As the Cowboys look to finish their defense after a robust showing in 2018, protection is one area they’re trying to upgrade. Xavier Woods showed the remaining 12 months that he’s greater than successful as one part of that equation. However, the Rams sport confirmed why Jeff Heath couldn’t count number one as the opposite number one protection. Dallas desires a fearless run defender with enough versatility to play in skip coverage.
Maryland’s Darnell Savage appears to match that mildew flawlessly. He greater than lives as much as his name as he is a vicious hitter who takes satisfaction in initiating contact and bringing down the ball-provider. He generally takes excellent angles and frequently lowers his shoulder to use his full frame to put the lumber on opposing players.
It was unexpected that Savage didn’t have a better quantity of bench press reps at the combine (he changed into 1/3-lowest amongst safeties), as Savage plays with an at-instances overwhelming quantity of power. He does an excellent task of shedding blocks via natural electricity and bursting through to get to the ball.
But Savage’s physical playstyle doesn’t cease there. He transfers it to pass coverage as nicely. Whereas most of the safeties in this magnificence, which are first-class run defenders, have average coverage abilities, Savage shows the capability to be successful with regularity in deep region insurance. Between him and Woods, Woods is the higher unmarried-high protection, but putting Savage lower back there in that position isn’t as massive a hazard as it’s miles with others.
Savage has an electric powered burst out of his stance whilst in a quarter that quickly lets him react to the ball. This has helped him become a ball hawk in his time at Maryland, as evidenced using his 8 interceptions in three years. When the ball is in the air, Savage will play for the pick 99% of the time. It’s this aggressiveness that’d brought about his marvelous stats, and his ability to transition to a runner after making the interception; he averaged 19.1 yards in step with interception return in college, is only a cherry on the top.
However, Savage’s biggest weak point is his strength. While it’s admirable that Savage always goes for the huge play or big hit, and whilst it really works, it’s without a doubt a recreational changer, the other side of things is that Savage can now and then be too competitive and land up out of control. Sometimes he’ll go for the hit so hard that he misses the tackle, or he’ll whiff at the interception and give up a huge trap as a substitute.
He’ll have to work on it at the next degree, especially playing the ball within the air. He has instincts that supply him the capacity to grow to be first-rate beginning protection. Still, he needs to rein in those instincts simply a bit and become an extra cerebral participant. In Dallas, Savage would be working with one of the great protecting backs coaches in Kris Richard, which could help him reach said potential.
Savage should cross everywhere from the early second round to somewhere inside the third spherical. If the Cowboys want him, they may use their 58th pick if he is still to be had. Right now, Savage is a chunk of a boom or bust prospect, but with the proper education, he has the potential to be an incredible safety. Dallas is probably an appropriate situation.