I have to be honest, when the Falcons made Kemal Ishmael the first of three seventh round picks, I didn’t have a clue who he was. But I went back and watched tape of him while he was at Central Florida, and here is wh...
I have to be honest, when the Falcons made Kemal Ishmael the first of three seventh round picks, I didn’t have a clue who he was. But I went back and watched tape of him while he was at Central Florida, and here is what I came away with…
Height: 5-10 3/4
School: Central Florida
Speed: 4.63 (Campus)
A four-year starter that started 49 consecutive games over his career at UCF at free safety. Ishmael was a highly productive run-defending safety that was a tackling machine during his days in school. He led the Golden Knights defense in tackles in his last three years, culminating in a senior year where he had career highs in every statistical category. He had a knack for making plays, including a total of 6 turnovers (3 interceptions and 3 forced fumbles). He set the school record for career tackles among defensive backs. A player that lacks ideal NFL measurables, but managed to get by with toughness, work ethic, and leadership. He hails from the same high school in Miami as Louis Delmas, currently with the Detroit Lions.
2012: 14 GP/14 GS, 124 tackles, 5 TFLs, 1 sack, 3 INTs, 4 PBU, 3 FF, 3 FR
2012 GAMES WATCHED
at UTEP (11/10): 1 target, 1 rec., 41 yards (41.0 YPA), 8 YAC (8.0 avg), 0 TDs, 1 INT; 2 missed tackles
at Tulsa (12/1): 1 tgt, 0 rec., 0 yds, 0 TD; 1 FF, 1 run stuff, 1 penalty (pass interference)
vs. Ball State (12/21): 2 tgt., 1 rec., 16 yds (8.0 YPA), 3 YAC (3.0 avg), 0 TDs, 1 PD; 1 FF, 1 QB Hit, 1 pressure
These are general skills required for his position and relative to not only top collegiate prospects, but also NFL players. Grades are based on a 10-point rating scale: 1-pathetic, 2-poor, 3-weak, 4-below average, 5-average, 6-above average, 7-good, 8-very good, 9-excellent, 10-elite
Speed (5.0) – Doesn’t have great speed to cover a lot of ground, but has decent speed. Shows good short-area burst when coming downhill to defend the run. Doesn’t have the ideal speed to match up in coverage as most NFL wideouts will run right by him.
Tackling (7.0) – Is a consistent and technically sound wrap tackler. Consistently sees what he hits. Not afraid to take on bigger guys at the point of attack, including squaring up and coming downhill against a 260-pound fullback running full steam. Is a solid hitter that isn’t afraid to throw his body around to deliver a shot to a ballcarrier. Understands angles and has a good nose for the ball, which usually puts him in a position to make the play against the run. His lack of size hurts him as NFL-sized backs and tight ends will give him trouble. He’ll miss his fair share at the next level because of that, but for the most part is and should remain a reliable, open-field tackler.
Man Coverage (3.0) – Doesn’t play with hips or balance you want in a guy that is comfortable working in man coverage. Tends to grab receivers when working against them, which can lead to some penalties. Lack of speed and size will make it difficult for him to cover most NFL receivers and tight ends downfield. Might just be limited to covering backs in the flat or any other receiver on shorter routes. Does his best work when he’s able to keep things in front of him, rather than being asked to turn and run with opposing players.
Zone Coverage (4.5) – Is comfortable working either in Cover-1 or Cover-2 alignments as that was predominantly what he did at UCF. Does a decent job as a centerfielder not letting receivers get behind him and isn’t often out of position when working the deeper half of the field. But his lack of ideal speed, range, and ball skills limit his ability to impact in zone coverage.
Ball Skills (5.5) – Shows ball skills on the few opportunities he was in position to make a play in coverage. Didn’t always do a great job tracking the deep ball in the air. His k