The 2019 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. The Game Haus will be doing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft. NC State linebacker Germaine Pratt has had a unique journey, but is now an NFL Draft prospect.
Class: Redshirt Senior
2018 stats: 104 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss, six sacks, three passes defended, two forced fumbles, one fumble recoveries
Size: 6-foot-2, 240 pounds
Pratt was recruited to NC State as a safety, but after a position change and some development at his new position, is a solid linebacker prospect. His raw skill has allowed him to be one of the top linebackers in the 2019 NFL Draft.
His first two seasons as a member of the Wolfpack, Pratt was a backup safety, registering limited playing time. He had shoulder surgery and redshirted his third year on campus. During this time he made the switch to linebacker. Pratt was a backup linebacker as a redshirt junior, but was the team’s fourth-leading tackler. He started as a senior and was a leader on defense with 104 total tackles. NC State had a winning record over Pratt’s time on campus and when he saw a lot of playing time as a senior, they won nine games.
Although he is just a one-year starter and had to go through a position change, Pratt will be drafted earlier than anyone could have imagined before the college football season. He is projected to be selected on the second day of the 2019 NFL Draft.
As a former safety, Pratt is a good athlete for the position. He has solid speed and movement abilities. Pratt kind of fits the new age of linebackers, which are converted safeties so that they can be on the field with offenses running more and more wide receivers on the field. It will also help him get around blocks and make plays in the running game.
His coverage abilities are better than most linebackers in this draft class. He has experience covering tight ends from his time at safety (even though he didn’t start). Pratt also has the skills to play zone and man, which will help him at linebacker. In a pinch, he could probably cover a running back, tight end or sometimes slot receivers at a decent level.
Pratt’s versatility is also a strength. He has learned a lot of different positions in his time at NC State. After starting his career at safety, he played both inside and outside linebacker and could be a fit at both positions in the NFL if given the right amount of time to adequately learn the position.
Although being athletic enough to play safety early in his career is a strength, he is still learning the position of linebacker. He only played the position for half of his college career and didn’t even start for the Wolfpack until his senior year. Pratt has a lot of traits and skills to work with, but NFL teams will need to help him develop at the position more than most prospects.
With his lack of experience at linebacker, Pratt still has trouble with his mental processing. If he gets more reps at the position at the pro level and has some good mentors, he will be able to improve in this area, but in comparison to other linebackers, he is a bit behind the eight-ball.
Pratt is aggressive in getting to ball carriers, which usually is a hit or miss scenario for him. Sometimes he will get to the ball carrier and make the play and others he will take the wrong route to the football and miss out on the play entirely. If he can take the right route to the football more often, he will be a much more effective player.
Projected Draft Range: Second round-Third round