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Washington Redskins 2017 Draft Profiles: Montae Nicholson, S

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Hogs Haven takes a look at NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Montae Nicholson, S
School: Michigan State | Conference: BIG 10
College Experience: Junior | Age: 21
Height / Weight: 6-2 / 219 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 5th-6th Round
NFL Comparison: T.J. Green

College Statistics


Player Overview

Nicholson was an outstanding athlete in high school, gaining recognition as both an all-state football player and track star. He started at Michigan State as a true freshman and retained his starting role all three years of his collegiate career. Nicholson has prototypical size for a safety, and will likely test very well in the explosive drills such as the broad jump, vertical jump, and 40-yard dash at the Combine. Don’t be surprised if you start hearing a lot more Montae Nicholson buzz after this weekend.

Nicholson’s biggest knock as a prospect is his demeanor on the field, which is described by other scouts as “unsure” and “traits-only”, despite his respectable statistics accumulated over three years as a starter.



Strengths

  • Ideal height and athleticism to play sideline-to-sideline as a free safety
  • Recovery speed to make up for bad angles and provide corner help over the top
  • Recognizes route combinations and takes action to disrupt passing lanes



Weaknesses

  • Way too tentative and hesitant coming down into the box, lacks mean streak
  • High-cut athlete that has trouble lowering his center of gravity to wrap-up and make the tackle, frequently bounces off ballcarrier
  • Self-described “confidence issues”

#DraftTwitter News


How He’d Fit on the Redskins

Honestly I wish there was more tape available on Nicholson (had to watch a lot of Malik McDowell and a lot of that is dead tape when he’s playing deep) because sometimes you see a lot of promise in his hitting ability and coverage ability and other times the critics’ knocks on his game ring true: hesitation, missed tackles, self-doubt.

There’s no doubt, however, that he’s an athletic specimen with absolute ideal size - 6-2 and 220 pounds - for an NFL safety. His interviews will be important if he comes off as confident yet hungry to improve his play deficiencies. Nicholson would also need to be willing to do the dirty work on special teams while he develops.

If he checks off those boxes, I’d be happy with the Redskins spending a 6th-round pick on him as a developmental prospect and hoping new DBs coach Torian Gray can work his magic.