Monday, February 25, 2008

Jamie Silva, SS, Boston College

For those of you who were disappointed with certain aspects of the safety play, or simply think they Russell and Grant are just a little long in the tooth, the Seahawks met with at least one saftey at the combine. Jamie Silva of Boston College is the safety who caught the Hawks eye. NFL Draft Scout projects him as a 5th round pick. To find out more about him....


Positives: Has a thick upper-body frame with good chest and arm tone, tight waist and hips, thick thighs and calves and minimal body fat...Physical tackler with the frame to add at least another 10 pounds without any loss of quickness...Outstanding coverage man for the kickoff and punt units, playing with reckless abandon (see 2007 Georgia Tech, Army and Virginia Tech games)...Has the balance and body control to slip under blocks and apply backside pressure...Very alert of the action on the field, playing with impressive strength to quickly gain leverage...Competitive player, who makes quick decisions and excels at keeping the action in front of him, showing proper wrap-up tackle technique, as he does a good job of attacking the ballcarrier's outside leg to impede forward progress (see 2007 Wake Forest, Maryland and Virginia Tech/ACC Championship games)...Sets the tone of the game with his aggressive play and does not hesitate to close once he spots the ball, as he plays with good functional strength that allows him to explode behind his hits...Has the field awareness to adjust to the ball in flight and is efficient at handling the switch-off when working in the zone...Has a good feel for his assignment, showing the ability to anticipate to get a jump on the ball...Plays well within the defensive game plan and is not the type that will neglect his responsibilities...Has a strong desire to fill the rush lanes, extending his arms properly to engulf ballcarriers...Charges with good urgency to fill the rush lanes and is a good force-type safety with the athletic agility to make plays in the open field...Consistently goes for the ball, taking proper angles as he times his hits...Displays the vision to turn and locate the ball in a crowd and while he lacks blazing speed, he is quick to close, staying low in his pads...Secure tackler who displays his power as he consistently drives the opponent back...Exceptional worker in the training room, so much so, the coaches have to force him to leave...Plays with great emotion and desire, knowing he has the strength to deliver crunching tackles when asked to play near the line of scrimmage...Shows good route awareness and maintains contact on the receiver playing in the short area, demonstrating the natural hands and leaping ability to compete for the ball at its high point...Keeps his shoulders square and stays low, driving with his legs to rock the ball carrier back at the line of scrimmage...Runs with an effortless stride and is very decisive in his movements on plays in front of him...Plays with a total disregard for his own safety and is the type that plays through pain...Gets a good jump on the ball to stay with the receivers in the short-range area, using his hands well in attempts to impede the route's progression...Rare to see him take wasted steps in transition coming out of his backpedal and into his breaks...Loves to compete for the high passes, as he is good at elevating to catch the ball in his hands and away from his body...Always sticks his head into the pile and is very good at coming up and filling the rush lanes, looking like the Colts' Bob Sanders with his ability to use his hands to slip blocks and push the fullback back into the hole (uses his hands well to counter the bigger blocker's moves)...Highly intelligent player (note Wonderlic score of 29) and will have no problems digesting a complicated playbook...On special teams, he is a highly effective and fearless wedge-buster who breaks loose up the middle in a flash...Not used often, but has that low center of gravity and leg drive to surprise a lethargic blocker when asked to shoot the gaps and blitz...Has no trouble mirroring tight ends, backs and slot receivers, turning and trailing well while not allowing any separation underneath.

Negatives: Has shorter-than-ideal arm reach and small hands, but compensates with good leaping ability, timing and natural hands to reach and pluck the ball at its highest point...Earlier in his career, he looked a bit stiff in his hip turn when transitioning, but had better lateral range as a senior, as he refined his backpedal, staying lower in his pads to come out of his breaks with few wasted steps and no longer rounds his cuts...Lacks that sharp burst or second gear needed to recover when beaten deep, but uses his hands well to press and makes a conscious effort to turn and trail the receiver throughout the route...Has improved his backpedal technique, but he will round his breaks at times (gets caught in his feet at times trying to break in the open and needs to improve his hip swerve in order to get a more fluid motion when turning on the ball)...Takes very good angles to close on the ball, but when he over-pursues, he is not always capable of recovering and getting back into the play...Might be a better fit at strong safety, where he excels at playing downhill, as he might not have the desired range to handle the speedy receivers in their attempts to separate in the deep secondary.

Compares To: COREY CHAVOUS-ST. Louis...Few safeties in the professional ranks have the instinctive feel for the ball and knowledge of the action in front of him that Chavous displays. Silva plays with the same field vision, ball anticipation and determination. He is a physical tackler who excels in run support and does a nice job of impeding the ballcarrier's forward progress with his hard-hitting wrap-up tackling skills. He has small, yet natural hands to make the interception and is very good at gaining placement in attempts to reroute the receiver. What he lacks in hip fluidness and explosive second gear, he makes up for with solid tackling skills, taking proper angles and great anticipation skills. Toss in his total disregard for his own well-being, determination to make the play and an added bonus with his kamikaze-style of play on special teams and you have player who is certain to be a fan favorite.