Conference USA Scouting Reports for 2021 NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft | Conference USA Scouting Reports: UTEP Miners

Justin Garrett NFL Draft Scouting Report | Wide Receiver

Positives: Junior college transfer who started the past two seasons and led UTEP in receiving as a junior. Well-built wideout who gets the most from his ability. Displays route discipline and eye/hand coordination and effectively times receptions.

Tracks the pass in the air, gets vertical over opponents, and uses his frame to shield away defenders. Looks the pass into his hands then quickly turns upfield and keeps the play in bounds to pick up positive yardage after the catch. Possesses strong hands and snatches the ball out of the air.

Negatives: Doesn’t show much quickness or any other great physical attribute. Plays to one speed and lacks a deep burst. Not creative handling the ball after the catch.

Analysis: Besides being a great personal story, Garrett was a productive receiver on the field, but he comes with limitations. He’s a high-effort prospect with solid hands who could make his way through camp and find a spot as a fifth receiver on a roster.

2021 NFL Draft | Conference USA Scouting Reports: UTSA Roadrunners

Clarence Hicks NFL Draft Scouting Report | EDGE

Positives: Hutchinson Community College transfer who was used as a rotational lineman the past two years. Flashes athleticism, makes a lot of plays in space, and relentlessly goes after the ball handler. Breaks down well, easily changes direction, and quickly moves to every area of the field. Remains disciplined with assignments in coverage and squares into ball handlers, bringing them down at the point of attack.

Negatives: Streaky and disappears for stretches. Was never a consistent starter at the college level.

Analysis: Hicks is a late bloomer who has average size and poor play speed, but he plays better than his measurables. He offers potential as a backup on the inside of a 3-4 alignment and shows potential as a coverage-units demon.

Jay Haynes NFL Draft Scouting Report | Defensive Line

Positives: Two-year starter who led UTSA in tackles for loss as a junior. Undersized but hard-working interior pass rusher who gives great effort. Fires off the snap, plays with excellent pad level, and consistently gets leverage on opponents. Displays a variety of moves getting off blocks and easily changes direction.

Flows laterally and chases the action to make plays in space. Possesses a tremendous first step and keeps his feet moving. Relentless and possesses a solid burst of closing speed.

Negatives: Undersized, lacks bulk, and gets engulfed at the point. Gets rag-dolled in the middle of the line and looks primarily like a first-step defender.

Analysis: Haynes put together two productive seasons at UTSA but comes with size and strength limitations. He’s a 3-technique tackle with outstanding quickness as well as movement skills, but he’ll have to make his way through the ranks of free agency.

2021 NFL Draft | Conference USA Scouting Reports: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

Devon Key NFL Draft Scouting Report | Cornerback

Positives: Four-year starter who was a productive defender at Western Kentucky since his freshman season. Underrated safety who plays aggressive football. A hard hitter who is quick to read and diagnose and sells out to make plays. Goes after ball handlers and wraps up tackling. Breaks down well, displays range, and nicely redirects to the action.

Negatives: Tends to make his first move up the field. Inefficient and lacks deep speed.

Analysis: Key is a tough and hard-hitting strong safety who plays with a special-teams mentality.

Eli Brown NFL Draft Scouting Report | Linebacker

Positives: Kentucky transfer who started two of the past three seasons for WKU. Terrific run defender who does a good job reading and diagnosing plays. Breaks down well, uses his hands to protect himself, and takes proper angles. Forceful up the field and sells out on the blitz. Fires through the gaps defending the run and squares into ball handlers. Gives effort.

Negatives: Doesn’t play to his 40-time or show closing burst. Undersized for a linebacker.

Analysis: Brown was a productive college linebacker who lacks the size and play speed for the next level.

Jordan Meredith NFL Draft Scouting Report | Offensive Line

Positives: Three-year starter who primarily lined up at right guard. Tough small-area blocker. Sets with a wide base, plays with strength, and easily turns defenders from the action. Fires off the snap into blocks, plays with good fundamentals, and keeps his head on a swivel. Works well with linemates and plays through the whistle.

Negatives: Heavy-footed moving around the field and minimally effective blocking in motion. Lacks footwork and cannot slide.

Analysis: Meredith is a wide-bodied blocker who plays bigger than his size, but he’s limited to a small area, which will make it difficult for him at the next level.

Kyle Bailey NFL Draft Scouting Report | EDGE

Positives: Two-year starter who posted 185 tackles the past two years. An underrated linebacker with outstanding instincts. Effectively reads and diagnoses plays, displays a good head for the ball in run defense, and stays with coverage assignments.

Fires up the field to fill gaps, sells out on the blitz, and wraps up tackling. Displays a nice move to the throw as well as solid hands for the interception. Moves relatively well around the field and plays faster than his 40-time.

Negatives: Average athlete and lacks a closing burst. Possesses average size.

Analysis: Though Bailey possesses less-than-desirable size and play speed, he’s an instinctive player who stops the run and is not a liability in coverage. I could envision him backing up on the inside of a 3-4 scheme and playing well on coverage units.

Trae Meadows NFL Draft Scouting Report | EDGE

Positives: Darden City Community College transfer who started the past two seasons. Nice-sized corner with solid ball skills. Keeps the action in front of him, quickly picks up coverage assignments, and possesses an explosive closing burst. Battles throughout the action, displays a nice move to the throw, and physically outmuscles opponents.

Negatives: Deep speed is a major concern. Can be slow getting his head back around to locate the pass in the air.

Analysis: Meadows is a nice-sized defensive back who is best facing the action. He comes with limited speed but could be used in a zone system.

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