Jamar Summers, CB, UConn: 2017 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Oct 30, 2015; East Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies center Jamar Summers (21) celebrates with teammates after intercepting a pass intended for East Carolina Pirates tight end Bryce Williams (80) in the second quarter at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Jamar Summers needs a lot of help to climb up the 2017 NFL draft board. Does his scouting report reflect somebody who will go high?

Position:  CB

School:  UConn

Year:  Junior

Height:  6’0″

Weight:  190 lbs

STRENGTHS:

  • Has that preferred NFL size. Bigger body with good muscle distribution that allows him to play a more physical brand of football.
  • Solid read and reaction time. Keeps eyes on the quarterback. When the ball goes to his side of the field he doesn’t hesitate to fly towards it.
  • Has strong hands that show up both in his press coverage play and his ability to grab interceptions. When the ball hits his hands, it stays there.

What sticks out about Summers on several of these interceptions is how he is able to read the play and explodes to the spot, cutting off the pass. That is a classic style of really good zone corners. Keep the play in front of them, wait for the opportunity and exploit it. Those that do it well can rack up the turnovers in a hurry.

  • Doesn’t fear hitting or tackling. Will square up a ball carrier and deliver a shot when the opportunities are there. Just needs a little refining.
  • Has the toughness and body type to make a successful switch to safety where he’ll go from slow to fast based on his overall speed.

WEAKNESSES:

  • Speed looks average on tape. Tends to stay in off coverage a lot, preferring to keep the play in front of him and avoid getting beat deep.
  • Watching the QB can be a double-edged sword. Sometimes he loses track of his man and that is very dangerous living in the NFL.

Roger Staubach used to call guys like Summers a “looker.” In other words a cornerback who likes watching the quarterback to see where the ball is going. Such types can be susceptible to fakes and double moves. Or they just lose track of their receivers, opening up huge plays down the field. On this play it’s both. Summers bites a little on the play fake, loses his man and it’s a gimme touchdown.

  • Doesn’t do a good job on taking angles on running plays. Too often gets caught going inside when he should set the edge and then overruns a gap, allowing an easy cutback lane.
  • Ball skills took a step back in 2016. Instinct shows up when he plays fast but can hesitate too much at times and loses opportunities.
  • Tends to get a bit grabby when he feels he might get beat deep. Has to learn to stay disciplined in such situations for fear of hurting his team with flag-happy refs.

Pro Comparison:  Nathan Vasher

The former Chicago Bears corner had a brief run of excellent play early in his career, reaching a Pro Bowl. He was the quintessential zone corner. Give him a decent pass rush and he’ll return the favor by showing off his quick feet and reaction time to create turnovers. Leave him on an island though against most NFL receivers and he won’t be able to keep up in a foot race. The system was absolutely crucial to his success, as it will be for Summers.

Projection:  5th round

The combination of his awkward skill set and deep draft class makes it unlikely Summers will go before the third day. He seems like the perfect mid round guy who has ball skills that teams like and could be a versatile defender that plays a mix of safety and corner. If he lands with the right team and coach, he could turn into something intriguing.