Sergio is one of the most athletic players in this draft. He is quick and fast and can change directions on a dime. He has those long arms and legs that make it easy for him to rush the passer and allow him to cover more ground than the average linebacker when defending against the pass. When Sergio drops off the line of scrimmage into zone defense, his "zone of defense" is also much larger than the average linebacker's because of his long arms and legs that are attached to the speed, agility, change of direction skills and just overall amazing athletic ability. Sergio has pass rushing skills that remind me at times of Dwight Freeney (DE Colts) when he came out in the draft. He has the speed and quick twitch off the line to turn the corner and get into the backfield as quickly as anybody in this draft. He's also excellent at running a player down from behind. The question is, with all of this talent, why isn't Sergio considered a top ten talent in this draft?
NEEDS TO IMPROVE
Sergios needs to get a lot stronger and his overall linebacker skills are null and void at this point of his career. He lacks the instincts and experience right now; he struggles at the point of attack because of a lack of strength. His athletic talent has allowed him to think that he doesn't have to work hard to improve and become the player his athletic talent suggest that he can become and that will be a big problem for the next level. This year, he changed from a down lineman to linebacker and, in my opinion, he did not improve as the year went on. If he had, I would have given him a 1st round grade. Unfortunately, the fact that he did not leads me to believe he thinks he is good enough right now.
Sergio plays the game like a frisbee. He circles a play better than anyone else in this draft and finally lands to a conclusion. Sometimes that conclusion is dramatic and neat to watch; other times it is disappointing because, like a frisbee, he hangs in the air and doesn't do very much. Most people have Sergio's size and weight at about 255lbs. If he is 255lbs, I'm six feet tall...and I'm not near six feet. Basically, Sergio runs himself out of plays because he doesn't like to engage a blocker. Sergio is the type of player that you have no choice but to draft early and take a chance on him developing. His athletic talent is unique and I would think that a team in the first round will pick this kid. I gave Sergio a second round talent score because I think it will take him some time to develop, possibly due to a lack of work ethic. Remember the talent score does not reflect what round a player will be drafted in. Rob's value board does that job. That's how we work the two board system at THR. It would not surprise me at all if Sergio's impact position is at safety when all is said and done. He has the talent to cover most players and in a two deep zone. Add to that his ability to come off the edge in blitz situations and you have a hard hitting strong safety that can cover most TE's, H-backs and running backs -- plus, he has the closing speed to rush the passer from the safety position. In my opinion, Sergio has been playing out of position all of his college career and should have been a strong safety all along. If Sergio drops to the second round because of work ethic issues, you have to jump all over him because his talent will be too much to pass up. If you need a player who is multi-talented and who might be able to play more than one position and you're willing to take a chance, then go for it in the first round. If you think you can get his head out of his hindquarters and make him realize how good he can be if he works hard, then look closely to see what his workout numbers are and if they are strong safety like, draft him and switch him to the safety position right away. In a year or two, you might have one of the best safeties in the NFL.
Drew Boylhart 1/10