Prospect: Bacarri Rambo, FS, Georgia
Grade: 6.7X (Grading Scale)
Rambo is a well put together safety prospect weighing in at a sturdy 215 lbs. at the Senior Bowl and displaying good musculature throughout. Has the prototypical frame for a free safety, with good height, weight and average length. Shows average to above average straight line speed for the position and good fluidity in his midsection. Moves easily and able to change direction without much resistance. Aggressive burst when coming forward, both to break up passes and to attack the running back. As a deep safety Rambo shows very good range and athleticism to cover ground. Has functional strength, shows power to deliver big hits and separate receiver from the ball.
Is a second late reacting to balls thrown over his head and doesn’t always look natural turning and running vertically. Plays out of a high back-pedal, needs to sink his hips and bend his knees.
Rambo showcases natural coverage ability from his safety position. Plays with good anticipation skills and has good overall range. His athletic skills allow him to be aggressive and attack. Keeps his eyes locked onto the QB and reads run/pass quickly. Is able to make plays on the ball by reacting quickly when the ball is in the air. Very good with the play in front of him – is aggressive, decisive and provides some violent collisions on underneath routes. In zone coverage, Rambo is able to see the routes developing and can close quick on the ball. Has experience playing man coverage at the line of scrimmage, but looks more natural playing off the line. Might not have the quickness or technique to cover consistently in press man. Physical enough to get jams on receivers. Rambo is always moving in the right direction and isn’t afraid to take chances trying to undercut or jump a route. Has the overall package to play in most coverages and most schemes.
However, Rambo has to show more consistency when in coverage. Inconsistent angles, will overrun the play or have to recovery quickly to make the tackle. He can make the spectacular, rangy play and then have a coverage break down on the next. His over-aggressiveness gets him in trouble at times as he is susceptible to pump-fakes and quick double moves. Needs to react quicker on the deep ball as he won’t be able to recover like he did in the NFL.
Vs. The Run
Shows good range when attacking the line of scrimmage. Rambo can deliver big time hits and goes for the knockout shot. Takes aggressive angles on the edge of the defense and provide quick, sweeping tackles in the open field. Can fly up into the box and fill run lanes. Rambo reads run/pass quickly and flows to the ball well. Tackling technique needs a lot of work, likes to throw his shoulder into the defender and likes to attempt to make the “sexy” play. Attacks the line of scrimmage, will come in high but can get his pads low and deliver quick tackles. Reads the proper gap and shoots it. Will be an effective blitzer at the next level.
Against more physical runners, Rambo becomes a “catcher” and allows the RB to come to him as he tries to arm tackle them. Very inconsistent with his pursuit angles, will set the edge on one play and overrun the ball carrier creating large running lane on the next. When taking on lead blocks, he tends to go around them and not take them on fully. Has all the tools to be an impact run defender, but needs to show more consistency and put the pieces together.
During his junior season Rambo showed he had the ability to be a ball-hawking free safety – intercepting 8 passes. Still managed to pick off three balls, despite being suspended four games as a Senior. Shows good instincts on the ball, gets himself in good position. Unlike many defensive backs he is able to make plays on the ball while in tight coverage. Tracks the deep ball well and has defensed a number of passes while his back is turned. Will come away with the interception more times than not. Very good closing burst, able to get arm in-between the ball and the receiver. Tries to go for the interceptions too often and results in a completion or breakdown.
Based on the on-the-field performance alone, Rambo could be a first or second round draft pick. However, he has a number of red flags off the field. He’s failed multiple drug tests over the course of his career, resulting in being suspended for the first four games of his senior season. Rambo has also drawn some criticism for not coming clean on his failed drug tests, instead claiming he ate marijuana laced brownies. He will have plenty of questions to answer at the combine. This is after being suspended for the season opener of his junior season for team rules violation. Provides some versatility, as I think he is capable of playing either safety spot and can come down into the box to cover TE on occasion. Had no major injuries in his career, played in every game he was allowed to.
Bacarri Rambo displayed a well rounded skill-set and all the on the field ability you would want from you free safety in this day and age. He’s got the perfect build, good speed, above average instincts and have been durable. He’s made a ton of big plays over his career and plays with a physical edge. On talent alone this is a high draft pick this year. However, Rambo has a number of concerns that worry NFL teams. First, he’s inconsistent, flashing big play ability on one play and having a routine breakdowns on the next.
Secondly, the multiple failed drug tests and failure to own up to them will hurt him the most. Rambo will hope to use the draft process to answer those questions and showcase a very good skill set. When all is said and done, I anticipate Rambo being a third round pick in April’s draft.