NFL Hot Press: Most Teams Grade Averett on Day Two of the 2018 NFL Draft

Most Teams Grade Averett on Day Two of the 2018 NFL Draft

Updated Sept. 28, 2017
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

Prior to the start of the 2017 college football season, there was some preseason hype for Alabama cornerback Anthony Averett. ESPN’s Todd McShay, among other media draft analysts, projected Averett as a top-32 prospect for the 2018 NFL Draft. However in speaking with team sources, they say that Averett isn’t grading out that high. One team source thought Averett might end up going in Round 1, but sources from five different teams say they have Averett as a second-day-caliber player.

A lot of team sources see problems with Averett. They think that he is not a play-maker on the ball and is not a finisher. Averett is intelligent and more consistent within the scheme, which has earned him playing time over the more physically gifted Tony Brown, but sources from each pro team said they didn’t like how Averett played the ball. One general manager said that weight is an issue with Averett, who has been in the 180s. Alabama lists Averett at 6-foot, 183 pounds, but those numbers can be inflated. Another general manager labelled Averett as a narrow-framed guy who doesn’t play the ball well, which is a concerning combination for the NFL. Thus, that source said that the highest they could see Averett going was the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, with the third round a definite possibility.

One scouting director thought that Averett could end up being a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, however. This source thought that Averett played banged up in 2016 and could improve as a senior. As a junior, he totaled 48 tackles with eight passes broken up, zero interceptions and two forced fumbles. In 2017, Averett has 17 tackles with two passes broken up and one interception.

Some team sources think that playing for Alabama adds hype to players like Averett because the Crimson Tide have been on such a run of success this decade with a number of defensive backs who ended up being first-round picks. While Averett may have some Alabama hype boosting him, teams across the league are projecting him to the second day of the 2018 NFL Draft.