Darrian Beavers Scouting Report

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Background

Darrian Beavers is a linebacker from Cincinnati and a prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft. Beavers played wide receiver and safety for Colerain High School in Cincinnati. He earned all-conference honors twice and led his team to three conference titles. Beavers was only a three-star recruit at safety and earned a handful of offers from Group of Five schools. He chose to attend UConn and began bulking up to switch to linebacker.

Beavers played in all 24 possible games during his first two seasons with the Huskies. He cracked the starting lineup in 2018, making six starts. Before the 2019 season, Beavers elected to transfer and return home to Cincinnati. He played in all 14 games in 2019, starting 10. In 2020, Beavers started all 10 games for the Bearcats on his way to earning All-AAC 2nd-Team. He finished second on the team in total tackles with 58. 

In 2021, Beavers started all 15 games for Cincinnati. He was a finalist for the Butkus Award and earned All-AAC 1st-Team. He finished second on the team in total tackles and fumbles forced, tied for second in tackles for loss, and third in sacks. In the postseason, Beavers earned invitations to the Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine

In the Cincinnati defense, Beavers filled many roles. He frequently moved around before the snap, moving back and forth from the line of scrimmage. When he was at UConn, he was used almost exclusively as an on-ball outside linebacker. But with the Bearcats, Beavers played much more off the ball, but usually between the tackles. He frequently rushes the passer, is utilized on stunts and twists, and also drops into short zone coverage over the middle of the field. 

Statistics

Career Stats: 63 games played, 41 games started, 230 tackles (129 solos), 27.5 TFLs, 3 forced fumbles, 4 passes defensed, 3 interceptions, 54 pressures (26 hurries, 14 QB hits, 13.5 sacks). 

2021 Stats: 15 GP/GS, 99 tackles (47 solos), 12.0 TFLs, 2 forced fumbles, 2 passes defensed, 1 interception, 21 pressures (9 hurries, 6 QB hits, 5 sacks). 

2021 PFF Grades (20% snap minimum): 77.7 Defense (t-23rd), 73.7 Run Defense (t-49th), 59.6 Tackling (284th), 86.1 Pass Rush (17th), 68.0 Coverage (t-110th). 

Darrian Beavers Scouting Report

Strengths
  • Very good mental processing: able to diagnose and trigger downhill quickly. Recognizes concepts quickly and knows how to attack them. Displays excellent zone awareness in the passing game. 
  • Good play strength, with better passive strength than active strength. Almost never gets pushed backwards by blockers of any size. 
  • Good in run defense between the tackles: very disciplined in his run fits, understanding how his assignment fits into the whole of the defense. Gets into the hole quickly and can stack blockers there. 
  • Good in short zones in the middle of the field, shuffling well between the hashes and reading QB’s eyes. Understands how route concepts are developing around and behind him, subtly moving to take them away. 
  • Over 700 special teams snaps in career, with more than 100 in all except FG/XP kicks. Can be an immediate contributor there and seize leadership role early on. 
Weaknesses
  • Sub-par athletic ability: stiffly built and struggles to change direction. Not particularly explosive from standstill or when changing direction. 
  • Lacks foot speed and desire to be a sideline-to-sideline player; if play is to the opposite side of the field, will most likely not make an impact. 
  • Active strength is lacking. Rarely pushes blockers back and struggles to shed blockers. Doesn’t take on blocks aggressively, instead trying to knife through gaps and avoid them. 
  • Frequently misses tackles in the open field and between the tackles. Can be out-athleted in space with relative ease. Struggles to maintain consistent tackling technique as well, allowing ballcarriers to slough him off. Too aggressive and puts head down without following through. 
  • Despite usage, struggles to defeat offensive linemen when rushing the passer. Does not have the athletic ability to win around the edge, nor the strength or technique to win through linemen. 
  • Very rarely used in man coverage against tight ends or even running backs, possibly indicating the coaching staff did not trust him to do so. 

Summary

Darrian Beavers is somewhat of a relic, relative to the modern game of professional football. He is a born safety in an edge defender’s body playing linebacker. He’s a very smart player with extensive experience; he knows where to be at all times and is difficult to move.

However, Beavers suffers from a significant lack of speed and athletic ability. He is stiff and slow to change direction, hampering his ability to pursue ball carriers and make tackles in the open field. Despite his build, he is not particularly effective as a pass rusher when his blitzes are not schemed up via twists and stunts. 

In the NFL, Darrian Beavers projects as a middle/inside linebacker or an on-ball strong-side linebacker. He will be one of the larger linebackers in the NFL, edge defenders excluded. He projects as a role-player who takes the field against heavier personnel groups in likely run situations. Beavers has extensive special teams experience, so he should be comfortable taking snaps there immediately.

However, it seems unlikely that he will develop into an every-down defensive player. While he may survive in a zone-heavy defense that moves him around, Beavers should not see the field on passing downs against NFL athletes where he has to cover them in man. 

Grade: 6.0 / 10

Comparison: Kyle Wilber (2012, R4 #113, Dallas Cowboys)

Myjai Sanders Scouting Report

Mitchell Wolfe provides his scouting report on Cincinnati’s Myjai Sanders, a defensive end / outside linebacker in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Cincinnati EDGE Myjai Sanders Scouting Report
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Background

Myjai Sanders is an edge rusher from Cincinnati and a prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft. Sanders played for two high schools early in his career, moving from Georgia to Florida halfway through. He earned all-conference honors at both schools and was a consensus three-star recruit. Sanders earned scholarship offers from over 20 schools across the SEC, Big Ten, ACC, AAC, and C-USA. 

Sanders played in 10 games as a true freshman in 2018, only logging 49 snaps on defense. But in his second season with the Bearcats, he started all 14 games and finished second on the team in sacks. Sanders started 10 games in 2020, earning All-AAC 1st-Team and finishing second in the conference in sacks. He started all 14 games in 2021 and earned All-AAC 1st-Team honors again. 

In Cincinnati’s defense, Sanders had to play somewhat out of position. He is very tall, long, and relatively skinny, but the defense asked him to play over the tackle and two-gap to defend against the run. Sanders is built to rush the passer off the edge, not hold up and skirmish with offensive tackles. With that being said, he is still very competent there and displays excellent versatility. Let’s dive into the Myjai Sanders scouting report.

Statistics

Career Stats: 48 GP, 38 GS, 119 tackles (60 solos), 25 TFLs, 12 passes defensed, 140 pressures (107 hurries, 14 QB hits, 13.5 sacks), 2 forced fumbles, 29 penalties. 

2021 Stats: 14 GP/GS, 41 tackles (17 solos), 7.5 TFLs, 5 passes defensed, 62 pressures (54 hurries, 3 QB hits, 2.5 sacks), 1 forced fumble, 13 penalties

2021 PFF Grades (20% snap minimum): 80.2 Defense (t-47th), 75.8 Run Defense (t-67th), 48.6 Tackling (t-419th), 87.3 Pass Rush (t-30th), 73.5 Coverage (t-30th). 

Myjai Sanders Scouting Report

Strengths
  • Good burst, coming out of stance well and in a hurry; flashes ability to time snap count and get the jump on the tackle. 
  • Solid athletic ability: good agility, explosiveness, and change of direction. Good foot speed in the open field and has displayed the ability to jump the snap to win the edge. 
  • Good against the run: diagnoses run very well, identifying blocking schemes and pullers; holds up against single blocks in Gap and Zone schemes and sheds blocks with great timing to meet ballcarrier. 
  • Good hand usage: good timing to use hands to attack or deflect, possessing the strength to remove and shed from the opponent; has a few pass rush moves to win both inside and out. 
  • Displayed the ability to win in a variety of ways in college. Exceptionally long arms allow him to keep OTs at a distance and deflect passes. 
  • Fills numerous roles for defense; played anywhere from 3T-9T, and in 2, 3, and 4-point stances. 1- and 2-gapped against the run, rushed from between and outside the tackles, and can drop into coverage from linebacker alignments/stances.
Weaknesses
  • His body is not ideally constructed; his hips are very high and somewhat tight, preventing him from getting lower in his stance and limiting his ability to bend around the edge.
  • Mediocre balance and flexibility allow him to be pushed over. Length and tightness lead to occasional issues with maintaining low pad level and consistent leverage. 
  • Lack of weight/strength/power is apparent in pass rush, as he rarely wins using a bull rush to collapse the pocket. Run blocking double teams frequently move him with ease. 
  • Needs to add more pass rush moves to arsenal; primarily won with length, speed, and agility in college, not relying on technique as much. Rarely has a backup plan if initially stymied and QB does not leave the pocket. 
  • Struggled with missed tackles last two seasons; tightness limits his ability to break down and get wide to swallow ballcarrier, who can out-juke in him the open field. 
  • Penalties (offsides) were an issue in college (29 in career, 13 in 2021); less-gimmicky NFL offenses may mitigate the issue but is something to monitor. 

Summary

Myjai Sanders’ scouting report paints the picture of an unorthodox prospect. He was a productive and effective starter in college. But a few critical flaws in his game limit his potential. Sanders’ build is the root cause of those issues. He is high-hipped with long legs; generally, he is somewhat stiff, especially in his hips and ankles. These physical issues limit Sanders’ ability to bend, causing problems when turning the corner and when breaking down to make tackles in the open field.

Overall, Sanders is a well-rounded edge rusher. He has good burst and athletic ability to get off at the snap and threaten the outside edge. He also defends the run surprisingly well for a sub-250 pound edge defender. Sanders has the strength to hold up against most tackles against the run and the power to shock and push them back when rushing the passer. He is aided by his length, allowing him to long-arm offensive linemen. In addition, Sanders uses his hands well against the run and the pass.

However, besides the aforementioned physical issues, Sanders is still far from a perfect prospect. While he is well-rounded, he also lacks a tremendous or elite trait to fall back on. Combined with his build, Sanders struggles to reduce the distance and angle needed to reach the quarterback, whether by speed, bend, or power. Additionally, he may experience difficulties defeating NFL offensive tackles without a go-to ability.

Projection

In the NFL, Myjai Sanders projects best as a strong-side on-ball linebacker. He is a dependable run defender that can execute a variety of techniques. In addition, he offers valuable pass-rush upside, as he can defeat linemen in diverse ways.

However, given some of his physical limitations, he needs to work with an experienced, creative coach to teach him more ways to win against NFL linemen. Sanders should see the field right away but will most likely not be an every-down defender as a rookie. With these flaws in mind, he should be a Day-2 selection.

Grade: 6.5 / 10

Comparison: Derek Rivers (2017, R3 #83, New England Patriots)

Ahmad Gardner Scouting Report

Cincinnati Bearcats DB Ahmad Gardner Scouting Report
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Background

“Sauce” is a cornerback from Cincinnati and a prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft. Let’s dive into the Ahmad Gardner scouting report.

Gardner hails from Detroit, Michigan where he played wide receiver and cornerback in high school. As a senior, he helped lead his team to a state championship. He was a consensus three-star recruit and a top-40 player in Michigan. Gardner earned scholarship offers from Cincinnati, Indiana, Iowa State, Kentucky, Syracuse, and most of the schools in the MAC. 

Gardner chose Cincinnati and earned playing time early. As the 2019 season progressed, the true freshman played more every week. After seven games, he finally broke into the starting lineup and never looked back. Gardner started the final six games and earned 1st-Team All-AAC honors along with several Freshman All-American nods. In 2020, he played in all but the bowl game, and started all but one game; he earned All-AAC 1st-Team and All-American again. 

Gardner took his game to another level in 2021, earning AAC Defensive Player of the Year (unanimously), All-AAC 1st-Team, and consensus All-American honors. In three seasons, with 1124 coverage snaps and 138 targets, he never allowed a touchdown. During the 2021 season, Gardner only allowed 20 catches on 40 targets for 131 yards, with the longest reception going for only 17 yards. 

Statistics

Career Stats: 36 GP, 28 GS, 99 tackles (68 solos), 5.5 TFLs, 3.5 sacks, 24 passes defensed, 9 interceptions, 32.6 NFL passer rating when targeted, 14 penalties. 

2021 Stats: 14 GP/GS, 40 tackles (28 solos), 5 TFLs, 3 sacks, 4 passes defensed, 3 interceptions, 26.1 NFL passer rating when targeted, 2 penalties. 

2021 PFF Grades (20% snap minimum): 87.1 Defense (t-7th), 77.8 Run Defense (73rd), 70.9 Tackling (t-155th), 78.5 Pass Rush (40th), 87.2 Coverage (10th). 

Ahmad Gardner Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Elite build with exceptionally long arms and very good height; muscularly built, but not overly so. 
  • Great athletic ability with excellent long speed, explosiveness, change of direction, and agility. Surprisingly smooth for a corner with his build and length. 
  • Very good line of scrimmage skills, using length to gain an immediate advantage in press-jam. Good strike power and placement to shock receiver and disrupt route. Mirrors releases very well with quick feet and fluid hips, displaying excellent patience at the line.
  • Comfortable playing in trail technique against most routes. He uses his long strides and speed to quickly eliminate separation, and long arms allow him to deflect passes/affect the catch point from further distance. 
  • Drastically improved zone awareness and understanding of spacing in 2021; read concepts better to remain equidistant from targets and prevent throws. Quickly reads concepts and triggers well to go after the ball and the receiver. 
  • Very good in man coverage, utilizing superior athleticism and length to prevent and minimize separation. Has a great understand of leverage and how to stay in the hip pocket of his opponent; great hip fluidity allows him to mirror receivers without fully turning to get vertical. 
  • Good ball skills, using length to disrupt passes with good timing. Three interceptions every season, displaying good ball tracking with surprisingly decent hands for a CB. 
  • Willing (perhaps not enthusiastic) tackler, with length allowing him to close quickly and present wide tackling radius.
  • Length allows him to be a blitzing weapon from the boundary, as he can cover ground quickly and affect the quarterback. 

Weaknesses

  • Not as fluid when making diametrically opposed cuts (backpedal to come downhill); long legs can get caught and force him to stop for a beat before re-accelerating. 
  • Occasionally beaten by quick in-breaking routes when in press, especially with outside leverage.
  • Gets a bit too aggressive with hands; observant officials could flag him frequently. 
  • Offensive linemen and tight ends can get the better of him in run support, as they can overwhelm him with strength/power. 

Summary

Ahmad Gardner looks like he was built in a laboratory to play in the modern NFL. He has insane length, which he uses to dominate at the line of scrimmage and break up passes downfield. Gardner is an exceptional athlete who can succeed in any type of coverage assignment.

The flaws in his game are very minuscule and any team would be lucky to add him to their roster. He has some issues with being too aggressive and handsy, which could lead to penalties. Furthermore, he will need to adjust to different field dimensions that aren’t so advantageous to him. 

In the NFL, Gardner would be best in a defensive scheme that heavily leans on man coverage assignment and press-jam techniques at the line of scrimmage. He can be an asset in any defensive scheme, but an aggressive approach would take advantage of his unique gifts and skillset. Even if Gardner gets beat, he has the speed, length, and discipline to recover quickly to minimize separation. 

The scouting report on Ahmad Gardner paints a picture of a player who can contribute — and even start — immediately. He is in the running for the best cornerback in this class and is among the top fifteen overall players. On the right team and in the right defense, Gardner could be a Pro Bowl-level player immediately, and be one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL for years to come. 

Grade: 8.0/10

Comparison: Antonio Cromartie (2006, R1 #19, San Diego Chargers)

David Ojabo Scouting Report: A Potential Falcons Selection

Could Ojabo be the Falcons’ first-round selection?

I’m starting a series for Falcons ATB where we will take a look at possible draft prospects who could be great fits for the franchise. To start off the series, I’ll be taking a look and giving a brief scouting report on Michigan EDGE, David Ojabo.

Who is he?

David Ojabo was a 4 Star recruit out of high school who attended the University of Michigan. Ojabo lived in Nigeria until he was 7, moved to Scotland, and then the US when he was 17. When he moved to the States, he initially played basketball before playing football as a junior year in high school. Ojabo became a star this season at Michigan, helping carry them into the CFB Playoffs and a Big 10 title. Furthermore, he formed the best pass rush duo in football with him and Aidan Hutchinson.

Why should we target him?

The Falcons are a team that need an injection of talent in so many areas throughout the roster. Ojabo with his 6’5″ 250lb frame would be a blue chip talent for the Falcons to build around on defense. The Falcons have lacked a dominant pass rusher since the John Abraham era came to an end in 2012. You could argue for Vic Beasley in 2016, but that was a fluke in my eyes.

Ojabo would be able to be an immediate plug and play player in the Dean Pees defense that would ask him to do all kinds of different schematic things. I would like to assume that Ojabo would fill in the Steven Means role, which means he would be asked to drop into coverage, rush the passer, set the EDGE, etc. He would fill a crucial piece in Dean Pees multiple front defense that the Falcons run.

What does he bring?

Ojabo is a dominant EDGE prospect who is an incredible athlete who is still raw to the position. He brings a motor that always runs hot and is always putting in effort. Ojabo would give the Falcons a ball of clay with endless upside at EDGE for the multi-look front that Dean Pees loves to run.

The Michigan product displays good strength at the Point of Attack and has shown promise with his ability to set the edge. Ojabo uses his freakish athleticism to really dominant against opposing OT’s with elite bend and strength to constantly change up how he attacks the opposing OL.

In terms of his moves as a pass rusher, Ojabo brings an assortment of pass rush moves featuring a strong euro step combined with a rip. The young pass rusher is adding to his pass rush arsenal and is working with renowned DL Coach Eddie McGilvera to help get himself pro ready.

I think Ojabo would be able to walk in and get immediate playing time in this weak Falcons front seven.

Clips:

Sam Howell 2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Sam Howell Scouting Report
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Background

Sam Howell is a quarterback for the North Carolina Tar Heels and a prospect in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft, so let’s dive into his scouting report. Howell started every year in high school, finishing his career going 805-of-1,361 for 13,415 yards and 145 touchdowns while rushing for 3,621 yards and 60 scores. He set the North Carolina state record for total yards with 17,036. As a senior, he earned North Carolina Offensive Player of the Year by USA Today and the Associated Press. 

Howell was a consensus four-star prospect, ranked as the No. 2 player in the state of North Carolina, the No. 3 pro-style quarterback in the country, and the No. 87 overall player nationally by the 247Sports Composite. He earned offers from P5 schools all over the country, including Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio State, and Oregon. He initially committed to Florida State but flipped to UNC to stay home and help resurrect the program after Mack Brown returned.

Howell started all 13 games at quarterback as a freshman in 2019, earning ACC Offensive & Overall Rookie of the Year and Third-Team All-ACC honors. He came back in 2020 and elevated his play, starting all 12 games again and earning 2nd-Team All-ACC. Howell returned in 2021 expected to be one of the best quarterbacks in the conference, if not the country. However, he lost several vital playmakers to the NFL, and the offensive line regressed.

He missed one game due to a shoulder injury late in the season but still earned All-ACC Honorable Mention. Howell could have returned for his senior season, but he declared for the draft early and even earned an invitation to the Senior Bowl as an early graduate.

Stats

Career Stats: 37 GP/GS, 1117 attempts, 713 completions (63.8%), 10283 yards, 92 TDs, 23 INTs, 111.7 NFL passer rating; 149 rushing attempts, 1696 yards (6.4 avg), 17 TDs, 24 fumbles. 

2021 Stats: 12 GP/GS, 347 attempts, 217 completions (62.5%), 3056 yards, 24 TDs, 9 INTs, 101.7 NFL passer rating; 76 rushes, 1106 yards (8.1 avg), 11 TDs, 10 fumbles. 

2021 PFF Grades (20% snap minimum): 90.9 Offense (12th), 80.3 Passing (t-37th), 91.0 Rushing (2nd), 50.7 Fumbling (106th).

Sam Howell Scouting Report

Strengths
  • Very good poise and pocket management/awareness, dealing with pressure very well by using very good athletic ability to avoid rushers and move/reset in the pocket. 
  • Good decision-making on RPOs to get the ball to the right player; solid at finding open receivers on longer-developing throws with good ability to work through progressions and reads.
  • Excellent accuracy to all levels of the field with great timing and YAC maximization on short/intermediate throws; deep ball accuracy was fantastic in 2020, with great touch helping hit receivers perfectly in stride. 
  • Very good touch on intermediate and deep throws, layering throws above defenders and putting appropriate amount of air under deep balls. 
  • Good arm strength allows him to get the ball to all areas of the field with ease; he can fire the ball into tight windows in short/intermediate areas and push the ball vertically 50+ yards. He has the ability to make all NFL throws. 
  • Very good play extension ability: great running ability allows him to escape pocket and distance himself from defenders quickly; has play strength necessary to break tackles in the pocket and stay alive; arm strength and accuracy are not significantly affected while on the move, and he does a nice job of keeping eyes downfield.
  • Dangerous running threat in his own right, with very good athletic ability, play strength, and competitive toughness, allowing him to run through and around multiple defenders in the open field. 
  • Outstanding competitive toughness, frequently breaking out of tackles in the pocket to keep the play alive while keeping eyes downfield; willing to sacrifice body as an open-field runner. 
Weaknesses
  • Not asked to do much in terms of pre-snap adjustments/diagnosis beyond RPOs. 
  • Overhand delivery is a touch delayed, could be improved.
  • Could stand to speed up his progressions and decision-making on more complex intermediate concepts. 
  • Would like to see him be more aggressive with making intermediate throws. 
  • Deep accuracy suffered some inconsistencies in 2021
  • Occasionally panics and scrambles backward, trying to do too much.
  • Lacks the arm strength to consistently make deep, cross-field, off-platform throws.
  • Ball security is concerning

Summary

Sam Howell possesses all the necessary traits to be a starting quarterback immediately in the NFL. He has great accuracy, very good poise in the pocket, and the ability to extend plays with his feet. Howell needs to clean up some of the mental aspects of his game, such as decision-making in the pocket and quickly working through his progressions.

While he does not have elite arm strength, he has the ability to make every NFL throw with excellent placement and touch. He is also exceptionally tough in the pocket and as an open-field runner, consistently sloughing off defenders to stay alive and get extra yards. 

In the NFL, Howell would fit best in a Kansas City-style scheme with frequent RPOs and deeper passing concepts that might require him to get outside the pocket. He is very accurate on short quick throws and consistently makes good decisions. Aside from some ball security issues, he rarely makes mistakes and puts the ball in danger.

For those reasons, the scouting report shows Sam Howell should be ready to play immediately. He might have some growing pains early in his career, but by the end of his rookie year, he should be an above-average starter that will develop into a Pro Bowl-caliber player.

Grade: 8 / 10

Comparison: Baker Mayfield (2018 R1 #1, Cleveland Browns)

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