USC’s safety Calen Bullock is a very intriguing prospect to watch for this season. He has established himself not only as one of the best secondary players in the entire country but one of the best players in college football.
Bullock’s freshman season was marked by flashes of brilliance, earning him a spot as a starter midway through the year. He displayed impressive range, and an innate ability to read plays and anticipate the quarterback’s decisions. These qualities quickly earned him recognition as a key player on the USC defense.
Bullock started in all 14 games during his sophomore season and led the Trojans with five interceptions. He earned First Team All-American honors and is looking to build off of his impressive second year at USC. As the 2024 NFL Draft approaches, scouts and analysts will closely be evaluating him and how he might translate to the professional level.
Here is my scouting report for Calen Bullock:
40-yard dash time: 4.55 seconds
Bullock is the definition of a ball-hawking safety. He has great sideline to sideline range and he is one of the few safety’s in college football that can play as a single-high safety and still thrive.
Bullock’s exceptional lateral quickness and agility enable him to quickly close gaps and effectively cover the deep third of the field. This invaluable trait for a safety showcases his potential to seamlessly excel in any defensive scheme at the NFL level.
Bullock’s football IQ and his ability to read and react to plays are fantastic. He is quick to diagnose plays, identifying what route concepts are being run and he usually puts himself in the right position. This enables him to make plays on the ball and disrupt passing lanes effectively.
He has great ball skills. He is extremely proficient at reading the quarterback’s eyes and at tracking the ball once it is in the air. Bullock’s knack for getting his hands on the ball is the most important trait for a safety to have. His timing and ability to high-point the football makes offenses have to think twice before targeting him.
One area that Calen Bullock still needs to address is his tackling technique. While he possesses the physicality and willingness to engage in tackles, his ability to consistently wrap up opponents and bring them down securely could use improvement. There have been instances where his tackling attempts have relied more on his hitting power than on proper form, leaving room for missed tackles and potential yards-after-contact.
While Bullock’s versatility is a strength, refining his man coverage technique against elite NFL receivers and tight ends will be essential. He will be asked to cover some of the best players in the league one-on-one at times and he needs to prove that he has the ability to be more than just a deep zone safety.
Bullock weighs only a reported 190 pounds, which is especially light for a safety that is 6’3”. He possesses a slightly frail frame that some talent evaluators are concerned with. The average weight of an NFL safety is 206 lbs, according to Mockdraftable. He will most likely need to bulk up a bit before playing in the NFL.
The buzz around Calen Bullock continues to grow. Mock drafts and scouting reports suggest that Bullock is likely to be selected early in next year’s draft, showcasing the confidence scouts have in his potential.
Teams in need of a playmaking safety with coverage abilities will definitely show interest in Calen Bullock. Bullock’s leadership and on-field communication also make him an attractive option for teams looking to strengthen their secondary with a player who can anchor the back end.
If he gets stronger in run defense and becomes a more reliable tackler, Bullock will likely hear his name called in the first round of the 2024 NFL draft.