By Alex Kozora
With the regular season over, our focus has shifted to the offseason. For the next few months, I’ll be providing scouting reports on prospects. Some the Pittsburgh Steelers may look at and other top players that will be off the board before the Steelers select. All to make you as prepared as possible for the 2014 NFL Draft.
Another defensive back. Louisville safety Calvin Pryor.
Calvin Pryor/S Louisville: 6’2 208
– Physical, willing to support the run
– Flashed some big hits
– Can click/close quickly in zone coverage
– Knows how to play the pocket of the receiver
– Short-area quickness
– Will make splash plays and occasional spectacular one
– Saw plenty of action on kick coverage
– Lots of starting experience
– Productive, produced big plays
– Not a special athlete, question his speed
– Frame is just average, don’t see anything special despite bigger listed build
– Hips look a bit stiff, has trouble when asked to change direction
– Misses too many tackles
– Should be bringing lower half more often and occasionally goes for big hit, leading with shoulder
– Needs to run through his tackles
– Position at next level?
– 32 career starts
– 1st Team All AAC in 2013
– 2nd Team Big East in 2012
– Forced 9 fumbles in his career
– 218 tackles, 7 INTs in career
Similar to HaHa Clinton-Dix, Pryor isn’t allergic to contact. A guy that is excited to play the run and will show a big hit. Examples below (#25 for Louisville)
Open field tackle where he settles down and wraps up Storm Johnson.
Textbook play below. Helmet on football, runs through the tackle, and forces the fumble.
Above clip is against Eastern Kentucky. Might seem a little strange to watch a game against FCS competition but wanted to see if Pryor would dominate (like he should) against an inferior team and make splash plays. He did. Forced that fumble, intercepted a pass, and returned a fumble. What I wanted to see.
Mostly played zone in coverage but has short-area quickness and can close quickly. Doesn’t have the speed to stack up in man coverage, not that he’d be asked to play there a lot, but does well in zone.
Pryor had one of the best interceptions of the year against Central Florida. Absolutely spectacular.
But he’s a limited athlete that doesn’t run well. Against Eastern Kentucky, he doesn’t have the speed to track down their QB until he gets the angle and the quarterback is fighting the sideline. Bit alarming.
Also see some stiffness in his hips changing direction. Something I noticed watching four games I did on Pryor.
Can’t close on Storm Johnson who scoots past and reaches the edge.
And he’ll miss a fair share of tackles. At times, doesn’t bring his lower half as often as he should. Struggled against Kentucky.
Doesn’t run through the tackle. Slows up when he can’t afford to and the back breaks loose.
Would be remiss if I didn’t say that he was more reliable in the other three games. Just has to work on his consistency.
Pryor doesn’t have the frame I was expecting. Clinton-Dix looks much better despite nearly the same exact height/weight (6’1 208). Fills out his frame more and possesses better length. As of this writing, defensive backs haven’t weighed in at the NFL Combine but I wouldn’t be surprised if Pryor came in shorter and possibly lighter than what the Cardinal listed him. Might not have the muscle others in this class have either.
Unsure of what safety spot he’d fit best. Does he have the speed to play the deep half at free safety? That was where Louisville often played him in college. His physicality lends itself to playing strong safety but his tackling needs shored up. Plus, it’s a new position to learn.
Fresh off watching Clinton-Dix and Pryor, Clinton-Dix is the better prospect. Just as physical against the run, probably more so, and more fluid in coverage. Better athlete with more length and longer strides.
Projection: Late First-Early Second
Games Watched: vs Eastern Kentucky, at Kentucky, vs UCF, at Cincinnati
Previous Scouting Reports:
Buffalo LB Khalil Mack
Illinois State T/G Josh Aladenoye
Penn State WR Allen Robinson
Stanford ILB Shayne Skov/a>
Florida State WR Kelvin Benjamin
North Carolina TE Eric Ebron
Auburn T Greg Robinson
Minnesota DT Ra’Shede Hageman
Notre Dame NT Louis Nix III
Auburn LB Dee Ford
Texas Tech TE Jace Amaro
North Dakota State T Billy Turner
Boston College RB Andre Williams
South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney
BYU OLB Kyle Van Noy
Pittsburgh DT Aaron Donald
Tennessee NT Daniel McCullers
Colorado State DE/OLB Shaquil Barrett
Alabama T Cyrus Kouandjio
Tennessee T Antonio Richardson
Central Florida RB Storm Johnson
Virginia Tech CB Kyle Fuller
Alabama S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
West Virginia DE Will Clarke