Germaine Pratt 2019 NFL Draft Profile

Germaine Pratt
RALEIGH, NC - OCTOBER 06: Germaine Pratt #3 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack reacts after recoving a fumble by the Boston College Eagles during their game at Carter-Finley Stadium on October 6, 2018 in Raleigh, North Carolina. North Carolina State won 28-23. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Overview
Position: Linebacker
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 240 pounds
School: NC State Wolfpack

Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash: 4.57 seconds
Bench press: 24 reps
Vertical jump: 32.5 inches
Broad jump: 9 feet, 8 inches

Germaine Pratt 2019 NFL Draft Profile

A transition from safety to linebacker proved a success for Germaine Pratt, who should be an excellent candidate to excel in an NFL where the lines between those two positions have become increasingly blurred.

Having made the switch to linebacker in 2017, Pratt did not start before 2018 but grasped his opportunity with both hands as a senior, earning first-team All-ACC honors.

Despite his history of playing in the secondary, don’t expect Pratt to be immediately asked to cover slot receivers one on one at the next level. At this juncture, he doesn’t have the coverage skills to perform such responsibilities. However, his brief history of production at linebacker suggests he can soon become a playmaker for the team he lands on.

Pratt is a speedy, physically dominant linebacker who has shown himself consistently capable of influencing the pass game. That is a significant asset to have in the modern NFL and, though he is a long way from the finished article, Pratt should represent good value as a likely day-two selection.

Strengths

  • extremely impressive production as a senior, 104 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and six sacks in 2018;
  • has displayed a knack for making plays on the ball with four interceptions, nine passes defended and three forced fumbles in his college career;
  • a very strong tackler – hits with great force, stops runners in their tracks and drives them backward;
  • uses lateral movement and hand usage well to work off blocks and find the football;
  • great closing speed when attacking downhill as a pass rusher and in pursuit in open field;
  • comfortable against running backs, tight ends and sometimes slot receivers in man coverage;
  • demonstrates really good awareness of responsibilities in zone coverage;
  • reads the eyes of quarterbacks well and knows which assignments to pick up.

Weaknesses

  • takes questionable angles to the ball;
  • can hit too high as a tackler;
  • has consistently struggled to detach himself from second-level blocks, will be knocked off balance by mobile offensive linemen;
  • has difficulty picking his way through traffic as a blitzer – needs straight line to the quarterback to make an impact;
  • instinctual issues are apparent in the run game – guilty of misreads on play-fakes and option plays;
  • despite obvious athleticism, he often looks labored in coverage, especially when changing direction;
  • slot receivers often prove too shifty for him – would expect him to be mismatched by NFL players at the same position.

NFL Comparison: Raekwon McMillan

Teams With Need at Position: Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers

Projection: Third round

Bottom Line

An athletically blessed, punishing hitter who has produced as a pass rusher and in coverage, Pratt should have few problems finding a team willing to bet on him becoming a starter at middle linebacker at the next level. Him making the jump to that role will hinge on Pratt proving he has what it takes to cover NFL receivers as well as tight ends and backs, with linebackers increasingly asked to hold their own against all three.

The awareness he has demonstrated in patrolling the middle should intrigue zone-heavy teams in particular. And providing he shows enough signs of development in man coverage, Pratt has every chance of blossoming into an every-down inside backer and proving himself to be a steal on day two of the draft.

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