2020 NFL Draft: American Athletic Conference (AAC) Scouting Reports

PFN Chief Draft Analyst Tony Pauline's scouting reports for 2020 NFL Draft prospects in the ACC, including Gabriel Davis and Josh Jones.

Central Florida Knights
2020 NFL Draft Prospects

Jake Brown, G

Career Snapshot: Three-year starter who earned First Team All-AAC honors in each of his final two seasons. Started 12 games at left guard and one at left tackle as a sophomore in 2017 and started at right tackle in 2018 and 2019.

Positives: Average-sized offensive lineman with limited upside and athleticism for the next level. Sets with a wide base, works to bend his knees and blocks with leverage. Displays good quickness and strength. Stays square and seals defenders from the action.

Negatives: Only effective in a small area and shows no skill when asked to pull across the line of scrimmage or block in motion. Lacks footwork off the edge. Occasionally late with his hands.

Analysis: Brown was a solid right tackle for Central Florida, but he lacks the upside to play Sunday football. His versatility to be used at several positions could help him catch onto a practice squad.

Nevelle Clarke, CB

Career Snapshot: Two-year starter who earned First Team All-AAC honors as a junior in 2018 after he made 46 tackles, added 13 pass breakups and intercepted two passes. Broke up 11 passes with two interceptions and 22 tackles in 2019. Made five starts as a sophomore after he served a six-game suspension for a failed drug test.

Positives: Underrated cornerback with next-level size. Instinctive, displays good awareness and does not get fooled by routes or ball fakes. Stays on the receiver’s hip out of breaks, effectively follows opponents on crossing patterns and displays a burst to the ball out of his plant. Keeps the action in front of him, displays good route recognition in zone and effectively times pass defenses. Fluidly flips his hips, works well with teammates in the secondary and possesses closing speed.

Negatives: Somewhat mechanical in his backpedal. Not a stout tackler. Deep speed may be a concern.

Analysis: Clarke has been a consistent defender the past two years and offers enough skill to line up in a nickel or dime packages at the next level. He must improve his play against the run, but he comes with solid ball skills and is very effective in coverage.

Gabe Davis, WR

Career Snapshot: Started all three years of his career at Central Florida. Set career highs across the board in 2019 with 72 receptions for 1,241 yards and 12 touchdowns to earn First Team All-AAC honors. Named Second Team All-AAC in 2018 after he caught 53 passes for 815 yards and seven TDs.

Positives: Explosive, game-controlling receiver with starting potential at the next level. Smoothly releases off the line of scrimmage, runs solid routes and explodes into breaks to separate from defenders. Effectively uses his hands to get away from opponents and displays terrific hand-eye coordination, timing and focus. Plays with great awareness, quickly tracks the pass in the air and consistently uses his large frame to shield away opponents and protect the pass.

Makes the difficult over-the-shoulder catch downfield at full speed, works back to the quarterback to make himself an available target and extends his hands to consistently snatch the ball away from his frame. Possesses soft as well as strong hands and plays with great body control. Always keeps the play in bounds and works to pick up positive yardage after the catch. Almost always wins out for the contested throw. Tough to bring down after the catch and knows where he is on the field.

Negatives: Displays limited burst and plays to one speed. May find it more difficult to separate at the NFL level than he did in college.

Analysis: Davis has displayed consistent improvement over the past three years and possesses the skills and ability necessary to line up as a No. 2 receiver in the NFL. He has speed limitations, but other aspects of his game are worth getting excited about, and Davis comes with a tremendous amount of upside.

Nate Evans, ILB

Career Snapshot: Two-year starter who earned First Team All-AAC honors as a junior in 2018, when he made 99 tackles (10 for loss) with 2.5 sacks and four pass breakups. Made 112 tackles (13 for loss) with one sack and four pass breakups in 2019 and was named Second Team All-AAC.

Positives: Hard-working, instinctive linebacker who gets the most from his ability. Disciplined, stays with assignments and plays with a nasty attitude at the same time. Breaks down well, displays a good head for the ball and flows well laterally to the action. Instinctive, takes proper angles and has a physical nature. Drives through tackles and wraps up at the point of attack.

Negatives: Lacks speed. Often late to the action in pursuit. Struggles to get off blocks despite his size.

Analysis: Evans is a terrific football player, but he’s an average athlete. He gets the most from his ability, but he lacks great upside and will have to make it as a backup linebacker and play on coverage units at the next level.

Brandon Hayes, DT

Career Snapshot: Two-year starter who was named Second Team All-AAC in both of those seasons. Made 44 tackles (11 for loss) with three sacks and two pass breakups as a junior in 2018. Improved from six hurries to 10 and from three sacks to 7.5 in 2019 and made 22 tackles (10 for loss).

Positives: Undersized but relatively athletic defensive lineman who covers a lot of area on the field. Plays with proper pad level, flows well laterally and shows the ability to pursue the action from the back side. Solid pass rusher who plays with balance and is rarely off his feet. Works his hands throughout the action and shows good quickness.

Negatives: Lacks bulk, has size limitations and gets smothered at the point of attack. Not a true edge rusher.

Analysis: Hayes was a solid defensive lineman for Central Florida and flashed big-play ability, but he has size and growth limitations. He’s a prototypical three-technique tackle who must improve his strength to earn a spot at the next level.

Jordan Johnson, C

Career Snapshot: Four-year starter who entered the starting lineup at guard as a redshirt freshman in 2016. Moved to center the following season and stayed there for the rest of his career. Earned First Team All-AAC honors as a sophomore in 2016 and as a junior in 2017.

Positives: Explosive college center with size and growth limitations. Bends his knees, fires into blocks and keeps his head on a swivel. Displays outstanding vision and instincts as a blocker. Effectively quarterbacks the offensive line.

Negatives: Displays average strength and really does not get much movement as a run blocker. Struggles against larger defensive tackles.

Analysis: Johnson gets the most from his ability, but he lacks bulk, athleticism and upside for the next level.

Adrian Killins Jr., RB

Career Snapshot: Three-year starter who earned First Team All-AAC honors as a sophomore in 2017, when he rushed 122 times for 790 yards and 10 touchdowns and caught 25 passes for 169 yards and one TD. Was named Second Team All-AAC in his final two seasons and rushed for 7.23 yards carry as a senior on 87 carries.

Positives: Small, explosive ball carrier who can score from any point on the field. Displays outstanding vision, speed and elusiveness. Easily turns the corner, makes defenders miss and creates yardage anywhere on the field. Smooth cutback runner who quickly changes direction and loses no momentum altering the course of runs. Displays vision, runs with an aggressive style and works to get as much yardage from each carry as possible. Flashes ability as a pass catcher out of the backfield.

Negatives: Not a strong ball carrier. Easily brought down at the point by a single defender. Body catches too much and clutches the pass against his frame when sent out of the backfield.

Analysis: Killins possesses the physical skills necessary to be a third-down back at the next level, but he must improve the consistency of his hands to make an active roster next to fall.

View more scouting reports

Page 2: Central Florida Knights
Page 3: Cincinnati Bearcats
Page 4: UConn Huskies/East Carolina Pirates
Page 5: Houston Cougars/Memphis Tigers/Navy Midshipmen
Page 6: SMU Mustangs
Page 7: South Florida Bulls
Page 8: Temple Owls
Page 9: Tulane Green Wave/Tulsa Golden Hurricanes

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