[NOTE FROM BRETT: Jackson McIntire is back at it again with another thorough scouting report. This time, Jackson takes a closer look at Arizona State safety Damarious Randall. Jackson recently contributed a stellar scouting report of UConn cornerback Byron Jones and can be followed on the Twitter machine @jackmack28.]
Damarious Randall is one of those players who started to ascend up draft boards after a stellar combine forced scouts and analysts alike to go back and take another look at his tape. After watching a few of his games, I am thoroughly impressed with Randall as a player. Playing in the Pac-12, Randall has faced plenty of high-octane passing offenses throughout his career at Arizona State and has shown potential worthy of a late first round pick on Thursday. In this article, I will list Randall’s combine measurements and drill results, break down his tape, give a pro-player comparison, and explain his fit with the Vikings if they decide to pull the trigger.
Measurements and Combine Results:
* indicates top combine performer for safeties
Weight: 196 lb.
Arm Length: 30 1/4”
Hands: 8 5/8”
40 Yard Dash: 4.46 seconds*
Bench Press: 14 reps
Vertical Jump: 38”*
Broad Jump: 120”
3-Cone Drill: 6.83 seconds*
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.07 seconds*
- Good instincts in man coverage. Reads quarterback’s eyes well and at times seems to know where the quarterback is going with the ball before the quarterback even does.
- Sniffs out routes quickly and possesses the instincts to react to the route. Excels on in-breaking routes especially slants. This isn’t just a result of the receiver running poor routes, as he made an excellent read and play on a crafty Nelson Agholor slant route.
- Excellent man-to-man coverage safety. Understands route concepts and consistently gives himself good positioning depending on the receiver’s route. Exceptional footwork helps greatly in this area.
Aggressive vs the pass. Consistently makes aggressive tackles on receivers after short passes resulting in short gains.
- Good range. Often times pops up out of nowhere.
- Good run defender on outside runs and closes on runner fast. Rarely lets the runner get the edge.
- Sniffs out screens well and once again closes fast.
- Has position flexibility, as he could be drafted as a cornerback or safety and still be worthy of a high second round or late first round selection.
- Saves a lot of touchdowns. Puts self in position to make the touchdown saving tackle once a big play is already in the works.
- Very athletic and plays fast. Doesn’t let a bad play affect him on the next. Mentally tough.
- Excelled as a gunner on punt team.
- Can overrun screens and short passes after doing a good job of sniffing them out. This can be frustrating as this can lead to short catches resulting in big yardage.
- Instincts in zone coverage are a bit inconsistent.
- Big gambler. Will go for the big play which sometimes goes in his favor, and sometimes…. doesn’t.
- A bit tentative about taking on downhill runners coming straight at him. Prefers to lay hits on receivers or runners who aren’t coming full speed at him. This concerns me a little bit as you don’t want a safety in the NFL who plays timid when taking on the Adrian Petersons and Marshawn Lynch’s of the league.
- Aggressive playing style sometimes leads to receivers shaking him easily with a quick juke move or cutback.
- On the lighter and shorter side for NFL safeties but plays bigger than his size indicates.
- Can be fooled with pump fakes and play action which has led to open receivers running free in his coverage zone.
- Aggressive play style will draw durability concerns. Dealt with plenty of minor injuries throughout college.
- At times seems confused as to what he should be doing in zone coverage during a play where a receiver doesn’t run directly into his zone. Coaching should be able to fix this.
- Needs to work on technique in both coverage and in proper tackling.
When looking for an NFL player to compare Randall to, I couldn’t settle on just one… or two. Instead, I chose three. Randall’s game reminds me of certain traits possessed by Rahim Moore, Earl Thomas, and Eric Weddle. Before the keyboard gladiators go to the comment section and claim I’m crazy, understand that I am only comparing certain parts of each aforementioned players’ game to Randall. I am in no way saying or implying that Randall is at this point in time the same caliber player as Earl Thomas, Eric Weddle, or even Rahim Moore. With that said, Randall reads the quarterback’s eyes like Rahim Moore while also suffering from the same frustrating occasional tentativeness vs downhill runners that Moore was often accused of early in his career. Other then when he is going head on with downhill runners, he plays with a similar aggressiveness and mean streak that Earl Thomas has made a career off of in Seattle. As for Eric Weddle, Randall possesses a similar ability to sniff out routes and more often than not seems to be in a good position when the ball is in the air. Weddle and Randle are also both a bit undersized but play big.
Does he fit with the Vikings?
Playing Randall as a Free Safety would allow Harrison Smith to spend more time in the box where he is at his best. If Randall does indeed become a Viking and Zimmer is able to fix his issues, watch out. Randall would likely compete to start his rookie year with the likes of Robert Blanton, Antone Exum, and Andrew Sendejo. A combination of a refined Randall, Harrison Smith, Xavier Rhodes, and hopefully a rejuvenated Captain Munnerlyn could easily result in one of the best secondary units in the entire NFL. Randall’s aggressive play style will be coveted by Zimmer, as he seems to be an ideal fit for a Mike Zimmer free safety.
All in all, Randall is a proven player who brings a lot of physical tools to the table. With a good coach, he should be able to harness his potential and has a chance to become a bona fide player in the NFL. He would be a target if Slick Rick decides to trade back into the end of the first round, or the beginning of the second round. While safety isn’t as big of a need on my board as it is on many others’ (I for one believe Robert Blanton played quite solid if not spectacular in his time as the starter and also am hoping Antone Exum gets a chance to compete this year) it can certainly be upgraded.
[NOTE FROM JACKSON: Thank you all for reading. My final big board should be posting today followed by my final mock draft of the 2015 draft season. If you would like to check out my other work, my page can be found here. It was my pleasure to produce a good number of scouting reports this year and I hope you guys enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed creating them. Be sure to follow me @jackmack28 for draft day updates and don’t forget to comment below. Skol!]