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2020 NFL Draft Hidden Gems: Defensive Backs Edition | Scouting Notes

Matt Anzio has been reviewing film and found some sleepers. These players are what Matt considers Hidden Gems in the 2020 NFL Draft!

Hidden Gems  

2020 NFL Draft Sleepers By Matt Anzio

Defensive Backs Scouting Notes      

  • DB/Safety     Luther Captain Kirk  IV
  • Illinois State  # 14     
  • Height : 6’ 2    
  • Weight : 201 lbs 
  • @CaptainKirk140

Had A Huge Sack Fumble To Seal A Victory Against Indiana State.

In a game where the captain , Kirk was playing lights out along with his teammates in the secondary or on the D as a whole. Kirk helped to  lead a defense that is getting turnovers on regular, a defense that caused a butt load of turnovers the last part of the season. Finished his final year like a warrior, after sitting out as a sophomore but exploding on the scene as a Junior. 

Still waiting on finalized 2019 stats, as a junior Kirk had 61 tackles 5 INT’s, 3 PBU’s. Started 11 games earrning himself a 1st Team All Conference Selection at the safety position. 

Done what he has done throughout his career, making  clutch plays at clutch times.  Whether a pick six, a strip sack fumble or breaking up a pass. When the chips are down, Kirk steps up to the plate. 

A Leader ,intelligent safety ,that can recognize plays assist his teammates to be in the right position to make plays.  Formation  recognition, stays in his lane, understands executes his assignments takes good angels keeping opponents in front of him, closing down their lanes. Technically sound tackler that is a physically strong  with quick change of direction & closing speed.  Long reach , the vertical talents to highpoint the ball. The savage physicality to tear the ball from a player’s hand like Seinfield snatched  the marble rye from the old lady. 

Part of a secondary that really caught fire for the Redbird’s this season. The glue that held a secondary that helped to beat  a tough MVFC  foe, in the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. Then finished the year with a convincing win over Southern Missouri. 

Illinois State who finished 9-4 & 3rd in the Missouri Valley Conference in the FCS.

Now Kirk & company prepare to take on the 9-3  Central Arkansas in the 2nd round of the FCS Championship Playoffs . Redbird’s secondary will have their hands full against a quarterback Breylin Smith, who is   coming off a  big win. Where the Bears signal caller had 296 yds ,5 TD’s 0 INT’s  in a  52 – 35 win over Incarnate Word. 

Kirk with the help of his team will need to make Smith make some mistakes this week, along with limiting their mistakes on offense. If Captain Kirk can find a way to beam him up a fumble or pick, let James Robinson run wild. Very well could get themselves a 2nd round victory.  

  • CB/ DB  Reid Harrison Ducros 
  • Height 5’ 10        
  • Weight 185lbs 
  • Duquesne  # 27 
  • @rducros27

Heavy Hitter that explodes to the spot, Leading His team in Interceptions and pass break ups.

Not just a rocket but strong as a Bull can put up 225 lbs 20 times, you see when he lowers his shoulder can level pass catchers like a demolition crew levels a building. His elite speed coupled with his toughnest monouvouabiilty, coverage skills , make him a top nickel prospect. 

Reid might of only started 3 games as a Sophomore at Boise State, but  was the highest rated player 86.6 rating by PFF on a team that included LB Leighton Vander Esch, RB Mattison, WR Cedric Wilson QB Brett Rypien all players that went onto the NFL.  

After transferring to Duquesne 2018 he impressed at Donald Driver’s event with a  3.86* – 20 yd Shuttle, L drill – 6.33 with an insane 10 yd split of 1.39. Think we can acknowledge the young DB can move, numbers that are better than names like Casey Hayward 3.89 , Chris Harris Jr, 4.20, Desmond King 4.18, Darrelle Revis 4.08 & Nickel Robey Coleman 4.09. That’s some decent company to put it mildly,  Harrison Ducros has the natural ability, film, instincts, analytics & intensity to be a force to be reckoned with this 2020 NFL draft. 

Against Central Connecticut State University this season allowed just 1 catch for 8 yards. Verses  Wagner he pitched a shutout targeted 6 times with 0 completions , that’s the type of DB you are getting in Harrison Ducros.  When he faced Sacred Heart earned himself Defensive Co- Player Of The Week.  In a 20-6 victory, helped to limit SHU to their lowest point total of the year while having 3 tackles a PBU.  He picked off the NEC leading passer 2 times in that contest as well, all year long, he has been putting on a show.Started all of the Dukes 10 games, was ranked 2nd in all the NEC with his 4 interceptions. 

He is a name to watch, that should build momentum heading into this spring’s draft season. A very high character coachable player that loves the game & opposing quarterbacks avoid like the  bubonic plague. 

Coming off an exceptional year, he prepares for the College Gridiron Showcase, then gets ready to Graduate.  He looks to show why Reid Harrison Ducros is a name that will continue to rise,impress & turn heads  leading up to the 2020 NFL Draft. 

  • DB/ SS  Quantaye Battle 
  • Virginia Union University  # 7 
  • Height : 6’3    
  • Weight : 210 lbs 
  • @XCIV_07

Known Of Battle For A Couple Years, He Has Improved Every Year. 

Hits like a Battle  hammer, has instincts that can’t be taught. Explodes off the ball on blitz or to get after the back. Has played outside & inside corner, safety Special teams. Not much Battle can’t do, highly productive, always  around the football.  Everything a team looks for when trying to build a well versed multi dimensional defense & ST units. 

Love him as that safety/ LB mix, because he has some nice size. Hits hard like a linebacker while covering very well, even in man situations. At the same time , gotta see the hip flip back peddle on him on the outside playing corner. Move inside at slot, where he adds the quickness accompanied by the intensity of his hits. Makes for a player that can fill more than one role on a ball team. Playing man coverage on some deep plays. Locates the ball effectively, dangerous with the ball in his hands. 

Can never waste outside talent, still nice to have a player with the experience Battle brings.  Timing is off the charts, takes good angles. His ability to time out the play interrupt it is his calling card. His willingness too just lay it all out for the tackle or the sack.

 Think you can literally line him up anywhere covering outside WR’s or just attacking running backs/ QB’s behind the line.  Can tell he has put his time in on the field , in the film room. An All Conference superstar in his school.  Someone that just helps in so many areas, it’s difficult not to like the versatitlity raw abilty that Battle possesses. 

Safety  Benny Walls III 

  • Temple # 32 
  • Height : 6’1 ½   Weight : 210 lbs 

  Single Digit Owl Defender, Most CFB Fans Know What That Means.  

Might not be the biggest sleeper of the bunch, he is still most likely a priority free agent candidate.  Although the last many years have been loaded with secondary gems, this year is when 6 foot 2 is nothing out of the ordinary. 

Mild mannered Top Scholar off the field, while being a straight savage on the field. Diesel frame, strong ball-hawking  skills that moves better than most guys his size. 

Was the Player of the game against Georgia Tech with 6 tackles an INT & a fumble recovery for a touchdown. A ball magnet that can get some chunk yardage after the pick, navigate thru the offense with his instincts, speed elusiveness for a big physical safety. 

On the blitz he is explosive, getting behind the line in a heartbeat. Special teams is the same, he can get down field fast against kick return, while being a top notch weapon on field goal & punt blocking duties.  DB that has taken it too the house, from deep in his own territory 65 -75 yards for the score. Whether stripping a fumble or one of his many picks, Walls is a threat to take it all the way every down. 

Had a monster outing against Maryland with 8 tackles & a fumble recovery for a 74 yard touvhdown.  Defensive Player Of the Week against ECU with 8 tackles, also had a 65 yard INT touchdown vs Georgia Tech, this season. 

  • DB Darreon Jackson 
  • Arkansas State 
  • Height : 6’0      
  • Weight 205 lbs 

Having An Outstanding Senior Campaign Around The Ball Like A Vulture Around Dead Meat ! 

103 tackles  1 INT  with a 51 yd return & 1 sack  on the season, with a 90 tackle year under his belt last yr, 60 plus tackles the season prior as a sophomore. No questioning  his domination on the gridiron, his consistent work ethic. His ability to diagnose plays be around the ball & wrap up anyone with the ball in their possession.  

Then you have his highlight from High School, has over 50 k plays at the moment. It is something to go checkout. Shows the quickness, toughness, shiftiness, no quit player you’re getting in Jackson. 

With an endless array of defensive backs that are all 6 foot plus, many with great resumes sometimes you just gotta go with the gut instinct. Which is screaming this young savage of the secondary can make an impact at the next level from jump street. 

Not a sleeper among fans of the team or anyone who follows the FBS closely. He still has day 3 or priority free agent potential. He could  go overlooked despite hi sproduction, depending how he tests, All Star film a little bit of luck.  

Coming off a winning  year with Ark State 6-4 ,losing to Southern Alabama 34 -30. 

Had 17 tackles against ULM & 16 against Coastal Carolina & 11 takedowns against Georgia Southern .  Something he has done week in & week out, a  double digit performer.

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