New York Jets UDFA Breakdown – Safety, John Battle

Andrew Fialkow with a UDFA breakdown of LSU safety John Battle

Player Card

●  Name: John Battle

●  School: LSU

●  Position: S

●  Height: 6’0″

 Weight: 201lbs

●  Career Stats: 144 tackles, 5 INTS, 11 PBU, 2 FF

Pro Day Results

●  40 Yard Dash: 4.67 sec

●  20 Yard Shuttle: 4.33 seconds

 3 Cone Drill: 7.09 seconds

●  Vertical Jump: 29.5 inches

Strengths: Very versatile player, played both safety positions, slot corner and some linebacker. Closes well downhill, has good speed for the below average 40 time he posted. Helped a lot on special teams for LSU where his speed came in handy. Generally good in coverage against running backs and tight ends, physical in press as a slot corner. Has above average ball-skills, impressive at tracking the ball. When he became a starter in 2017, he was known as a leader on the defense and helped them line up.

Weaknesses: Very poor tackling form as he tackles way too high for a safety. Has a low amount of pass breakups proving that he could have quicker instincts. At times when playing deep, high safety he gets lost in the play and does not react to help single coverage in time. Needs to gain more awareness and urgency when in zone. When playing man he has trouble against wide receivers and often gives them lots of space resulting in a completion. Doesn’t pop out on game film that he affected games as much as he could have. Often takes bad angles on running backs leading to extra yards.

Final Thoughts: When watching film on Battle, one game that stands out is the Georgia game in 2018. Some of his biggest flaws were exposed within this singular game as his high tackling form got him trucked on numerous occasions. Along with that, I found Battle keeping his eyes in the backfield for clues on the play for a lot longer than necessary. While I find that some people are quite high on the pickup of Battle, I don’t see him making the roster as merely a special teamer. While he was a player that did a lot for LSU, his flaws were unseen a lot due to the defense being very talented. I have a hard time seeing Battle providing the Jets with secondary help with a lot of his glaring problems being imperative at the next level. One thing he does have going for him is the narrative that he is a do it all guy. Maybe Gregg Williams will see that and take a liking to Battle, but I see him having an uphill battle to make the 53 man roster.