Mar 31, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT
The NFL Draft is just over four weeks away and I’ll continue researching the prospects throughout the lead-up to the draft. Along the way I’ll be sharing some of what I find out with Real Redskins readers. The focus will be on players in areas of need for the Redskins but I might look at players at just about any position since Scot McCloughan has said that he will take the best player available regardless of need.
What they’re saying:
Strengths: Well-built with good height, length and overall frame for the position, displaying adequate bulk and strength. Takes aggressive angles and explodes downhill while also showing the start/stop quickness to recover and alter his path mid-momentum. Very smooth in coverage and plays the football extremely well.
Weaknesses: Sound and quality player, but doesn’t make many big plays. Misses some open-field tackles. Does not wrap up when tackling and usually leads with a shoulder. May be too slow to be a full-time starter on the corner. Not real smooth and will lose a little in transition. Will have to learn to come up faster and wrap up better at the next level.
How he fits the Redskins: The Redskins are still trying to solve the free safety position and they likely are looking for two. One might be a veteran free agent who could start immediately and another may come in the draft, a player with potential who will be groomed to take the job in 2016 or 2017.
Amos is a mid- to late-round prospect who fits what the team may be looking for as the longer-term answer in a number of ways. He is aggressive and has solid coverage skills. When he came to Penn State he played some cornerback and could possibly fill in during an emergency but it appears that his NFL future will be playing deep.
At his pro day he improved his 40 times from 4.56 at the combine to 4.37. That’s better but Scot McCloughan and the smarter GMs around the league will look at his speed on game tape and take only a passing glance at timed events.
Potential issues: Amos “shrunk” a bit between his playing days at Penn State and the combine. The Nittany Lions listed him at 6-1 but when he was measured in Indianapolis he came in at a shade over six feet. Even at 6-1 he was on the small side for what is likely to be McCloughan’s preferred size range. Being smaller doesn’t wipe him off of the Redskins’ draft board but they will need to see someone who plays like a bigger safety even though he may be a bit shy when you put the tape measure to him.
His weight (218) puts him in the 89th percentile among free safeties at the combine per MockDraftable.com so that can help make up for his lack of great height. At 32 ¼ inches Amos’ reach is longer than the majority of players at his position so that can help him play bigger as well.
Bottom line: Amos would be a project, as would almost any player picked up on Saturday during the draft. He gets credit for having high football intelligence and he has reputation for being a hard worker. At Penn State Amos started 38 games so he has a good deal of big-time experience. All in all, he is the kind of player who is a good bet to succeed.
But he’s no sure thing to be the long-term answer and if the Redskins do take a chance with Amos they could end up being in search of their free safety for both the present and the future again in a couple of years.
In his own words:
Amos on his pro day at Penn State earlier this month:
I think I showed them that I can play cornerback, and they can see that on the film.
With the 40-yard dash, it was a better situation being back at Penn State. I’ve been working on that. I had a good idea I would do that because this is what I normally run. I was disappointed a little bit by my 40-yard dash at the combine. I knew I could run better.
The bench press, when I got to 21 reps, I was pleased with what I did.
I watched film with the Philadelphia Eagles. I talked with them afterward and a lot of teams who had me at 4.37, 4.38, 4.39. That included the Houston Texans. The Eagles and Ravens’ secondary coaches were there.
The teams said I moved pretty good in the drills. I weighed in at 215. I didn’t jump again, but I probably could have got better numbers than the combine.
Previously in Draft Countdown:
- Duke G Laken Tomlinson
- LSU OT La’el Collins
- Clemson Edge Vic Beasley
- Alabama S Landon Collins
- West Virginia WR Kevin White
- Florida DE Dante Fowler Jr.
- Oklahoma NT Jordan Phillips
- Utah CB Eric Rowe
- Nebraska DE Randy Gregory
- Virginia S Anthony Harris
- Florida State G Tre Jackson
- Syracuse S Durell Eskridge
- Stanford OT Andrus Peat
- Ole Miss S Cody Prewitt
- USC DT Leonard Williams
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