2020 NFL Draft: Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Scouting Reports

PFN Chief Draft Analyst Tony Pauline's scouting reports for 2020 NFL Draft prospects in the ACC, including Isaiah Simmons and Mekhi Becton.

Syracuse Orange
2020 NFL Draft Prospects

Evan Adams, G

Career Snapshot: Four year starter for Syracuse. Switched to left guard from right guard in 2019. Missed only one start after being inserted into starting lineup during his freshman season.

Positives: Massive small-area blocker who plays with an aggressive attitude. Quickly sets up off the snap, keeps his head on a swivel, and always looks to hit someone. Works to stays square, fires his hands into defenders and knocks them from their angles of attack. Slugs it out on the inside and gives effort.

Negatives: Lacks agility and athleticism. Only effective in a small area. Cannot slide in space and shows no skill in motion.

Analysis: Adams is a size prospect who is probably too big for his own good. He needs to slim down, learn to block with leverage, and improve his agility to have a career at the next level.

Kendall Coleman, DE

Career Snapshot: Four year starter for Syracuse. Served as defensive captain during his senior season. Two-time All-ECAC selection. Received team’s MVP award his senior year.

Positives: Explosive college pass rusher who plays with great intensity. Vicious, goes after opponents hard and plays through the whistle. Gets leverage on opponents, keeps his pads low to the ground and easily changes direction.

Works his hands to get off blocks and displays an inside move and a solid burst of closing speed. Focused on and double teamed by opponents but keeps his feet moving and his hands active. Immediately alters his angle of attack, can bend off the edge and chases the action hard. Plays faster than his 40 time.

Negatives: Possesses average size and speed and struggles to get off blocks. Stiff. Not a truly quick-twitched pass rusher.

Analysis: Coleman was a constant nuisance on the field and consistently penetrated the offensive line to disrupt the action. He has size and athletic limitations, but he can be a very good situational pass rusher at the next level.

Evan Foster, S

Career Snapshot: Three year starter for Syracuse. Served as a special teams player his freshman year before assuming a starting role. Won team’s Thomas S. Pirro award for character and coachability his senior season.

Positives: Straight-line safety best against the run. Hard hitter who fires up the field and quickly locates the ball. Remains disciplined with assignments and effectively picks up coverage responsibilities in the middle of the field. Takes proper angles to the action and plays heads-up football. Strong wrap-up tackler.

Negatives: Possesses an average closing burst. Late to arrive on the scene in coverage. Inefficient.

Analysis: Foster possesses solid size, but he has marginal speed and ball skills. He’s a strong safety who must make his mark on special teams.

Christopher Fredrick, CB

Career Snapshot: Four year starter for Syracuse. Never missed a game at Syracuse and started 43 consecutive games. Led team with 10 passes defended and finished tied for fifth in the ACC with 3 interceptions in his senior season.

Positives: Athletic cornerback who flashes ability and works well with safeties to bracket receivers over the middle of the field. Gives effort against running plays and screen passes. Has a physical nature and mixes it up with receivers throughout the route.

Negatives: Must improve his consistency. Too quick out of his backpedal, which hurts his ability to burst to the ball out of his plant. Deep speed is a concern. Constantly late to the action. Faceguards too often and struggles to get his head back around to locate the pass.

Analysis: Fredrick possesses next-level size and timed speed, but he’s rough around the edges and must improve his techniques and consistency.

Sterling Hofrichter, P

Career Snapshot: Four years starter for Syracuse. Finished as a finalist for
the Ray Guy award in 2019 and named a candidate for the award all four
years. Named First Team All-ACC in 2018 and 2019. Named Third Team All-
ACC in 2016 as a freshman.

Positives: Consistent punter who’s also experienced as a kickoff man. Terrific directional punter who quickly gets the ball off his foot, has a fluid stroke and can place punts. Gets hang time on the ball, forces a lot of touchbacks and willingly gets down the field to make the tackle when necessary.

Negatives: Undersized and may struggle to hold up at the next level. Doesn’t consistently flip the field.

Analysis: Hofrichter was a consistent punter at Syracuse and has the leg strength and directional punting ability to make a roster at the next level.

Trishton Jackson, WR

Career Snapshot: Transfer from Michigan State who started 11 of his final 12 games at Syracuse. Earned Second Team All-ACC honors and was an All-ECAC selection in 2019. Set school record for most receiving yards by a junior.

Positives: Quick, sure-handed receiver who comes off a terrific season. Fires off the line of scrimmage, sells routes and comes back to the ball to make himself an available target. Runs sharp routes, quickly gets into breaks and separates from defenders.

Plays with outstanding body control, extends his hands and makes the reception away from his frame. Tracks the pass in the air, adjusts to the errant throw and makes the difficult over-the-shoulder reception at full speed. Remains focused and shows good concentration.

Negatives: Has a thin build and struggles in battles. Was a non-factor in college until last season.

Analysis: Jackson burst onto the scene last year and turned in tremendous production as a main cog in the Syracuse offense. He’s a solid route runner with dependable hands who could make a roster as a fifth receiver.

Moe Neal, RB

Career Snapshot: Two year starter for Syracuse. Co-offensive captain his senior season. Two-time winner of team’s award for most outstanding running back. Finished ninth on team’s all-time rushing list.

Positives: Hard-working, quick-footed interior ball carrier who gets a lot of momentum going up the field and falls forward when tackled. Shows a burst through the hole, will pick and choose his way through the traffic and creates yardage. Solid pass catcher out of the backfield who quickly gets into pass routes, adjusts to the errant throw and makes the reception with his hands.

Negatives: Doesn’t break tackles or pick up yardage off initial contact. A one-speed ball carrier who cannot run to daylight.

Analysis: Neal is a terrific football player with average size and speed, but his versatility to create yardage and catch the ball out of the backfield makes him attractive.

Alton Robinson, DE

Career Snapshot: Junior college transfer who was a three year starter for Syracuse. Named Second Team All-ACC in junior season of 2018. Named Honorable Mention All-ACC after his senior season. Won team’s award for most outstanding defensive player in 2018 and 2019, joining Arthur and Chandler Jones as school’s only multiple-time winners of the award.

Positives: Athletic pass rusher with big upside. Smooth, fluid and very agile. Plays with terrific pad level, gets a lot of momentum going up the field and easily bends off the edge. Good athlete who works his hands throughout the action and easily changes direction and redirects to the play. Fluidly moves in every direction, can pursue from the back side and covers a good amount of area.

Negatives: Struggles to get off blocks and gets easily taken from the play. Has tackles broken and struggles to bring opponents down at the point of attack. Must improve his strength.

Analysis: After a tremendous junior campaign, Robinson watched his production fall off last season and was the second-best pass rusher on the Syracuse roster. He’s a terrific athlete with great upside, but he must physically mature and continue to develop his game to have a career at the next level.

Kenneth Ruff, DT

Career Snapshot: One year starter for Syracuse. Served as a rotational defensive player and special teamer during first three seasons. Won team award for loyalty, enthusiasm, and perseverance during his senior season.

Positives: Slightly undersized defensive tackle who is very athletic. Breaks down well, fires off the snap and effectively uses his hands to protect himself. Easily changes direction, keeps his feet moving and plays stout at the point of attack. Holds his ground, flashes power and bull rushes blockers off the line of scrimmage.

Negatives: More of a gap occupier than play-maker. Struggles to get off blocks and must develop more moves to evade opponents. Lacks height and growth potential.

Analysis: Ruff is a terrific athlete who showed consistent improvement during his career. Although he lacks great upside, he could find a home as a one-gap lineman.

Lakiem Williams, ILB

Career Snapshot: Transfer from Butte College who started all 12 games his final season at Syracuse. Named Third Team All-ACC and an All-ECAC honoree in his senior season. Received team’s Duffy Daugherty award as a consummate teammate.

Positives: Hard-working, run-and-chase linebacker who comes off a tremendous senior campaign. Instinctive, quickly locates the ball carrier and fires up the field to defend the run. Works hard to get involved in the action and wraps up tackling.

Flows well laterally, remains disciplined with assignments and pursues the action with speed. Solid open-field tackler who makes plays in space. Breaks down well, works his hands and displays quickness when he changes direction.

Negatives: Does not get depth on pass drops. Makes a lot of plays after the fact in coverage.

Analysis: Williams was a non-factor in 2018 after he transferred to Syracuse, but he watched his game take off last season. He’s a terrific run-and-chase linebacker who is best against the run, but he must improve his ball skills and play against the pass to have a chance to make it at the next level. At the very least, I could see Williams on a practice squad this summer this fall.

View more scouting reports

Page 2: Boston College Eagles
Page 3: Clemson Tigers
Page 4: Duke Blue Devils
Page 5: Florida State Seminoles
Page 6: Louisville Cardinals
Page 7: Miami Hurricanes
Page 8: North Carolina Tar Heels
Page 9: North Carolina State Wolfpack
Page 10: Pittsburgh Panthers
Page 11: Syracuse Orange
Page 12: Virginia Cavaliers
Page 13: Virginia Tech Hokies
Page 14: Wake Forest Demon Deacons

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