Rahim has very good cover skills for a safety. He shows nice speed and quick enough feet to be used in zone of coverage. He has solid size and should be able to handle the taller wide receivers in the slot and outside along with the bigger tight ends. Rahim is a good open field tackler and is smart enough to know that he needs to work angles to take a person down without getting hurt. He shows capable hands to intercept the ball as well as the ability to adjust to the ball in the air and make the interception. Rahim is the type of player that seems to love a challenge and likes to play his opponents one-on-one. That is a good thing and a bad thing for a safety.
Rahim doesn't seem to be much of a leader out on the field and you like your safeties to have some leadership skills. He is not a bad tackler, but for the next level, he is not nearly strong enough. He is a drag-down tackler, which might suffice for a cornerback, but you like to see stronger tackling skills from your safeties. He also seems to be better in man-to-man coverage than zone. I'm not sure why, but I think he might be waiting to read the QB for interceptions too much instead of anticipating routes and disrupting the timing of a QB that will lead to interceptions.
I can see Rahim more as a nickel/dime corner in the red zone than I do as a starting safety or corner. In the red zone in man-to-man, he can use his height and the field to his advantage. If he gets stronger and becomes more team oriented, I can see some teams in some systems using him as a free safety; however, the biggest hurdle for Rahim is his lack of strength in every aspect of his game. Don't get me wrong: the kid is in shape, he just doesn't play strong. He has no bump-and-run techniques or skills and when covering man-to-man, he allows the receiver to move him in the route and basically, wherever on the field that receiver wants. He does not tackle with authority and, in general, is always playing back on his heels...even when moving forward. He also doesn't play special teams and I have a problem with that. If he could give you some return or coverage skills then maybe I would rate him higher. You have to ask yourself...how is it that a guy who has ten interceptions in a year is satisfied with having very little the next and not wanting somehow to touch the ball to make impacting plays? For me personally, it would drive me crazy. I would want to return punts or kickoffs or make plays on coverage units to hear the roar of the crowd once again! I'm just saying that it strikes me as strange. If the crowds are cheering your name one year and the next they aren't, wouldn't you try to do everything you could to hear the crowd call your name once again? Rahim's lack of mental toughness and physical strength are hurdles that he can overcome (given time). Unfortunately, for me, I'm looking for more of a mentally tough, physically tough leader in a safety. Those that rate Rahim higher must think differently. Oh well, different strokes for different folks.
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart March/11