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Darnell Savage Jr. NFL Draft 2019: Scouting Report for Green Bay Packers' Pick

Matt Miller@nfldraftscoutNFL Draft Lead WriterApril 26, 2019

Maryland defensive back Darnell Savage Jr. (4) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Bloomington, Ind. Indiana won 34-32. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)
Doug McSchooler/Associated Press

STRENGTHS

—Experienced, versatile three-year starter at safety with excellent speed (4.36-second 40-yard dash) and coverage skills to step right into a free safety role in the NFL.

—Smart and consistent; rarely found out of position. He's able to take tape study and apply it on the field with a high football IQ.

—Burst is explosive with great top-end speed and the ability to quickly close on the ball whether it's behind or in front of him.

—Seek-and-destroy mentality as a tackler; quick to diagnose and get to the ball.

—Doesn't get fooled by misdirection or play-fakes. Holds his ground and is patient enough to read his queues and diagnose.

WEAKNESSES

—Small (5'11", 198 lbs) for a top-end safety; might be typecast as a nickel player.

—Not a hitter; small body bounces off runners and results in missed tackles.

—Doesn't play above the rim well and is more likely to attack the receiver after the catch than challenge a 50-50 ball.

—Allows more space in the route than you'd like, which often results in giving up more yards after catch and letting receivers or tight ends run past him post-catch.



OVERALL

With excellent speed and instincts, Savage is a blast to watch, but he could be judged harshly by NFL teams that want more size and length at the position. He has the athleticism and experience to hit the field immediately in sub-packages and could be a starter at free safety soon.

GRADE: 6.30 (ROUND 3—ROOKIE IMPACT)


PRO COMPARISON: Adrian Amos

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