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APR 27 2017 NFL Draft
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NFL Draft

Crist | AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year Favorites

  1. Jamal Adams – Safety, Jets

I broke down here Jamal Adams won’t just be a free safety or a strong safety but will be heavily involved in all aspects of the game.

With his versatility, Adams has a chance to rack up interceptions, force fumbles, sacks and tackles for loss. His stat line could be very impressive by the end of the season.

Adam’s on-field play should match his stats. He was considered by many to be the second-best player in the draft and will look to prove it on the field.

  1. Malik Hooker – S, Colts

Often awards like Rookie of the Year go to players with the best statistics, even when their play can leave something to be desired. In his rookie year, Marcus Peters had 8 interceptions and 2 defensive touchdowns. This resulted in him winning Rookie of the Year despite being beat in coverage more than one would like.

Hooker has the same high end ball skills as a safety. While his issues tackling and with man coverage will likely take time to work on, his elite range and ball hawking ability are undeniable. Combine that with his return ability once he catches an interception? It could lead to multiple defensive touchdowns and a rookie of the year award.

  1. Adoree’ Jackson – CB, Titans

I may be cheating here. I am including Jackson due to special teams and offensive ability. He has a chance to score multiple touchdowns on special teams, which could move him up voters’ ballots.

Jackson struggles in man coverage, specifically in press. The Titans play a lot of cover-3 and that is a role he can excel in early on. Logan Ryan will likely follow the best receiver, so Jackson can build his confidence versus number two receivers at the NFL level.

His ability to click and close in zone, combined with his ball skills, give him a chance to have multiple interceptions as well. Combining a plus situation with his special teams ability and he could be a highlight machine that comes home with Rookie of the Year.

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Eliot Crist

Eliot Crist is a National Scout for NDT Scouting Services. He also works for Pro Football Focus as an analyst. He has experience in draft breakdowns, tendency scouting reports, and player evaluations. Eliot is passionate about breaking down film, showing the good and bad of players explaining what he sees in a player. He frequently appears as a guest analyst on football podcasts.

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