If you asked any NFL scout prior to the start of the college football season their thoughts on Jalen Tabor, almost every single one would have told you he was a sure-fire first-round draft pick. Now Tabor has to hope he is a second-round pick and doesn’t fall farther after a poor Pro Day.
In a story on NFL.com by Ian Rapoport, Tabor tried to clear things up.
Suddenly, Tabor’s pre-draft process became intriguing. With that in mind, I [Rapoport] reached out to him this week to learn what went into his two lightning rod runs.
“Teams have been shocked that I ran that slow, because they know I don’t play slow — they watch the film,” Tabor said during a phone interview. “It’s ridiculous. I just want to let everyone know what was going on.”
What Jalen Tabor means is this: Right before the combine, he tweaked his hamstring during training. As a matter of fact, it never fully healed.
If scouts really needed to see how Tabor played for the past three years, all they needed to do was watch film of the All-SEC defensive back covering some of the top talents in college football.
Regardless of the reasons for the sub-par performance in Gainesville last month, Tabor more than likely will not be a first-round draft pick. How far he falls really depends on whether a team dismisses two bad outings in a host of huge games throughout his college career.
In this player profile, we will look at the strengths and weaknesses of Tabor as he moves on to the next level. We also include a few teams that will be interested in adding help to their secondary.
Jalen Tabor has excellent size for the position. Nevertheless, he plays relaxed in coverage, trusting his skills and feel for the game. He is patient and balanced in press coverage. In fact, he has the quick footwork to mirror and ride routes vertically. Additionally, he has the ball skills to force quarterbacks to think twice before challenging him. His NFL comparison is Patrick Peterson. For this reason, if he reaches that kind of potential, he will be a Pro Bowl player on the next level.
Speed, obviously. How will he fare against faster, taller, stronger wide receivers? Jalen Tabor needs to show greater awareness of blockers in the running game. Also, on quick screens. This is because blockers are tying him up or knocking him off his feet. He is generally a reliable wrap-up tackler. However, he will duck his head and attempt to lasso the knees of bigger ball-carriers. Thus, leaving him lunging and occasionally whiffing.
Atlanta Falcons, Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Steelers, Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears