From now until the 2020 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.
#12 K’Von Wallace/S Clemson – 5’11 206
– Filled out frame and looks like an NFL safety
– Physical player who consistently shows excellent hit power and open field tackling, lots of upper body strength with great grip strength
– Versatile with experience all over the field, slot capable in addition to playing safety
– Thrives when allowed to play physical in coverage, does great job in press and able to use size/length to ride receivers downfield in man coverage
– Patient reading routes in man coverage, gets eyes to hip, and doesn’t get himself out of position with false/wrong keys
– Good feel in zone coverage, solid click/close and ability to drive on the ball
– Excellent at the catch point, physical and combative with good timing
– Very good athletic testing (4.53 40, 38.5 inch vert, 11’1″ broad, 6.76 three cone)
– Tons of quality, starting experience and regarded as a leader
– Shows some stiffness in his turn when playing off-man, much better when he’s allowed to be physical, and will struggle in the slot against nuanced, shiftier receivers
– Balance issues pop up because of some of that tightness when asked to change directions
– Aiming point needs to be cleaned up, will shoot too low, causing him to miss more than he should
– Straight line speed is average to a little above but far from great
– Struggles more in space than tighter spaces and closer to the line of scrimmage
– Wasn’t a ballhawk and majority of INTs came against one QB
– 36 career starts (59 total games, tied most in school history)
– 156 tackles 5.5 TFL 5 INTs 2 FFs
– 2019: 72 tackles 3 TFL 2 INTs
– Three of five career INTs came vs Ryan Finley, another came against Charlotte
– Named team captain as a senior
– Played QB/WR/DB in high school
– Ran track in high school
– Interned for NFL in 2019
I mocked Wallace to Pittsburgh in my most recent mock draft, largely off the rock solid Combine workout he had. So now it was time to do a deep dive into his tape. And it’s impressive. He has a combination of good athleticism, versatility, with physicality and hit power you need in a DB.
You feel his impact when he goes for a tackle. Ball carriers go down like bowling pins.
And he’s physical in coverage too, playing the catch point effectively in man or zone.
That versatility is key too in today’s NFL. He can line up all over the field, including slot corner, where his size can handle tight ends or bigger wideouts. He does a nice job of having corner eyes, reading the hips and anticipating routes. Bottom slot here. Reading the route, not fooled by the inside release, and he’s able to match it, drive, and make a physical tackle.
Still, he isn’t a tremendous athlete and can struggle in the slot when he’s not allowed to be physical. Had good battles with Justin Jefferson in the National Title Game but when he played off, Jefferson often got the best of him. Bottom slot again. This time, Wallace shows some tightness trying to change directions and gives up a whole lot of space.
While Wallace didn’t run in the 4.4’s, officially a 4.53, he may get there at his Pro Day and still, his athletic profile is about in-line with what the Steelers look for. Given Pittsburgh’s horrendous safety depth, he’s someone who should be – needs to be – on their radar. On the high end of things, my NFL comp would be Glover Quin.
Projection: Late Day Two-Early Day Three
Games Watched: vs Syracuse (2018), vs Charlotte, at South Carolina, vs LSU, Senior Bowl