While Adrian Amos has experience at cornerback, his strength and zone coverage assignment responsibilities will likely see him remain inside at one of the safety positions. As for remaining at strong safety, the Nittany Lion has the size teams look for along with above average playing strength. He has become an efficient ball-hawk and is very instinctive, as he shows a good nose for the football, evident by the 26 passes he’s defended.
Amos is equally effective vs. the run and pass and that versatile skill-set, with his ability to handle man coverage assignments, in addition to stepping up with force playing in the box makes him one of the more polished underneath zone defenders in this draft class. He does a very good job of reading the quarterback, showing balance to level off and anticipate the pass.
The Nittany Lion has good breaking quickness and transitional skills out of his pedal (4.37-second 40-yard dash on Pro Day and 4.03 20-yard shuttle at the NFL Scouting Combine), along with the plant-and-drive skills that he combines with a quick closing burst to make plays on the ball. He not only elevates well (35 ½-inch vertical jump), but will usually be very accurate timing his jump.
As a coverage defender at the free safety position, Amos closes the cushion fast and decreases separation. He is very aggressiveness in man-to-man schemes, as he excels on press and bump and run coverage, using his hands well to disrupt the route’s progression. With his excellent ability using his hands to reroute receivers, he also has the size to impede their release and take away inside leverage.
One reason for Amos to not play cornerback at the next level is that while he has good lateral quickness, his hips are not overly fluid. He can flip them without a lot of wasted movement and speed turn relatively smoothly, but he does not have the second gear to recover when the receiver gets behind him. He will generally put himself in the correct position to make plays on the ball and force the perfect throw. Though, thanks to great anticipation ability.
Amos has that “linebacker mentality,” as he can come up quickly on perimeter run support and is an all-out battler when trying to get through the stalk-block, as his 21 reps in the 225-pound bench press prove that he has good strength and can set the edge. With 102-of-149 tackles solo efforts, he has shown that he can be a strong solo tackler who drives through his hits.
Amos demonstrates that he is a well-balanced defensive back, but you hope that he can develop better fluidity in his hips. His skill-set dictates that his best performances come in underneath zone schemes if he is to be utilized as a free safety or slot cornerback. With his aggressiveness, range and ball-hawking skills, I feel that strong safety is more his natural position at the next level.
Amos has more than adequate size for the strong safety position and he’s had two years of experience there, showing he’s smart enough with his reads and recognition skills. What is a bit puzzling is how he’s fallen under the radar until recently, as it is obvious that he is a flexible, tough, instinctive player with the agility to be physical.
Adrian Amos Scouting Combine measurables
6-0/218 (4.56 forty)
32 1/4-inch arm length
9 1/8-inch hands
35.5-inch vertical jump
122-inch broad jump
7.09 3 cone drill
4.03 20 yard shuttle
11.33 60 yard shuttle
Dave-Te’ Thomas is a sports writer, talent evaluator and scouting personnel consultant for a majority of teams in the National Football League. Thomas runs a scouting information service called NFL Scouting Services and produces THE NFL Draft Report, a publication provided by league headquarters to the media in preparation for the NFL Draft.
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