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2017 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Jamal Adams, S, LSU

Some rank Adams as the top safety in the draft class, but is he?

NCAA Football: Citrus Bowl-Louisiana State vs Louisville Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants’ secondary is stacked and loaded with talented players. The quartet of Janoris Jenkins, Eli Apple, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and Landon Collins formed a dominant unit and the absolute strength of the New York Giants. Rookie safety Darian Thompson impressed before injuries ended his season early and undrafted rookie Andrew Adams was an incredibly pleasant surprise in relief of Thompson.

While the Giants might add a defensive back at some point in the draft, it’s unlikely that they will add one in the first round. However, it is useful to look at those players to get familiar with potential future opponents, and as reference points for players the Giants might select.

LSU’s Jamal Adams is one of the most highly regarded players in the draft and seems like a lock to go in the top half of the first round, and maybe even the top 10 or 5. Let’s take a look at what makes him so good.

Measurables

Pros

  • Versatile safety. Has the size and power to play in the box as well as the range to play the deep half or even center field. Can also hold up in man coverage.
  • High football IQ. Recognizes offensive concepts and uses that to put himself in good position.
  • Considered a leader in the LSU locker room
  • Does not hesitate to come down in run support and is a willing tackler.
  • Does a good job of working through the trash around the line of scrimmage.
  • Showed surprising speed at LSU’s Pro Day with a reported 4.33s 40 yard dash.

Cons

  • Sometimes seems to throttle down when plays go the other way, and doesn’t always pursue as hard as he could or should.
  • Didn’t get his hands on many balls. Just five interceptions and 14 passes defensed in three years at LSU.
  • Occasionally takes over-aggressive angles or plays a bit ‘wild’ and misses tackles on players he should have dead to rights.

Does He Fit With The Giants?

In the incredibly unlikely event that the Giants do draft Adams, he would fit with in Steve Spagnuolo’s defense. That’s easy to say with certainty, because Adams would fill the exact same role as Landon Collins, and we all saw how he thrived in 2016.

Adams will need to go to a defense that will let him roam some and take advantage of his football IQ and versatility. However he will thrive playing closer to the line of scrimmage where he can have an impact on more plays, just like Collins.

Prospect Video

Big Board Rankings

Big Blue View - 5th overall

CBS Sports - 3rd overall

Draft Countdown - 7th overall

Draft Tek - 4th overall

Final Thoughts

Barring something dramatic happening between now and the Giants’ pick, they won’t be drafting Jamal Adams. But watching him and knowing that he isn’t even the clear-cut top safety or DB in this draft class puts a point on just how talented this class is.

Whether Adams or Malik Hooker is the first safety drafted probably won’t speak to which one is the better player. They are two different players despite playing the same position. Adams is a versatile enforcer, a player who can command a secondary but also come up and be a force near the line of scrimmage. Hooker is a true ball-hawking free safety who makes it a gamble for a quarterback to test his defense deep.

After watching Landon Collins explode onto the NFL landscape as a defensive star, it’s hard to not like a player like Adams, who shows many of the same traits.