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- Position: Safety (S)
- Class: Senior
- College: Arizona State
- Ht/Wt: 5'11", 196 pounds
It's rare that I pick out tape for a player and I struggle to find positives to discuss. Unfortunately, Damarious Randall is one of those players. Let me get the positives out of the way first: Randall is one of the more athletic safeties in this draft class, and has a sturdy 5'11", 196-pound build. He's fast and explosive, and has the potential to be one of the league's better gunners on special teams, already having some experience on the unit in college. When playing in zone coverage in the box, Randall can do a good job following the quarterback's eyes, and he has the ability to break on a pass and knock it away.
To discuss the negatives, I'd suggest pulling up one of Randall's cut-ups from Draft Breakdown and playing the Randall drinking game. Here are the rules (and for your safety, you probably want to use water in this one):
1. Drink every time Randall watches a receiver's head instead of his hips, and is juked in the wrong direction, whiffing on a tackle.
2. Drink every time Randall takes a bad pursuit angle and takes himself out of the play.
3. Drink every time Randall takes a long, looping recovery angle to try catching up to a player who ran past him.
4. Drink every time Randall hesitates by standing still with his knees bent, rather than closing on a runner or a shallow receiver to make a powerful hit, allowing the offensive player to gain extra yards or make his catch.
5. If you're still alive after watching the game, you might be drunk enough to think that drafting Randall would be a good idea.
In short, I see a lot of fundamental mistakes in Randall's game which make him a serious liability as a safety. Fast runners and quick receivers will torch him on a regular basis. He's not a physical player - unless he's one-on-one against the runner, and he feels like he has someone else supporting him from behind. I'd rather see him playing cornerback so he didn't have to be relied on for run support, but I don't know if he is skilled enough at pass defense to handle that full-time.
I feel bad about making this the first scouting report of a safety I produced this offseason, because it's probably the weakest grade I've given thus far. Randall has had some accolades in the scouting community, such as being placed in Dan Kadar's top 100, but I don't see what would warrant a high ranking. I've graded Randall as a seventh-rounder - an athlete with good special teams potential who needs a lot of work to be an NFL starter.