The runner-ups in the Big 12 and near College Football Playoff participants, the Baylor Bears have a number of NFL Draft prospects that should hear their names called on draft weekend. The Baylor scouting reports include some highly coveted defensive prospects and a few late-round offensive weapons.
Baylor 2022 NFL Draft Scouting Reports
Baylor had an excellent season thanks to some impressive performances by the below prospects.
Abram Smith, RB
Positives: Linebacker turned running back coming off a terrific season. Sees the field, finds the running lanes, and consistently turns it upfield. Strong, rarely brought down by a single defender, and breaks tackles. Possesses a smooth and fluid style, follows blocks everywhere on the field, and works runs. Effective pass catcher out of the backfield who extends his hands and snatches the ball from the air.
Negatives: Runs with an upright style. Not a quick cutback ball carrier or creative runner. Lacks breakaway speed.
Analysis: After lining up primarily at linebacker and special teams early in his college career, Smith watched his game take off after moving to running back. He still needs work on his game. However, he has enough ability and upside to get practice-squad consideration this fall.
Christian Morgan, S
Positives: Strong, hard-hitting safety who is best between the numbers. Effectively diagnoses plays, possesses a burst of closing speed, and fires upfield to defend the run. Breaks down well, tracks the pass in the air, and displays good anticipation as well as timing on pass defenses. Stays with assignments, displays a burst to the action, and is effective when he wraps up ball handlers.
Negatives: Cannot stay with receivers out of breaks, rarely gets his head back around, and possesses poor hands for the interception. Not a stout tackler. Often too quick upfield and gets caught out of position.
Analysis: Morgan owns the size to line up as a strong safety. But he must improve his skills in coverage and become a more consistent tackler.
Drew Estrada, WR
Positives: Consistent underneath pass catcher with average size and speed. Smooth releasing off the line of scrimmage, stays low exiting breaks, and works to make himself an available target. Adjusts to errant throws, tracks the pass in the air, and extends to make the reception away from his frame. Knows where he is on the field and lays out for the difficult grab.
Negatives: Plays to one speed and lacks a burst. Needs space to work and lacks great upside.
Analysis: Estrada was a solid receiver for Dartmouth before turning in a productive campaign last season at Baylor. He lacks upside, but Estrada comes with solid pass-catching skills and can make a roster as a fifth receiver if he produces returning punts this summer.
Jalen Pitre, S
Positives: Smart, tough defensive back coming off a terrific seven-month span. Displays great recognition, immediately diagnoses the action, and remains disciplined. Breaks down well, effectively uses his hands to protect himself, and sells out to make plays. Gets depth on pass drops, immediately tracks the ball in the air, and correctly times pass defenses. Displays a burst out of his plant, possesses next-level ball skills, and dives around the field to break up throws. Gives tremendous effort defending the run, possesses a closing burst, and sells out on the blitz.
Negatives: Loses a half step out of his transition when turning to run with opponents. Lacks great speed to the flanks. Easily disrupted by blocks.
Analysis: After a terrific season in 2021, Pitre went on to have three terrific days of practice at the Senior Bowl. Though he lacks great athleticism, he’s a polished safety with a terrific head for the position. Pitre needs work on some of his techniques, though he will be very effective as a zone safety.
Want more information on Pitre? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Jalen Pitre, Baylor S | NFL Draft Scouting Report
JT Woods, S
Positives: Athletic safety with the speed and instincts to play on Sundays. Does a terrific job recognizing and picking up coverage assignments, tracks the pass in the air, and possesses excellent hands for the interception. Take proper angles to the action, has a burst to the ball out of his plant, and gets vertical to defend passes. Drives his shoulders through ball handlers and forces fumbles. Fires upfield to defend the run and wraps up tackling. Plays tough, aggressive football but also shows great awareness.
Negatives: Shows stiffness and limited quickness. Struggles redirecting to the action, which results in missed tackles. Does not display great range in center field despite his 40 time.
Analysis: Woods is a heady safety who works well with teammates in the secondary and does not have mental lapses. He must learn to play to his 40 time, but he comes with an upside.
Want more information on Woods? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: JT Woods, Baylor S | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Kalon Barnes, CB
Positives: Explosive athlete with incredible speed. Tough, plays while injured, and does a solid job reading as well as diagnosing. Works to get his head back around in deep coverage, tracks the pass in the air, and easily runs step for step with opponents everywhere on the field. Mixes it up with receivers, gives effort defending the run, and tackles well in the open field. Plays to his 40 time and easily recovers.
Negatives: Struggles staying on the receiver’s hip out of breaks. Falls asleep on occasion. Unpolished and relies on speed rather than proper technique to make plays.
Analysis: Barnes flashed ability throughout his Baylor career and went on to run incredibly fast during Combine workouts. He possesses next-level size as well as athleticism. However, to date, Barnes is a developmental prospect who may never be anything more than a dime back on Sundays.
Want more information on Barnes? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Kalon Barnes, Baylor CB | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Raleigh Texada, DB
Positives: Feisty cornerback who gets the most from his ability. Effective facing the action, stays with assignments in zone coverage, and diagnoses plays. Tracks the ball in the air, possesses a closing burst of speed, and fires to the action out of his plant. Gives effort defending running plays and screen passes.
Negatives: Small. Prefers to side shuffle downfield rather than backpedal. Blocked from the action by receivers.
Analysis: Texada is a feisty cornerback who is most effective facing the action. He possesses enough skills to be used as a dime back in zone coverage, though Texada must earn his wage on special teams.
Terrel Bernard, LB
Positives: Athletic three-down linebacker who is effective in pursuit and making plays in space. Remains disciplined with assignments and flows well to the action. Goes sideline to sideline and covers a terrific amount of area. Fast moving in any direction, displays a burst of closing speed, and breaks down well.
Fluid flipping his hips in coverage, gets depth on pass drops, and can burst to the ball out of his plant. Stays with assignments, easily changes direction, and gets into space to make plays. Takes proper angles to the action, stays on his feet, and wraps up tackling. Runs down opponents in the open field.
Negatives: Easily disrupted from the action by a single block. Gets caught up in the trash. Has size limitations.
Analysis: Bernard is an athletic linebacker who can be used on the inside of a 3-4 defense or as a traditional weakside linebacker in a 4-3. He must get stronger and improve his technique shedding blocks. But Bernard is a sleeper at the linebacker position and could quickly produce as a rookie in the NFL.
Want more information on Bernard? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Terrel Bernard, Baylor LB | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Trestan Ebner, RB
Positives: Athletic ball carrier with nice size and speed and a versatile game. Multi-cut ball carrier who strings several moves together and possesses the speed as well as agility necessary to turn the corner. Has a compact build, displays a burst through the hole, and quickly gets to top speed. Keeps his feet moving off the initial hit, runs with excellent balance, and will pick his spots on the inside.
Possesses outstanding vision, sifts through the trash, and finds the small openings on the field to create yardage. Possesses outstanding short-area quickness as well as the footwork to set defenders up and make them miss. Runs with excellent lean and behind his pads. Patiently waits for blocks to develop and always works to pick up positive yardage. Tremendous receiver who occasionally lines up on the flanks. Plays faster than his 40 time, nicely makes deep receptions at full speed, and extends his hands to snatch passes away from his frame.
Negatives: Shows stiffness in his game. Doesn’t pick up much yardage off initial contact despite his size. Must improve his blocking.
Analysis: Ebner has the size, speed, and skill to be a situational running back or pass catcher on Sundays. He comes with a tremendous upside. Once he finishes his game, expect Ebner to consistently produce on Sundays.
Tyquan Thornton, WR
Positives: Tall, speedy receiver who flashes big-play ability. Plays with excellent balance and body control and uses the sidelines well. Works to make himself an available target, follows the quarterback across the field, and uses his frame to shield away defenders. Fights with his hands to separate from defenders, tracks the ball in the air, and makes the tough catch with defenders draped on him. Gets vertical to high-point the ball over opponents. Extends to grab the ball away from his frame and possesses soft, strong hands. Gives effort blocking downfield and gets results.
Negatives: A bit of a loper who struggles to quickly get in and out of breaks. Average-to-poor route runner. Possesses a thin frame and will struggle in contested situations at the next level.
Analysis: Thornton watched his game take off last season and is coming off a career year where he dominated Baylor’s aerial attack. He possesses the athleticism and upside to develop into a No. 2 receiver. Nonetheless, Thornton will need time to complete his game.
Want more information on Thornton? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Tyquan Thornton, Baylor WR | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Xavier Newman-Johnson, G
Positives: Quick, explosive interior offensive lineman who can be used at center or guard. Keeps his feet moving and always looks for someone to hit. Stays square and adjusts to defenders. Seals opponents from the action and knocks them from their angles of attack. Reliable, works well with linemates, and keeps his head on a swivel.
Negatives: Lacks fluid footwork in space. Gets upright in his stance as the play proceeds and doesn’t finish blocks.
Analysis: Newman-Johnson was graded by scouts as a Day 3 selection coming into the season, but he failed to meet expectations. Off the 2020 film, he looked like a legitimate zone-blocking prospect who is effective in motion.