2020 NFL Draft Prospects
Tristan Cooper, S
Positives: College linebacker who projects to safety at the next level. Plays tough, disciplined football, fires up the field and squares into ball carriers. Nasty, explosive and works hard to get involved in the action. Drives his shoulders through ball carriers and brings them down at the point. Immediately picks up and stays with coverage assignments.
Negatives: Lacks an explosive closing burst to the action out of his plant. Comes with poor size and speed.
Analysis: Cooper is a try-hard defender who plays intense football, but he lacks the measurables for the next level. He’s a strong-safety prospect who must really stand out on special teams in camp this summer to have any chance to make a roster.
Khalil Tate, QB
Positives: Athletic quarterback who is very effective as a ball carrier. Agile, athletic and possesses solid size. Easily gets outside the pocket to buy time and give himself a better view of the field. Gets rid of the ball with a flick of his wrist and displays the ability to power the pass into the intended target. Drives deep throws with speed and possesses the arm strength to make all the throws. Has a quick release and immediately gets the ball out of his hands.
Negatives: Stares down his primary target and isn’t always on the same page as his receivers. Way off the mark at times and must secure the ball better.
Analysis: Tate looked like a top quarterback prospect after his freshman season at Arizona, but he showed no real development after that. He’s still a better athlete than passer, but he has the physical skills to warrant a spot on the practice squad.
J.J. Taylor, RB
Positives: Productive college ball carrier who runs with an aggressive style. Helps the quarterback sell ball fakes, keeps his feet moving and works runs. Quick-footed, cuts back against the grain and loses no momentum when he changes direction. Effective when he runs north and south, runs behind his pads and falls forward when tackled. Helps the quarterback sell ball fakes. Picks up assignments and controls opponents at the point of attack as a blocker.
Negatives: Does not make defenders miss, improvise when plays break down or display creativity. Gets in trouble when he tries to run east and west. Lacks the speed and agility necessary to turn the corner. Performed poorly during combine workouts.
Analysis: Taylor was a productive three-year ball carrier at Arizona who also showed pass-catching skill last year, but he lacks the size and speed for the next level.
Jace Whittaker, CB
Positives: Nice-sized defensive back who can line up at cornerback or safety. Effective facing the action and displays good route recognition. Stays with assignments and displays solid ball skills. Hard hitter who gives effort against the run.
Negatives: Displays average speed and a limited burst. Bites on receivers’ moves, which leads to blown coverages. Late to react. Has an injury history.
Analysis: When healthy and on the field, Whittaker was a solid and consistent defender for Arizona against both the pass and the run. He had his moments during Shrine Game practices, and while I don’t expect Whittaker to be selected during the draft, he could be a real find as a free-agent signing.
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