.NET Draft 2007: Miami S Brandon Meriweather

In his fourth preview of safety prospects available in this year's NFL Draft, Seahawks.NET's Ryan Rigmaiden previews one of the most talented, yet most troubled players in the draft. Miami's Brandon Meriweather is being projected all over the board and it remains to be seen if his off-field concerns will hurt his Draft status.

4. Brandon Meriweather, S Miami 5-11, 194 (4.5)

NFL Comparison - Jason Allen, Miami

Overview -

Has played both corner and safety. Looked good at the Senior Bowl and showed solid man-to-man skills. Is very solid in coverage so some teams may look at him as a Cover-2 corner, though I think his future is at safety. Is both quick and fast, showing nice change of direction skills and the speed necessary to stay with receivers deep. Comes up to fill the run, but looks timid at times. Has real character question marks. He was involved in a shooting incident and was suspended for his activity in the much-publicized brawl vs. Florida International. Meriweather has also battled injuries, receiving a medical redshirt as a freshman and playing in, but not starting, five games in 2004.

Against the Pass -

Athletic enough to get looks at corner. Is special in this area and is also very good in zone coverage. Gets deep in a hurry and covers ground. Will light up receivers coming across the middle and has decent hands to get the ball. Good football instincts, but I think LaRon Landry and Reggie Nelson are better in this area. Rarely is out of position.

Against the Run -

Plays with passion and fire. Comes up quickly to fill lanes and usually takes good angles to the ball. Doesn't have ideal size, but is a reliable open-field tackler. Meriweather's experience helps him when it comes to recognizing plays and reading his keys in this area.

Roster Impact for Seattle -

Would be a very valuable player because of his versatility. His ability to play legit man coverage against receivers is a huge asset for any NFL team, especially for a team like Seattle that has struggled against the deep ball. If Meriweather stayed out of trouble, he'd be a great addition, but I'm betting that GM Tim Ruskell will stay away from him because his character questions are too risky.

Draft Projection -

Before the Combine I would have said either the second or third round, depending on whether or not teams are scared off by his off-field issues. However, after displaying solid man-coverage skills at the Senior Bowl, Meriweather could be a guy that sneaks into the first round.

Final Analysis -

As a talent evaluator, you love a player like this. Great in coverage, can man-up, plays the run adequately and is a leader on the field. But, as I mentioned before, his character concerns are quite real and it's hard to bank on him staying clean in the NFL. If he was even of average character, he'd be a first-rounder on everyone's board. However, some team will probably see his ability and take a chance on him…they always do.

Here are the three other safety previews we've done so far...

LSU S LaRon Landry
Florida S Reggie Nelson
Texas S Michael Griffin

As usual, any questions or comments can be sent to rlrigmaiden@hotmail.com. Thanks for taking the time to write in.

SeahawkFootball.com Top Stories