Throughout the summer, National Scout Jon Ledyard, Assistant Director Joe Marino and Scouting Director Kyle Crabbs will be conducting summer assessments on 99 notable senior prospects. Of these 99 seniors, the 33 most prominent will be covered by all three analysts.Of the remaining 66, each of the three analysts has “drafted” 22 of them to scout exclusively.
This serves as the foundation for our 2018 draft assessments.
Assessment by Kyle Crabbs
Name: Quin Blanding
Position: Free Safety
Date of Birth: 05/01/1996
High School: Bayside (VA)
Games played: 36
Games started: 36
Team Captain: Yes
358 total tackles, 6 interceptions, 15 passes broken up (PBU).
High School Accolades
Top rated SAF in the country from HS class. Was considered a top 10 overall prospect according to 247, Rivals and ESPN. Played in the Under Armour All-American Game. Was named an All-American as a senior. Played in Blue-Grey All American Bowl in Tampa as a Senior.
FWAA, ESPN and Scout.com Freshman All-American in 2014. 2014 2nd team All-ACC. 2015 USA Today 2nd team All-American. 2015 1st team All-ACC. 2016 2nd team All-American. 2016 1st team All-ACC. Bednarik and Nagurski Preseason Watch List.
Games watched: Notre Dame (2015), Connecticut (2016), Pittsburgh (2016), Miami (FL) (2016)
Has a great sense of angles and working in space. Has had good success in scraping over the top as a run support defender and settling into a head up position and finishes tackle opportunities with a great level of both confidence and pop in pads. Has a frame to match up physically with stronger bodies in the open field and is not easily deterred or knocked off of trajectory in pursuit. Has a good nose for the football and does well to stay shadowed over top of route stems. Shows patience to not vacate vicinity too quickly and hold water; briefly overlapping coverage with that of teammates. Has a high football IQ; has been implemented in a number of different alignments and successfully executes primary responsibilities with confidence. Pairs high IQ with a hot running motor, regardless of the score or game situation.
Does not showcase top end range or burst. Has the look of only a marginal athlete in long distance situations but does have the mental processing and hustle to cover some of the true physical limitations. Would not entrust with playing solo on the back end, much better suited with physical burst and range to play a half or third of the field. Lack of short area twitch can cause issues when shadowed over the top of route stems in off coverage situations.
Virginia Safety Quin Blanding may not be a player with elite physical measureables or speed, but this is a player that should be in the conversation as a first round player come the spring. Blanding has a tremendous level of versatility, playing both the catch point and the run with confidence and great efficiency as a tackler.
Blanding may not be a true single high safety but his peripheral vision allows him to effectively sit in space and overlap routes in his vicinity and his aggression and tackling skills are allowed to shine when squatting in the shallows as well. Blanding’s deep coverage skills should be limited to no more than half of the field with any level of regularity.
Blanding’s most important priority in 2017 is to stay healthy and survive the season without any significant injuries. If he does and continues to match his tremendous levels of production (120 total tackes in 2016), expect Blanding to continue being discussed as one of the top Safety prospects in the country.