NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken
Man, it is too bad these Super Bowls have to be so boring. I mean, the Patriots even covered the spread, which is never the case. In all seriousness, it has taken me two days to come down from that emotional roller coaster. I went from anger, to sadness, to acceptance, to nervousness, to hope, to disbelief to jubilation all within one half of football. I woke up Monday morning still in disbelief and had to check the box score one more time. I have to give a shout out to one of my best friends, Kaufman. He is not a Patriots fan (Bear’s fan sadly) but he texted me throughout that game with nothing but positive thoughts that helped me keep a sliver of hope alive. I also want to tell my other good friend Evanson, who is a die hard Falcon fan, that I truly feel bad for him. Not that his team lost, that I happy for, but for the pain he must be feeling for how that game unfolded. Despite the good fortune of winning FIVE Super Bowls, we have endured some loses as well, and that pain is real and it takes awhile to get over. Hang in there buddy, maybe next year (unless they play the Patriots again. ) Now, back to football. As Belichick said on Monday, the team is five weeks behind on the 2017 season. I too am behind and trying desperately to get caught up on these prospects, so today, I break down a corner that caught my attention at the Senior Bowl.
Name: Damontae Kazee (#23)
School: San Diego State (Sr.)
Height: 5’10” (Senior Bowl)
Weight: 183 Lbs (Senior Bowl)
As I stated above, Kazee caught my attention while watching the Senior Bowl practices. He seemed to be competitive on every single rep I saw him take. On film I saw a lot of positive things as well. He is an aggressive player who was very comfortable in press man coverage, which is becoming harder and harder to find at the college level. Kazee is fluid in his movements, easily flipping his hips and running with receivers. He is one of the better tacklers from the Corner position that I have scouted. He does not shy away from contact and will fight through blocks to make a tackle, and looks like he loves doing it. Kazee does an excellent job of locating the football and is a play maker. He plays very aggressive and with a lot of confidence, which is needed at the position. He is a physical corner, playing much bigger than his actual size. Kazee was also an excellent punt returner in college, giving him another way he can contribute to a team immediately.
Kazee lacks ideal size and length to play on the outside in the NFL, which means he will be limited to the slot. He looks quicker than fast on camera, so he could struggle with faster receivers on deep routes. He likes to peak into the backfield a little to much and his aggressiveness can be taken advantage of.
I really enjoyed watching Kazee. I didn’t know much about him before the Senior Bowl except that he had forced a lot of turnovers in college. It is so hard to find corners who play press coverage in college anymore, and Kazee not only does it, but he does it well. He is smooth in his backpedal and fluid in his breaks, making him an ideal slot corner in the NFL. He is fundamentally sound and should be able to contribute right away. I love the way he attacks ball carriers. He is a very good tackler and really seems to take pride in it. He seems to possess the type of qualities Belichick looks for in his Corners. This Corner class seems to have a lot of talent and Kazee won’t wow anyone from a physical standpoint, but I think he is a late Day 2/Early Day 3 guy. I might prefer an outside player if Corner is a position the Patriots decide to draft, but I think Kazee would find a role on this team and be able to contribute quickly.