the QB’s eyes.  Seems to always be around the ball with amazing protraction & radius. Brown is a predominant force in pass defection & INT stats.  See him mostly in zone coverage & that suits him well. Watched him in some man during the HBCU All-Star weekend last month.  Ultimately I think he shines in the zone because of his anticipation & timing. Good bounce & vertiginous Capability to out jump his offensive counterparts.  Flowing hips in transition keeps his knees bent with flexibility puts himself at a good advantage with his technique. Stays low on his backpedal keeping his knees properly bent his arms bent and in tight to his body. Steady moving feet has enough short area quickness to be used in close proximity like at nickel back. Yet still has the long speed to play outside. He has all the right stuff just needs to keep working fundamentals will get even smoother & stronger.

Tackling or Against The Run: Superior tackler with agility & strong hands arms to secure the takedown. Looks good coming on blitzes or straight lining to the running back. Intensity scouts coaches & GM’s desire. Patience in the run game with anticipation to norm know where the back is heading. With his 4.4 speed has no problem tracking players down from behind.

CB/ PR & KR –  Isaiah Swopes, CB, Northern Colorado

  • School: Northern Colorado
  • Prev school: Bellhaven (D3)
  • Height: 5’ 9        
  • Weight: 175 lbs
  • Projected Forty:   4:42
  • Bowl Invites FCS Senior Bowl & The Dream Bowl
  • All American  Freshman Year & Cliff Harris finalist  at BelHaven
  • Top 5 in PBU Both years in the Big Sky Conference  
  • Best Games – 10/22/ 17, vs McNeese St 11/11/17 &  vs Weber St 9/22/18
  • Hometown : Gautier, M.S.  

Scouting Report

Swopes is ridiculously natural athlete with a nose for the ball.

A undersized bone rattling DB with a chip on his shoulder the size of  Arizona. Another undersized DB that shows size isn’t everything but speed, intensity technique  are the true markers of a quality prospect for your defensive backfield. Absolute savage workaholic with a 36 tackles, 4 TFL, 11 PBU 3 INT in 2018. Swopes is the truth he is a ball magnet always around the ball using his dynamic speed & elusiveness in both Coverage as well as a tackling machine.

In The Pass Game – Scouting Notes

Natural loose hips with speedy moving feet exceptional backward & as well as in lateral coverage moves. Doesn’t gamble much the very rare ability to play tight man coverage. Shows the timing mostly seen in early round picks. The burst to time a pass perfectly ar hand timing can play super tight coverage. The ability to high point the ball vertically out jumping much bigger wideouts.  Change of direction timing willingness to finish plays. Makes Swopes a guy to watch as possible Slot, immediate KR or Special team contributor. Can get up use his hands to the press have seen him do well in man coverage which is hard to find. Has played many coverages in college.

Against The Run – Scouting Notes

Strong hands to grab and snatch balls out aggressive tackler  that will launch himself to make a tackle. Non stop motor all over the field in  man, zone press he understands his assignments gives it everything he has every down of every game. Stays low good bend tackles guys low comes in like a heat seeking missile. A sleeper to watch could be a day 3 steal. If Swope was 6 foot can guarantee they would be talking top 100 prospect. He has everything you look for fluidity in the hips moves phenomenal laterally, real fast tough as nails. Dangerous weapon in the return game Swope is legit reminds me a bit of Avonte Maddox out of Pitt last year

FS /SS – Kurron Ramsey – Alabama State

  • School: Alabama State
  • Height : 6’3        
  • Weight: 215 lbs
  • Arm : 31 3/8         
  • Hand: 9 “  Wingspan: 75”
  • Projected Forty –    4:50
  • Projected Reps at 225 – 14    
  • All  Conference Swac 2018
  • All Star Bowl invites & accepted The FCS Bowl & The Tropical Bowl
  • Best Games –     14 tackles vs Tuskegee 9/1    & 10 tackles vs Alcorn State 10/ 6  
  • Hometown : Brandywine, M.D.

Report

Hits like a hammer insane burst extra long arms on every DB’s coaches dream a 6 ft 3 200 plus pound  versatile safety that knows how & is willing to use his size on taking assignments coverages or special teams. Staying with my theme of DB’s that are not afraid to get dirty & lay the smackdown when needed.  Enter Ramsey a tall, rangy strong DB from Bama State that shows to have enough speed to help in coverage. Although i see his best attribute as an attack style safety in the box or in zone. Doubt you will see him in 1 on 1 situations except with TE’s & RB’s. That’s where he shines that’s hi greatest attribute size  & technique a deadly combo. Fun player to watch could be a dominant piece of a good secondary in the very near future.

In Pass Protection – Scouting Notes

Mostly watched him in zone coverage knows how to use his reach & ball skills to disrupt plays. Win the jump ball  physical knock the ball down Very good laterally tacking angles in zone formations. Go up & knock the ball down or get the PBU  vertical threat. Does Not lose much momentum in change of direction. Got the range with a good understanding of zone concept puts himself in position to make plays.  Tracks the ball well can close or cut off a route for a turnover or pass deflection. Will be able to cover bigger targets like TE’s or power backs that can catch out the backfield.

Tackling & Against The Run – Scouting Notes

Monster on run blitz & run attack fits he could fit that spear or 3rd safety role. Lays out on tackles real strong upper half to take even the big backs down. Intensity hits the right angles good bounce decent bend haven’t watched a ton of backpedaling. in the the ASU  D he generally keeps the offensive weapon in front. He did show some good motion in the hips very quick feet for a big physical safety prospect. Read & react first good jump off the line intense instinct explodes into tackles plays with the physicality most coaches crave at the safety position. Has the Holy trinity just needs the right situation to improve on a nice college career

CB/ Nickelback – Domo Lemon – Wofford

  • School – Wofford
  • Height : 5 ‘ 10      
  • Weight : 198 lbs
  • Projected Forty – 4.53      
  • Projected Reps at 225 – 15
  • Projected Vert:  36 ½ “
  • Best Game : 6 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 PBU & a blocked FG vs Furman
  • Hometown :Blythewood S.C.

Report

This  years draft is extremely deep in the secondary especially in the slot & safety positions.

Lemon is a compact physical defensive back

Despite the depth at the position I still find it hard to believe a player like Lemon that plays like his hair’s on fire, would not get a single invite to an All-Star event. Had I have known earlier in, I could have helped but since that’s in the past let’s move forward. Now he is training getting ready for his Pro Day at Wofford, and Lemon wants to put his name on the map.  

Against the Pass – Scouting Notes

Another DB that played a tone of zone coverages in college from cover 0 to cover 4. He has played man & press but most the tape I reviewed is in zone coverage or in the box.  Have seen him breakup some long balls. Shows good patience he doesn’t panic not get fooled very easily. Lemon is not the tallest DB but he has a good frame compact strong & with his short area quickness toughness & intensity could be a prime candidate for slot duties. Top notch timing with a nice spring  flexibility to go up & knock balls down or make a play on the ball. Or to undercut a route for an INT dangerous with the ball in his hands. Active strong hands always fighting for the ball or to cause an incompletion. Rapid moving feet natural Smooth transition in & out of breaks. Fluid bender can flip the hips instantly & go from run to pass or vice versa in a blink of an eye. Intensity both in pass protection as well as in the run game.

Tackling & Against The Run – Scouting Notes

Vicious tackler comes like a madman on designed run or pass blitzes. Locks on with his vice grip hands drops his weight pulls players to the dirt. Watched him pull a Brian Dawkins & just suplex an individual easily.  Desired closing speed attacks whoever is holding the rock. Laterally can just explode out of nowhere closing gaps instantly attaching to opponents like a pitbull. Good jump willingness to lay out for the stop. Really under the radar prospect with so many DB’s in this class. Encourage scouts to check out Lemons tape.

Nickel/ Strong Safety – Chris Rivers – Minot State

  • School: Minot State
  • Height: 5’ 11      Weight: 182lbs
  • Projected Forty – 4.51    
  • Projected Reps at 225 lbs –  15
  • Projected Vert: 38”     
  • Best games: 14 tackles 2 TFL & 3 PBU vs St. Coud  11/3/18
  • 8 tackles, 1 TFL 2 PBU & 1 INT vs U Mary 9/15/18
  • 12 tackles, 1.5 TFL 2 PBU vs Wayne State  10/20/18
  • Hometown : Jackson M.S.

Report

Rivers plays with reckless abandon  when on the attack.

First step is explosive plays downhill with some real intensity. Invites to both the National & Dream bowl which he attended ( Dream Bowl). A true hustle player attacks the ball & line of scrimmage. Fun player to watch. Keeping with a theme here Rivers is another smashmouth hardnose DB that can hit more like a LB then a potential strong safety or slot type. A smack you in the face compact high motor prospect that can fly around the field making plays all day.

Against The Pass – Scouting Notes

Generally played zone in the tape I got my hands on but i did watch him against some long balls was impressed on his patience as well as timing. Running is smooth has a good bounce  quick flip hips & rapid feet he uses to transition his change of direction. He is a knee bender but stays a little high at times nothing working the fundamentals footwork & the proper position coach can’t fix without a problem. Timing extension & flexibility on jump or 50/50 balls are above average. Sideline to sideline work seems good with his quick twitch strong hands disrupting pass plays or strategically baiting stepping in  front of a wide out at the right second for a big pick. He can be moved around in pass protection but ideally looking at another tough physically strong safety or slot candidate that should excel in Special teams too.

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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