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Could LSU Safety Jamal Adams Be The Missing Link?

Jamal Adams Javi Magdiel Fernández via Flickr


The Chicago Bears are in serious need of help on the defensive side of things. Could Jamal Adams be the big addition they are looking for?

Each year the safety position seems to be an issue for Chicago. This season is no different. While they brought in free safety Adrian Amos and strong safety Harold Jones-Quartey last year as the starters, neither player was able to make much of an impact. As a matter of fact, both players seemed to regress. Their shortcomings show that neither are the long-term answer for the Bears’ defense. Therefore, an upgrade at both positions is a must.

Arguably one of the deepest safety classes in history, this year’s draft could presumably produce multiple top-20 selections. Consequently, Chicago has the third overall pick and could look to resolve the safety issue as a result.

Jamal Adams, Safety, LSU

In his final two years at Hebron High School, Adams accumulated 138 tackles and seven interceptions on defense along with 20 touchdowns on offense. As a result, he was rated a five-star recruit by and ranked among the top-ten overall recruits in his class.

As a true freshman at Louisiana State University in 2014, he played in all 13 games with two starts logging 66 tackles and a sack. Along with SEC coaches, the Associated Press named him as a second-team All-SEC selection as a safety his sophomore year. In addition, he was named to the AP first-team All-SEC his junior year. His 33 tackles resulting in a defensive stop tied for seventh among safeties in college in 2016.

Over the course of his three seasons with the Tigers, his grade improvements have been impressive. He began with an overall grade of 78.5 in 2014, but improved to 89.2 in 2016. Most notably, he improved from a 69.0 grade for 2014 to a grade of 83.1 in 2016 in run-defense.

Adams announced on January 6 that he would forgo his senior year at LSU in order to enter the 2017 NFL Draft. As a result of this decision, he received, and accepted, an invitation to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

NFL Scouting Combine Analysis

While his individual numbers were not particularly impressive, he was still an intriguing prospect. For instance, his 4.56-second 40-yard dash does not do his playing speed justice. Because of his overall athleticism and instincts, he is able to make plays that other safeties simply cannot.

Many analysts are intrigued that he is capable of converting to a cornerback full-time if needed. When playing “off” coverage, he looks like a cornerback and displays change of direction skills like that of a cornerback. For this reason, Adams is versatile enough to cover in the slot in nickel and dime situations as well as play both safety positions.

The biggest weakness when looking at Adams is his lack of range. Be that as it may, it should not be a hindrance to him becoming a top safety at the next level and developing into a very special player.

Final Thoughts

A well-built natural leader of men, Adams should quickly become a commanding presence in the locker room. He is a physical tone-setter who can make an impact near the line of scrimmage, in the slot, or on the back-end in coverage. Additionally, he is considered to be the most versatile safety in coverage. In my opinion, the selection of an interchangeable safety like Jamal Adams would greatly benefit the Chicago Bears organization. With his “do-as-I-do” play demeanor, he could be just the catalyst they need to quickly turn their struggling defense around.


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