Cleveland Browns draft profile: LSU safety Jamal Adams
While at LSU, Jamal Adams was asked to play closer to the line as a traditional strong safety. He excelled in run support while providing great coverage on his assignments, and is a hard-hitting safety who doesn’t shy from contact.
Adams is also fast for his 6-foot and 214-pound frame as he clocked a 4.56 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine, which he improved on during the LSU’s Pro Day, registering a 4.45.
He comes into the draft as a three-year starter and his stats speak for themselves. In his NFL.com draft profile, Adams’ strengths greatly outweigh his weaknesses:
"Natural-born leader of men. Well-built. Will not hesitate for one second as a hitter. Steps downhill looking to punish running backs to set a tone for defense. Toggles between patient and urgent in treks to the ball. Plays off blockers. Approaches target with open arms and wide, balanced base to limit escape routes. Intelligent field general. Gets secondary aligned properly. Plays with plus balance in coverage. Pattern reader who can digest combinations. Alert for misdirection keys from offense. Party crasher on screen plays. Can handle coverage responsibilities against tight ends."
As for Adams’s weaknesses, they are mostly attributed to his overall coverage abilities, however some of that could be the way he was used at LSU:
"Handsy and too willing to clamp onto receivers down the field. Hard-charging downhill, but a little stiff when asked to retreat. Long speed appears to be average on tape. Eyes drop when targets approach his area. Anticipation is average, limiting his range as a center-fielder. Will give away some interceptions due to drops. Slower coming to balance as tackler on bursting runners between the tackles. Desire to limit cutbacks leads to challenging play-side tackles."
Adams transition to the NFL should be fairly seamless. If he is asked to change his style he could take time to adjust, however he has the ability to make any necessary changes.
While his athleticism is not on par with fellow top safety prospect Malik Hooker, it is well above average. Going to the right team and playing in the right defense he could be an immediate star. He has drawn comparisons to the likes of Eric Berry (per Matt Miller of Bleacher Report) and Eric Weddle (Lance Zierlein of NLF.com), both of whom have been star safeties in the league.