Dec 1, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Amari Cooper (9) catches a pass against Georgia Bulldogs safety Bacarri Rambo (18) during the second quarter of the 2012 SEC Championship game at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

2013 NFL Draft: Bacarri Rambo Prospect Profile

One of the reasons the Georgia defense has been so good over the last several years has been their ability to cause turnovers. One of the contributors has been their safety, Bacarri Rambo, who intercepted 16 passes and forced 6 fumbles in during his distinguished career in Athens. In addition to his ability to be a ball hawk, Rambo has shown the ability to be a great tackler with impressive strength for the position. Between his experience and production against top level competition, his ability to cause turnovers, and ability to hit warrant a second round grade, but the depth of the class could cause him to be picked later than maybe he should and while he could end up still going in the second round, it would likely be towards the end of it in the next couple rounds.

Measurables:

6’ 211lbs

Strengths:

In coverage, Rambo is almost always a deep zone safety. That typically came in the form of Cover-1 but with some Cover-2 mixed in as well. He played as the last line of defense and roamed around the back end of the defense looking to make plays. He has good instincts and a sense for spacing to play effectively in coverage while being a threat to make a play on the ball, so while his speed does not stand out, he plays smart and does little things that make him look faster on the field of play. Rambo is a ball hawk with tremendous ball skills, timing, and the ability to use his body to box out opponents to make the play. He can read the quarterback’s eyes well, come up and undercut routes to make plays, but also is the guy who seems to be there waiting for the ball when the quarterback sails it over his receiver’s head. Rambo concentrates well and can catch the ball in traffic and through contact. He also has the ability to intimidate opposing receivers crossing the middle of the field and he typically does it in a way that should not be penalized in the NFL. He does a good job of hitting opponents cleanly in the air and with how he tackles that is physical and gets the point across but might be exactly what the NFL is looking for in terms of how to keep the hitting in football without the risk of concussions. Although he did not do it often, Rambo did show ability in man coverage and could be viable against tight ends. Rambo will occasionally take risks and they can backfire on him, but he is right far more often than he is wrong.

In addition to being a threat to intercept passes, Rambo puts in a lot of effort to force fumbles. Anytime a ball carrier seems to be corralled and wrapped up by teammates, Rambo is trying to rip the ball out just like coaches stress. He has caused 6 fumbles in his career at Georgia and is one more threat he brings to a football team. Rambo is good with the ball in his hands after a turnover. In his career, he scored 3 times off of turnovers, but had an impressive 342 yards off of turnovers.

Against the run, Rambo is typically coming from the back end, but he comes aggressively on the attack. If he has a lane, he can come up and make a good hit. He takes good angles and displays the range to cover the field to make plays.  He is strong enough to take down the most powerful ball carriers. For example, he had plenty of success tackling Eddie Lacy in the SEC Championship game.

Weaknesses:

There is a slight concern regarding Rambo’s speed in that it would be nice to see some sort of results.  He is never going  to be a blazer in the NFL, but it would be nice to confirm that he can put up no worse than a 4.6 40.  As long as he stays low, his quickness is enough, but when he ends up high, he has some problems.

Occasionally, Rambo gets caught flat footed as a tackler and will get beaten with quickness by ball carriers as a result.  He will gamble and lose on occasion resulting in huge plays and potentially points.  Teams will probably want to test him to find out if he can hold his water on the back end or if quarterbacks can manipulate him and move him around to open up plays.

Lastly, while it is not a huge issue, teams will want to ask Rambo about his drug related suspension that cost him the first four games of this season.  He tested positive for marijuana and Rambo said he accidentally ingested some pot brownies.  There was some thought that he might go into the supplemental draft last year as a result, but he opted to take the suspension and sit the four games.  Marijuana is barely a blip on the radar anymore, but it did cost him and by extension his team and it is something he will be asked to explain in interviews.

Projection:

The best fit for Rambo is as a deep safety who can flow to the football, keep plays in front of him and let him make plays.  The questions in regards to his stiffness and speed are minimized when he is able to dictate what he is doing.  He can mix things up by occasionally playing man and blitzing, but his bread and butter is definitely playing the back end as a threat to cause turnovers.  Rambo warrants a second round pick but it is possible the sheer depth of this draft could see him get picked in the third.  Rambo’s ability to cause turnovers and his style of play could end up resembling Darren Sharper if he can reach his potential.

Grade: 7.5

Tags: Georgia Bulldogs Football NFL NFL Draft 2013 Safeties

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