Who knew that a 5’11, 200 pound safety from the University of Delaware would quickly become my most beloved prospect in the entire 2019 NFL Draft. A senior, originally from Philadelphia, Adderley possesses all the traits NFL teams are looking for from the safety position in 2019. After seeing inconsistent (at best) play from HaHa Clinton-Dix, and utterly dreadful saunters on the back end from Kentrell Brice the past few years, Nasir Adderley is the player the Packers’ defense deserves in 2019.
Throw on any Delaware game of the past three years, and number twenty-three, much like the man who made the number famous, seemingly jumps right out of the screen. Adderley possesses the deep range and sideline to sideline speed the Packers defense has been missing on the back end since Nick Collins’ injury in 2011. Much like Collins, Adderley has outstanding instincts while playing as a deep coverage safety. When paired with his first rate ball skills, and outrageous leaping ability, the effects can be devastating to opposing passing games’. Here vs Towson, he displays all of these traits at once while making an Odell Beckham Jr.-esque, catch of the year interception:
Nasir’s uncanny ability to diagnose route combinations, and offensive schemes as a whole, may be his most impressive attribute. He exhibits loose hips and the ability to turn and run with receivers in coverage. Adderley is a top-notch athlete, and uses his exceptional short area quickness to track receivers in space. Although not asked to play in man coverage much during his senior season, Adderley’s athletic traits suggest his ability to do so at the next level.
The Packers have sorely lacked aggressiveness and physicality in the secondary for much of the past decade. Former general manager Ted Thompson allowed the irreplaceable Charles Woodson to leave at least two years too early. Thus leaving the safety position, less the oft-injured Morgan Burnett, full of young, largely unimpressive talents. Luckily, Adderley possesses both of these attributes in droves. He is a mean, nasty, physical football player who plays with urgency on every play. His ability to consistently get low in his stance, and wrap up, make the safety a sound and excellent open field tackler. He generally takes superb angles to the football and rarely misses. My favourite part about his skillset is the outrageous physicality he demonstrates in every facet of the game. Adderley is a thumping tackler, however it is his willingness to take on, and beat, offensive lineman at the point of attack that sets him apart. His attitude and compete level would fit seamlessly with the change in culture players like Jaire Alexander brought to the secondary this past season.
Many of the knocks you’ll read about number twenty-three have to do with his lack of tape against top tier talent. Fortunately, Nasir has accepted an invite to the Senior Bowl held at the end of the month. In Mobile, he will have an entire week to demonstrate how his phenomenal skillset will fluidly translate from the FCS to the NFL level. That along with testing later next month at the NFL Scouting Combine, should put any questions regarding his athleticism to rest. Barring any unforeseen setbacks in the pre-draft process, Nasir should solidify his status as a top fifty prospect.
The former two star recruit is a player I would strongly recommend Brian Gutekunst and the Packers’ brain trust take a long look at with their second pick of the first round. If, on April 26th, he remains on the board at pick number forty-four, Green Bay should run their draft card to the podium. This is the type of player who could be a pillar of Mike Pettines’ defense for the next decade. Adderley’s range, superb recognition skills, and nasty streak remind me of another safety, fortuitously picked forty-fourth in his draft class, the great Bob Sanders.Nick is a lifelong Packers fan. 4th and 26 was on his 13th birthday, unlucky. Follow him @CANDRAFTGEEK647 on Twitter for all your Packers draft needs and questions.