Kenny Tate #6
Free Safety/Strong Safety
40 Time: 4.56
Kenny Tate began his career at Maryland in 2008 as one of few true freshmen to see playing time. Perhaps most impressively, he was recruited and initially practiced as a wide receiver. Tate saw the field on special teams and as a reserve in the secondary. Early in his tenure he showed potential to be a dynamic play maker.
At 6’4″ and 220lbs, defense was the natural side of the ball for Tate. A one-year starter at free safety, Tate has the ability to start at the NFL level.
SPEED: Not a burner. Does have the speed to accelerate out of breaks and in pursuit. Will run faster in a timed workout than he plays on the field. Would benefit from speed training. For his size, he has good speed. Compared to previous safeties drafted in the top 45, he is slightly slower.
AGILITY: Does a good job changing direction in run support. Chops his feet well when transitioning from back pedal to forward sprint. Has good foot speed. Jumping ability is very good, should have among the highest vertical jumps in the draft class. Good flexibility.
RECOGNITION: Smart player who finds the ball on every down. Does not get sucked in by play-action. Did a fantastic job against Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder. Does a good job in zone coverage sitting and watching the quarterback. Jumps routes and can make interceptions off of reads.
PURSUIT: Very good in pursuit. Relentless. Works well through blockers down field. Does not look to go around blockers, but takes them on head-up. Will be an immediate impact in run game. Can be out run by top-tier speed receivers. Takes good angles that make up for lack of sprinter speed.
TACKLING: A strong tackler. Good form. Keeps his head up and looks for a wrap-up tackle. Does not go for a kill shot every down. A very technically sound tackler. Very productive here (94 tackles in 2010). Not timid. Very aggressive in coming up to make a tackle. Reminds of Troy Polamalu in this regard.
BALL SKILLS: Does a good job making plays on the ball in flight. Has great height to go get jump balls. Good range despite not having top speed. Height and ability to cover ground are valuable. Seems to always be around the ball. Does a good job attacking passes and can make game-changing plays here. Reads the QB well.
MAN COVERAGE: Stiff hips. Does not show great flexibility when flipping hips in coverage. Does not have speed to play outside in zero cover on receivers. Sufficient speed and agility to cover backs out of the backfield and tight ends. Does have the size and strength to bump tight ends off the line.
ZONE COVERAGE: Could be better at helping over the top. Some issues here are schematic and not a flaw of the player. Does have the range to track deep balls. Reads the quarterback well from a center-field position. His size is an advantage in zone coverage where he takes up more space and can use his range to get to many areas.
VERSATILITY: Tate is projected as a free safety, but he could also be considered at strong safety and perhaps even weakside outside linebacker depending on the scheme.
2010 stats: 94 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 3 inteceptions, 3 passes broken up, four forced fumbles.
Projected draft status: 2011 (Round Two), 2012 (Late Round One)