—Very good frame. Close to ideal size for position.
—High motor player who does a good job finishing around the ball.
—Good box player, flows well to the ball and uses hands to control blocks.
—Has above-average straight-line speed with good acceleration from standstill.
—Shows a good burst when blitzing.
—Has no rush moves. If he can't get free with his initial rush then he's stuck.
—Has some overall tightness. Shows hip tightness in movements and struggles redirecting in space.
—Open field tackling. Has a problem with twitchier athletes in space.
—On the lean side. Needs to continue to fill out his frame and add strength.
4 Games: 16 Tackles, 1 PBU
—Did not have a fall 2020 Season.
—Two-year starter at Illinois State
Christian Uphoff is a larger safety from Illinois State at the FCS level. As a two-year starter, he doesn't have eye-popping numbers, but what he does have is a higher ceiling that he can grow into. Standing at 6'3”, he has the frame to continue to add weight. At times, he turns into a heat-seeking missile when chasing the ball. He's best when he has his angle and can run his feet through the tackle.
With some tightness, he struggled with breaking down and redirecting in the open field, tackling shiftier players. Uphoff has the footwork to play in short areas. When occasionally asked to play man coverage, he has the footwork and physicality to cover tight ends and larger receivers.
With good awareness and ball skills, Christian is best when playing intermediate routes and breaking forward. He will have to get used to the speed and physicality at the next level. There's a lot of upside here.
GRADE: 6.8/10 (Career Backup/Rotational Player—Round 5)
OVERALL RANK: 197/300
POSITION RANK: S15
PRO COMPARISON: George Iloka
Written by B/R NFL Scout Cory Giddings