Calvin Pryor NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Jets Safety

Ian Wharton@NFLFilmStudyContributor IMarch 3, 2014

LOUISVILLE, KY - OCTOBER 18:  Calvin Pryor #25 of the Louisville Cardinals intercepts a pass in the end zone during the game against the Central Florida Knights at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on October 18, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville (HT: 5'11”; WT: 207 lbs.)

New York Jets

First Round: 18th Pick

Combine Weigh In
HeightWeightArmHand
5'11"20731¼"9⅛
NFL.com
Combine Results
40-yard dash10-yard splitVertBroad3-ConeShuttle
4.581.5934½"9' 6"DNPDNP
NFL.com

 

Positives

  • Although he plays more like a traditional strong safety, he has the desired range and ball skills to become a good free safety.  
  • Good top-end speed and acceleration that shows when making up ground on the ball or ball-carrier. 
  • Solid athlete that makes highlight-reel plays against the run and pass game using great burst and timing. 
  • Quick hip transfer and clean change of direction ability in man coverage; he's one of the better athletes in the defensive back group. 
  • Mirrors the receiver well in off-man coverage, doesn’t get burned due to physical limitations.  
  • Experienced playing strong safety and free safety; won’t have an issue getting on the field due to lack of versatility. 
  • Played on special teams and was often the man making the tackle on the returner. 
  • Attacks the line of scrimmage with high aggression and is productive in the backfield.
  • Improved tackling-form consistency as the season progressed, but seems dedicated to delivering huge hits. 
  • Forced nine fumbles with great timing on big hits. Tackling efficiency rating of 85 percent throughout the 2013 season, according to my own count.

 

Negatives

  • Below average height and length for either safety position, so he doesn't match up with outside receivers and athletic tight ends well.
  • Horrible awareness of what is going on behind him while in coverage. The play has to be in front of him to make him a factor. 
  • "Reckless" is the first descriptor about Pryor, because he attacks and pursues the ball so aggressively that he is prone to over-committing to running lanes. 
  • Obsession with big hits causes him to miss easier tackles and give up extra yards; finding a balance of discipline and assertiveness is key. 
  • Over-pursuit on running backs leads to arm-tackle attempts because he is not in proper position to wrap up the ball-carrier.
  • Doesn’t get low enough when tackling running backs; can be pushed back upon contact. 
  • Vulnerable to getting beaten on extended plays or double moves by receivers because he will try to jump underneath routes. 
  • Has all of the physical tools, but technique needs to be refined.
  • Wastes steps between pivoting and exploding toward the ball on comeback routes. Cleaning up his footwork can make the difference between an average player and a feared ballhawk. 
  • Suspended three games in 2013. Teams will be investigating why this happened, and it could be a potential issue for franchises. 
Collegiate Statistics
YearTeamTacklesPDINT
2011Louisville4572
2012Louisville10072
2013Louisville7343
http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/calvin-pryor-1.html

 

Personal Notes

  • Graduated in three years with a degree in communications.
  • Former 3-star recruit and 31st-ranked safety, according to Rivals.com.
  • Twitter account is @CP3_850.

 

Ratings Chart

Graph made by http://nces.ed.gov

 

Overall

Pryor is a good athlete who plays the game with a mean streak and high amount of aggression. His knack for big hits might land him some fines in the NFL, and he should start relying on form tackling more often.

To become the best he can be, Pryor will need to play with more discipline and refine his footwork in coverage. His versatility and ability to play special teams will help him get on an NFL field quickly.

 

Draft Projection: 2nd Round