Name: Jordan Sterns
School: Oklahoma State
Position fit: Strong safety
Stats to know: Second-best run-stop percentage within 8 yards of LOS of all Big 12 safeties.
What he does best:
- Aggressive when attacking the run from safety position without being out of control.
- Flashes the ability to break down and tackle effectively in space.
- Has frame to add more muscle and have a proper NFL body type.
- Uses his length well to reach around his man and break up passes when in position.
- Made significant strides in coverage each of the past two seasons; gave up a QB rating of 157.7 in 2014, 92.2 in 2015 and 57.3 this past season.
- Gave up just 14 receptions on 25 primary targets in 2016; only one went for longer than 20 yards, and only three were longer than 10.
- Does not have enough long speed to be able to play centerfield at NFL level.
- Lack of long speed also causes him to struggle staying with wide receivers downfield in man coverage.
- Shows some stiffness when trying to transition upfield on underneath routes.
- Too many whiffs despite putting himself into position to finish effectively; 40 missed tackles in three seasons.
- Because of his athletic deficiencies he struggles to recover once his man gets a step on him off the break.
Player comparison: James Ihedigbo, free agent
Ihedigbo, like Sterns, has the size and physicality to be an effective player in the box, but struggles to tackle efficiently. Ihedigbo also has similar struggles changing directions, which hurts his ability to close and maintain in coverage.
Bottom line: Sterns’ best attribute is his aggressiveness filling gaps in run defense from his safety position. He is aggressive coming towards the line and wraps up when he tackles. Sterns does not have the athleticism or straight-line speed to play centerfield in the NFL, but has a body frame to add muscle. He should be a candidate to contribute on special teams.