Weight: 207 pounds
School: Virginia Cavaliers
Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash: 4.63 seconds
Vertical jump: 31.5 inches
Broad jump: 10 feet, 2 inches
Quin Blanding 2018 NFL Draft Profile
Quin Blanding excelled on both sides of the football at Bayside High School in Virginia Beach, VA. But his prowess in the secondary made him stand out more than anything. That’s fairly apparent considering his status as the top-ranked safety prospect in the nation according to a variety of outlets including Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN. However, there wasn’t much of a frenzy for his services among college coaches as he committed to Virginia fairly early in the process. Blanding was actually the first player to give his pledge to then Cavaliers head coach Mike London as part of UVA’s 2014 class.
Almost immediately, Blanding made his presence felt. He became the first true freshman safety to start a season opener for Virginia since Tony Blount back in 1976. Over the course of the season, he certainly made the most of the trust he elicited out of the coaching staff. His 123 tackles led all freshmen in the nation and broke a school record for a first-year player previously held by Ahmad Brooks. He also added three interceptions and six pass breakups en route to making numerous freshman All-American teams and garnering defensive rookie of the year honors from the ACC.
Over the next three years, Blanding continued to prove his worth as a high volume tackler. He averaged 123 tackles per year and never finished worse than fourth among ACC players in the category. As a junior and senior, both he and fellow Cavalier draft prospect Micah Kiser accomplished a fairly impressive feat. The tandem ended both seasons ranked 1-2 in tackles in the conference. Blanding added a career-high four interceptions in 2017, one of which he took the distance for a touchdown in a win over Duke.
When all was said and done on his college career, Blanding rewrote the record books. His 495 career tackles rank first in school history and best all-time among ACC defensive backs. And only Clint Sintim and D’Brickashaw Ferguson made more starts for the Cavaliers.
- ideal size for the position at the next level;
- exhibits solid wrap-up technique when making tackles;
- has the requisite play strength to be effective at the line of scrimmage;
- plays with intensity downhill – able to force and contain in run support;
- can adjust on the fly to make plays on the ball;
- a four-year impact player in college with 49 career starts;
- a high character individual who exhibits leadership skills.
- read and react instincts are a bit inconsistent;
- too often overpursues to the outside and gives runners cutback lanes;
- lacks necessary hip fluidity to mirror and match in coverage;
- could struggle with athletic tight ends down the seams;
- might not have the burst/athleticism to play centerfielder in zone looks;
- doesn’t have the closing quickness to give consistent help over the top.
- value as an every-down safety at the next level is limited.
NFL Comparison: Morgan Burnett
Teams With Need at Position: Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins
Projection: Fourth to fifth round
Few players in recent college football history had as consistent an impact over a four-year career as Blanding. He certainly left an indelible mark on the record books both at Virginia and in the ACC with his voluminous tackle numbers. Blanding’s best fit at the next level is at the line of scrimmage on early downs as a run support specialist. And though his tape does show ball skills, it also reveals a stiff-hipped player who lacks the range and athleticism to consistently see the field in passing situations. Expect Blanding to be off the board early on day three of the draft.