2020 NFL Draft: Southeastern Conference (SEC) Scouting Reports

PFN Draft Analyst Tony Pauline's scouting reports for 2020 NFL Draft prospects in the Southeastern Conference, including Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa.

Alabama Crimson Tide
2020 NFL Draft Prospects

Shyheim Carter, Sg

Career Snapshot: Two-year starter who made 43 tackles (2.5 for loss) with one interception and seven pass breakups as a senior in 2019. Made 44 tackles (3.5 for loss) with two interceptions and 10 pass breakups as a junior.

Positives: Physical safety who is best facing the action. Instinctive, effectively picks up and stays with assignments and works to mix it up and get involved in the action. Displays the ability to burst to the play out of his plant, gives effort against the run and works well with teammates to bracket receivers over the middle of the field. Plays under control and wraps up tackling.

Negatives: Average ball skills. Liability when placed over the slot receiver in man coverage. Gets turned. Deep speed is a big concern.

Analysis: Carter is a hard-working safety with average size and speed who comes with physical limitations. He would struggle in anything other than a system that allows him to face the action and play, but he does possess a special-teams mentality.

Raekwon Davis, DT

Career Snapshot: Two-year starter who made 43 tackles (2.5 for loss) with one interception and seven pass breakups as a senior in 2019. Made 44 tackles (3.5 for loss) with two interceptions and 10 pass breakups as a junior.

Positives: Large, explosive defensive tackle who plays with good athleticism. Quick off the snap, resilient and shows the ability to get off blocks to make the tackle. Consistently doubled by opponents, stout at the point of attack and impossible to move from the line. Bends his knees, plays with leverage and effectively uses his hands to protect himself. Stout run defender who flashes the ability to get outside the pocket to make plays.

Negatives: Marginal pass rusher who has limitations in anything other than a small area. Never really capitalized on a tremendous sophomore season.

Analysis: Davis is a large, strong defensive lineman who occupies blocks and makes plays against the run. He’s more of a two-down defender, but he offers scheme versatility with the ability to line up in either three or four-man fronts.

Trevon Diggs, CB

Career Snapshot: One-year starter who earned Second Team All-SEC honors and made 37 tackles with three interceptions and eight pass breakups as a senior in 2019. Started six games as a junior before a broken foot ended his season.

Positives: Large, athletic cornerback with huge upside. Strong, physical and beats down opponents to defend the throw. Plays heads-up football, easily stays on the receiver’s hip out of breaks and shows a burst to the ball out of his plant. Gets his head back around, tracks the pass in the air and displays an outstanding move to the throw.

Effective facing the action, sticks to receivers everywhere on the field and makes plays with his back to the ball. Uses his length as an advantage to defend throws. Deceptively fast and easily stays downfield with opponents.

Negatives: Struggled with injuries as a junior. Hesitant when he follows receivers off the line of scrimmage, which puts him a half-yard behind opponents and makes him play catch-up to make a play on the throw.

Analysis: Diggs possesses the size, speed and ball skills to be a No. 1 cornerback at the next level, but he must first pull his game together and brush off the rough edges. He comes with tremendous upside, and if coached properly, Diggs will be a bigtime talent at the next level.

Anfernee Jennings, ILB

Career Snapshot: Three-year starter who earned First Team All-SEC honors and made 83 tackles (12.5 for loss) with eight sacks, one interception and five pass breakups as a senior in 2019. Made 50 tackles (13 for loss) with 5.5 sacks, one interception and 11 pass breakups as a junior. Suffered a serious knee injury in the 2018 College Football Playoff semifinals that included artery damage and a blood clot. Missed two games in 2017 after he underwent ankle surgery in September.

Positives: Large, powerful linebacker who is best against the run. Strong, effectively uses his hands and defeats blocks to get to the action. Stout against the run, squares into tackles and easily brings ball carriers down at the point of attack. Breaks down well, remains disciplined with assignments and changes direction well. Works hard and chases the play in pursuit.

Negatives: Stiff. Occasionally bites on ball fakes and gets caught out of position. Lacks lateral speed and doesn’t run ball carriers down in pursuit.

Analysis: Jennings is a large, tough linebacker who plays mean, strong football, but he has athletic and space limitations. He’s a two-down defender who is likely best on the inside of a 4-3 alignment, and Jennings comes with a special-teams mentality.

Jerry Jeudy, WR

Career Snapshot: Two-year starter who earned First Team All-America honors, led the SEC with 14 touchdown receptions and caught 68 passes for 1,315 yards as a sophomore in 2018. Earned First Team All-SEC honors and made 77 receptions for 1,163 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior in 2019.

Positives: Game-breaking receiver who alters the momentum of contests whenever the ball is in his hands. Quickly releases off the line of scrimmage, immediately gets to top speed and has a tremendous burst of speed. Runs with great routes, displays incredible quickness into breaks and separates from opponents. Possesses soft hands, shows a lot of ability after the catch and is lethal when given any open space. Nicely makes the over-the-shoulder reception in the deep field at full speed. Plays with balance and body control and possesses outstanding hand-eye coordination. Shows a lot of route discipline.

Negatives: Unnecessarily lets the pass inside him and body-catches on occasion. Lacks physicality, does not like contact and gathers into tackles. Runs out of bounds often to finish plays. Will struggle with press coverage in the NFL.

Analysis: Jeudy is a sensational athlete with home-run-hitting speed that he uses at receiver and as a return specialist. He’s not stout or strong, and I’d like to see Jeudy step up the physical nature of his game, but he will be very effective in the proper system at the next level.

Terrell Lewis, OLB

Positives: Productive three-down linebacker with a developing game. Breaks down well and moves smoothly and fluidly to every area of the field. Explosive, displays good change-of-direction skills and effectively fights with his hands. Occasionally comes out of a three-point stance, plays with excellent pad level and keeps his feet moving.

Forceful up the field, displays a variety of moves and rushes the passer effectively both out of a three-point stance and standing over tackle. Pursues the play from the backside with speed and shows the ability to bend off the edge.

Negatives: Must improve his strength at the point and ability to defeat blocks. Easily outpositioned from the action by larger tackles.

Analysis: Except for the injury which kept him on the sidelines in 2018, Lewis was a productive front-seven defensive player who showed consistent progress during his career at Alabama. If he checks out medically, he could be a terrific Day 2 selection who would be best at outside linebacker in a 3-4 alignment.

Jared Mayden, S

Career Snapshot: First-year starter who made 59 tackles with four interceptions and three pass breakups as a senior in 2019. Missed one game in 2019 due to a groin injury.

Positives: Athletic safety who flashes bigtime ability. Effectively reads and diagnoses the action, fires up the field and gives effort against the run. Works well with cornerbacks to pick up coverage assignments.

Negatives: Shows hesitation to his game and does not play to his 40 time. Too often trails opponents in coverage. Struggled to see the field at Alabama due to the depth at the safety position.

Analysis: Mayden offers terrific size, speed and athleticism, but he’s far from NFL-ready. He possesses tremendous upside, and if coached properly, he could develop into a nickel safety at the next level.

Xavier McKinney, S

Career Snapshot: Two-year starter who earned First Team All-SEC honors and made 95 tackles (5.5 for loss) with three sacks, three interceptions, four forced fumbles and five pass breakups as a junior in 2019. Made 74 tackles (six for loss) with three sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and 10 pass breakups as a sophomore.

Positives: Well-rounded safety who is effective against the runand the pass. Stays with coverage assignments and shows solid ball skills and good recognition with the pass in the air. Flashes the ability to line up over the slot receiver and stay on the opponent’s hip out of breaks. Agile, aggressive and displays good change-of-direction skills.

Gives effort against the run, goes after opponents and wraps up tackling. Displays a quick closing burst to the action. Quarterbacks the secondary very well.

Negatives: Deep speed may be a concern, which was confirmed at the Combine. Possesses poor hands for the interception. Does give up a fair share of underneath receptions.

Analysis: McKinney displayed terrific progress the past two seasons and is an instinctive safety who plays physical football. He needs to polish his game, but he comes with scheme versatility and could eventually break into a starting lineup in the NFL.

Henry Ruggs III, WR

Career Snapshot: Two-year starter who caught 40 passes for 746 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior in 2019. Made 46 receptions for 741 yards and a career-high 11 touchdowns as a sophomore. Missed one game in 2019 due to bruised ribs.

Positives: Explosive game-breaking skill player who is effective as a receiver and kick returner. Fast with a tremendous burst of speed that he turns on in a single step. Extends or lays out to make the difficult reception and displays solid hand-eye coordination and concentration.

Comes back into the clearing to make himself an available target, tracks the pass in the air and gets vertical to come away with the difficult catch. Easily makes the reception in stride at full speed. Quickly transitions upfield after the catch. Gives effort as a blocker.

Negatives: Struggles in battles and loses out to opponents. Never had great production at Alabama. Needs space to work and does not catch the ball well in a crowd. Gathers himself into routes.

Analysis: Ruggs is a physically gifted receiver with game-breaking speed who impacts contests at receiver and return specialist. He benefited from so much talent around him at Alabama and was more opportunistic than a consistent playmaker. Ruggs has tremendous upside, but he’s not a sure thing and will need to improve all areas of his game before he’ll be able to consistently see the field in the NFL.

Tua Tagovailoa, QB

Career Snapshot: Two-year starter who earned Second Team All-America honors, led the SEC with 43 touchdown passes and completed 69 percent of his passes for 3,966 yards with six interceptions as a sophomore in 2018. Earned Second Team All-SEC honors and completed 71.4 percent of his passes for 2,840 yards and 33 touchdowns with three interceptions as a junior before a dislocated hip ended his season.

Positives: Polished quarterback with a long injury history that includes a serious hip issue from last season. Remains poised under the rush, steps up in the pocket to buy time and naturally looks off the safety. Displays complete command and control of the offense, uses all his weapons and leads the team extremely well. Knows what’s happening on the field, quickly releases the ball and delivers passes that immediately get to the intended target.

Displays timing, puts passes in front of receivers and lets them run to the throw. Goes through progressions and takes the safe underneath outlet if nothing else is available. Keeps his feet active, displays outstanding pocket awareness and senses the rush.

Easily moves outside the box to give himself a better view of the field and buys time for receivers. Makes good decisions and does not force the ball to covered targets. Flashes the ability to drop the ball in the bucket and nicely place passes into the receiver’s hands.

Negatives: Durability has been a major issue throughout his college career. Stands to improve his downfield accuracy and pass placement.

Analysis: When healthy and on the field, Tagovailoa was a productive quarterback who naturally led the Alabama offense up and down the field. While he lacks pocket stature, he possesses all the other traits and qualities necessary to be a starting quarterback in the NFL.

The hip injury suffered late last season is a big question mark and will be viewed differently around the league, but from a passing and intangible point of view, Tagovailoa is the top quarterback in this year’s draft.

Jedrick Wills, OT

Career Snapshot: Two-year starter at right tackle. Earned First Team All-SEC honors as a junior in 2019.

Positives: Large, strong college right tackle who plays with a nasty and violent disposition. Quickly sets up off the snap, immediately gets his hands into opponents and stays square. Sets with a wide base and controls defenders once engaged at the point.

Dominant run blocker who shows great power, easily turns defenders from the line and works to bury them. Anchors in pass protection. Easily outpositions opponents from the action. Shows the ability to recover and jars defenders with violent hand punch.

Negatives: Not a natural knee bender and must sink his butt better at the line of scrimmage. Bends at the waist and overextends into blocks. Shows some stiffness and lacks fluidity and quickness to the second level. Character issues have raised red flags.

Analysis: Wills is a dominant right-tackle prospect who is an overwhelming force when he blocks with proper fundamentals. While he’s highly considered in many quarters, I see him solely as a right tackle at the next level with no potential to move to the left side. Wills will have a productive career at the next level if he keeps his focus on football, but he’s no sure thing.

View more scouting reports from the SEC

Page 2: Alabama Crimson Tide
Page 3: Arkansas Razorbacks
Page 4: Auburn Tigers
Page 5: Florida Gators
Page 6: Georgia Bulldogs
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Page 8: LSU Tigers
Page 9: Mississippi State Bulldogs
Page 10: Missouri Tigers
Page 11: Ole Miss Rebels
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Page 14: South Carolina Gamecocks
Page 15: Vanderbilt Commodores

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