Senior 6’1″ 230
Antonio Morrison isn’t afraid of any challenges, but plays a bit out of control at times.
- Plays like his hair is on fire
- Instincts in the run game are good
- Has solid take-on technique and ability despite size – engages using hands and gets extension
- Some athletic and mirror ability for man coverage
- Seems to understand zone coverages, passing off routes and keeps head on a swivel
- Decent blitzer
- Avoids blocks well in space
- Meets blockers at LOS with force and uses the ‘your body or his’ concept to fill holes
- Gets after OL coming to the second level – not afraid
- Size concern – durability
- Struggles to work over the top of blocks
- Leaves his feet on tackles – issues with consistently bringing down ball carrier
- Needs to play more under control – doesn’t break down in open field situations
- Struggles defeating cut blocks because he leaves his feet – when he doesn’t jump he’s not bad
- Doesn’t have a lot of hit power on tackles
Antonio Morrison received praise all off-season from Coach Jim McElwain and his teammates for the way he recovered from 2 knee surgeries that occurred as the result of an injury in their January 3rd bowl game last season. It’s another story of an athlete facing a 10-12 month recovery window but making it back in 6 months instead.
Morrison’s evaluation was a bit of a roller coaster ride for me. I had watched a few games prior to the 2015 season of his and wasn’t a huge fan. Then when I began this year’s tape I started with Ole Miss not knowing his stat line, purely because they were a good team. After the first drive, I was all in. But as with any evaluation, I focus on consistencies over time rather than a handful of plays that flash on film. This guy plays at full speed all the time and is trying to get to the ball every snap. I believe he reads his run game keys well and sees the play well. He’s also shown that he sees the ‘flash’ on play action and misdirection. I think he’s got the athleticism to develop some man coverage skills and seems to understand zone coverages, specifically passing off routes and covering the man in the zone rather than just covering grass. He avoids blocks well in space and doesn’t compromise his position typically. Morrison has shown decent blitzing ability. I think my favorite attribute of his is the reckless abandon he plays with when it comes to throwing his body around. He uses the concept of filling holes with his body or theirs, which is exactly what it sounds like: you fill the hole at the LOS and if someone gets in your way then you fill the hole with their body, clogging the play. He’s completely fearless when it comes to taking on offensive lineman working to the second level and uses surprisingly good technique for his size, which produces solid extension.
Like with many of the more recent LB prospects, there is the question whether his body can hold up long term playing the style that he does. I also question whether his size and if the way he plays somewhat reckless contribute to his struggles as a tackler. On top of that, he doesn’t have the greatest tackling form. He leaves his feet and because of that isn’t able to generate the necessary power to bring the ball carrier to the ground consistently and will allow yards after contact. He’s shown that he needs to work on throttling down in the open field and prior to contact when tackling as it causes him issues with missing tackles. Another concern is his consistency with working over the top of blocks from the middle backer or runs away. This is a vital part of being an off ball LB because unless the runner cuts back right into you, you aren’t going to be able to undercut the blocker and run down that ball carrier. It’s all about angles.
Jordan Hicks with tackling concerns
Games watched: Ole Miss 2015, New Mexico St 2015, ECU 2015, Alabama 2015, Kentucky 2014, ECU 2014