As we continue our 2011 NFL Draft prospect profile series let's take a look at the only player from Rutgers University who has earned an invitation to the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine. Joe Lefeged played strong safety for the Scarlet Knights, and managed to grab the attention of NFL scouts despite Rutgers' struggles in 2010.
I really don't know if there is a place for Lefeged with the Giants, but it is always nice to follow the local prospects as they try to find their way into the NFL. One reason to think he will get a chance somewhere, either as a late-round pick or an undrafted free agent, is that he comes with the reputation of being an outstanding special teams player. Lefeged has returned both kicks and punts, and blocked two punts in one game in 2010. So, let's take a closer look.
Scouting reports after the jump.
6-foot-1, 205 pounds
From the National Football Post:
Possesses a decent overall frame for the position, but isn't overly instinctive when asked to read his run/pass keys and doesn't seem to crave contact in the run game. Never seems to find the football quickly and is slow to attack the line of scrimmage downhill. However, is a decent tackler who does a nice job using his length to wrap up on contact and can generate some real force when he picks up a head of steam. Nevertheless, he lacks range and will see his angles get outpaced at times even at the college level when working in pursuit.
Possesses decent range in his drop and gets good depth initially out of his stance, but struggles to maintain his balance through his back-pedal and struggles to quickly change directions. Has a tendency to bite on play fakes and isn't overly disciplined when asked to play the deep half. Struggles get back out of his breaks when asked to turn and run and simply lacks range sideline-to-sideline. However, he does exhibit some savvy as a blitzer, timing up blocks inside and exploding through daylight from the secondary.
Impression: Will flash here and there, but lacks the kind of range and instincts needed to be trusted to play in an NFL secondary.
From FF Toolbox:
Lefeged is a little undersized for a traditional safety in the NFL. He is not the fastest guy around either, but he simply gets the job done in every possible way. At best Lefeged is a mid-round draft pick, but some team will get a great special teams player and a versatile safety who could work his way into a starting role with a little experience.