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Jaylinn Hawkins Scouting Reports


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NFL Draft Bible:

Overview: A ball-hawk who has a propensity to deliver in the clutch and come up with momentum-changing plays, Hawkins is a competitive player who has been moved around at safety, in the box as backer, in the slot as nickel.

He actually began his career as a wide receiver and ran on the Cal track team early on in college; he can cover an immense amount of ground in the secondardy. He's also supportive against the run; a solid tackler who shows good range and angles.

Hawkins owns decent strength and needs to work on some of his flexibility as he transitions to the next level. He projects as an in the box safety at the next level, his versatility and experience brings added value, which likely slots him in the middle rounds of the draft. It's worth noting that former Cal defensive backs coach Gerald Alexander has taken that same role with the Miami Dolphins.

Career: In 50 games played, collected 158 tackles (nine and a half tackles for loss), two sacks, 17 pass deflections, 10 interceptions, three forced fumbles.

Dane Brugler:

SUMMARY: A four-star recruit out of high school, Jaylinn (JAY-linn) Hawkins posted 80 catches for 1,476 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior at Buena Park, adding three interceptions at cornerback, giving him 11 picks in his career. He committed to Cal (as a cornerback) over several other Pac-12 programs and redshirted in 2015 due to shoulder surgery. He moved to safety in 2016 and his confidence seemed to grow each season, collecting 10 interceptions over the last three years. Hawkins is well-built for the position with the physical appetite to scrape and bang near the line of scrimmage, although his open-field technique needs work (11 missed tackles in 2019). His receiver-like ball skills are a strong selling point, but he plays too reactive and tight in coverage, lacking NFL-level anticipation vs. the pass. Overall, Hawkins plays with required instincts and toughness for the position, but his questionable cover athleticism is the hang up, projecting best as a special teamer.

NFL.com:

Jaylinn Hawkins was a teammate of his younger uncle at Cal. Jaylinn's father is the much older brother of Jeremiah Hawkins, a receiver at Cal. Scouts, of course, are far more interested in Jaylinn's play than his family tree, as he tied for third in the FBS with six interceptions in 2018. He picked off three passes in the Cheez-It Bowl that year, earning Defensive MVP honors to cap off an excellent season (32 tackles, 3.5 for loss, three pass breakups, 12 starts in 13 games). Hawkins was an honorable mention All-Pac-12 pick in 2019 after again leading Cal with three interceptions. He also compiled 56 tackles, 4.5 for loss, two sacks, two pass breakups and two forced fumbles in 13 starts. Hawkins started 11 games in 2017, recording 41 stops, 1.5 for loss, and an interception. He started three of 12 games played as a redshirt freshman (29 tackles), one year after suffering a shoulder injury in the 2015 opener that ended his season.
 
By Lance Zierlein
NFL Analyst
Draft Projection
Round 7/Priority free agent
Overview
Physical safety whose lack of speed and cover talent could pigeonhole him as a box safety at the next level. His eyes and instincts are good enough in space, but Hawkins just doesn't have the twitch to make enough plays on the football. He's a striker, but not reliable as a "get him down" tackler in the open field and that will work against him. He will need to shine as a special-teams contributor to make a roster.
Strengths
  • Good size with frame for NFL contact
  • Core special teams potential
  • Can go up and adjust to throws in mid-air
  • Comes downhill with bad intentions, looking to swap paint
  • Adequate hip flip changing direction in zone coverage
  • Decent instant response time to what his eyes tell him
  • Experienced in a multitude of alignments
Weaknesses
  • Speed deficient with a lack of ball production
  • Clunky back-pedal and missing burst to challenges throws
  • Below-average short-area quickness
  • Loses the pursuit angles too frequently
  • Looks to punish rather than wrap and run as tackler
  • Too much lunging drops success rate as tackler
  • Inconsistent with hands in getting rid of blocks
  • Has history of targeting penalties
Sources Tell Us

"He's just reckless and dangerous with the way he plays. There is no reason to have all those targeting penalties. It's inexcusable." -- West Coast scout for NFC team
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Hawkins is another player who lacked consensus opinion. Brugler only had him 30th at safety and gave him a UDFA grade. NFL.com has him at 5.60, which means he is a practice squad player.

News reports on this guy indicate that teams view him as an undisciplined savage, but he was actually as productive as Ashtyn Davis at Cal...and I LOVE Ashtyn Davis as a prospect.

Davis had 108 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 sacks, 9 passes defended, and 6 interceptions over the past two seasons. Hawkins was at 85 tackles, 8 TFL, 2 sacks, 6 passes defended, and 8 interceptions.

Source:

https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/jaylinn-hawkins-1.html

https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/ashtyn-davis-1.html

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Neal's big knock was missed tackles in college too. He turned into a sure tackler while legally destroying fools on the field. I respect the way Quinn teaches tackling. If there's one guy that can fix his tackling woes, it's Quinn. You can't teach urgency and little craziness and this kid already has that.

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