Marvell Tell III, Safety
School: USC | Conference: PAC-12
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6’2” / 198 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 4th or 5th Round
NFL Comparison: Tre Flowers
If your looking for an ultra-athletic defensive back product to mold into a future starter, you might want to take a look at Marvell Tell III. Tell was a highly recruited prospect coming out of Crespi Carmelite High School in Encino, CA. He had received offers from schools like Notre Dame and Oklahoma before deciding to stay local and play for coach Clay Helton at USC. Tell found the field early and often for the Trojans, logging 10 games as a Freshman in 2015. He carved out a role as the team’s starting free safety and garnered All-PAC 12 honors as a Junior & Senior. As a result of his time in Los Angeles, Marvell received an invitation to play in this years Senior Bowl, however he was unable to participate as he was still recovering from an ankle injury sustained in the teams final game of the season against UCLA. The injury was not considered serious and he has since resumed offseason preparation for the NFL Draft.
At the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Tell put on an absolute show. He put up numbers above the 90th percentile in four separate events (vertical jump, broad jump, 3-cone & 20-yard shuttle) and looked extremely fluid in the on-field drills portion. Tell waited until his pro day to run the forty yard dash and put up a time of 4.57. While this time may not be earth shattering it is more than acceptable for a starting safety in this league.
While Tell possesses many physical gifts that cannot be taught, it will be his subpar tackling and inconsistent effort that drops him into the last day of the draft. He no doubt has plenty of natural talent, but it will be his ability to receive coaching and translate those teachings onto the playing field that will determine what type of player he will become.
- Possesses good height and length for the safety position
- Will be able to challenge receivers at the high point as he has a great vertical (42 inches)
- Solid coverage skills may allow him to also play some cornerback in the NFL
- Fluid athlete with good hip movement and change of direction skills
- Regularly observed taking good angles for a young safety
- He has plenty of experience as he played in 47 contests for the Trojans
- He will need to get with a strong secondary coach to help him improve his tackling
- Needs to add more size and functional strength for the next level as he currently has a thin frame
- Needs to show more hustle getting to the ball
- He does not bring a lot of “pop” to his contact for a safety
Let’s See His Work
How He Would Fit The Redskins
With the Redskins making the free agency move to sign Strong Safety Landon Collins to a six-year deal, they now need to shift their focus to finding the team’s next long-term solution at free safety. The team has previously focused on bringing in personnel that could play both free and strong safety. As Collins is clearly more of box and middle of the field type of safety they need someone who can cover the deep portion of the field. The current in-house options to man this job are Montae Nicholson (who is expected to be suspended at some point by the league), Deshazor Everett (a more natural strong safety) and Troy Apke (Nowhere near ready to start and might be better suited as a career special teams player)….Ya, I didn’t get very excited about that either. Enter Marvell Tell III. Tell is strictly a free safety, but that is exactly what the Skins lack as of this moment, a bonafide centerfielder. He clearly has parts of his game that need to be cleaned up, but again, his physical traits cannot be taught. It will be those negatives that will allow a team to grab him with a late round pick and possibly find a gem. Will that team hail from our nation’s capitol? Stay tuned Skins fans.