Inside draft: Indianapolis Colts Safety Clayton Geathers


The Colts needed depth at safety and they used the pick they received from Tampa Bay to draft Clayton Geathers (Central Florida) with the first pick in the fourth round. Starters Mike Adams and Dwight Lowery will be the regulars while Geathers will fill-in. Clayton Geathers comes from a line of family members to make it to the NFL. In fact, he will be the sixth member of his family to reach the professional ranks, but the first safety to do so. Geathers is a converted safety, after playing running back his entire career before entering UCF.

He started all four years at Central Florida, and has the feet and hips to cover tight ends, and can maintain depth when playing single-high. He has a short-area quickness and a burst to close on the ball and be disruptive by using his hands. He is a search and destroy type of player, where he weeds through the action then explodes on contact. He loves to hit players and had 298 tackles in three seasons.

He does have good size and speed for the position. Geathers also has the intelligence and is durable enough to take the pounding that he will give out to opposing players. He has the ability to understand the opposing team’s offense, and can quarterback the defense to get into the correct alignment. Each year he developed better and better skills at UCF and has very high character. Vocal and appears to make sound adjustments to motion and shifts. Geathers does an adequate job of getting head turned around and locating the ball.

NCAA Football: St. Petersburg Bowl-Central Florida vs Ball State

Even though he does have good speed, he doesn’t have top end speed. His area of weakness is missing tackles. This more comes from the willingness to blow-up the play than take down the ball carrier, but this can be taught. He will also rush at players like a boulder falling downhill. If it hits then it will destroy, if not, good luck stopping it. His patience is NOT a virtue, and must learn to take angles, which is hard to do as a 1,000 pound boulder.

Geathers will also get too involved in thinking out the route and not use his instincts, which will make him look foolish in play-action fakes, as his reaction is to charge and not have the patience to let the play develop. Even though Geathers can be active with his hands, they are small, and it gives him trouble when trying to intercept a pass.

He does lack top hip flexibility as he will look stiff at times and have a hard time with maintaining balance while back peddling, which will expose him to the deep ball. Takes too long to open and struggles to flip. Doesn’t match up well quicker slot receivers. Doesn’t have range or elite instincts to regularly hold up in centerfielder role.  He needs to fill out more of the field, as he can be too much straight-lined and not bubbled.

Clayton Geathers is one tough player, who will fire-up the team when making some exciting hits. He has some very good cover skills as long as he doesn’t bite on the fake. Even though he is intelligent enough to scan and interpret the offense, Geathers will need to learn how to slow down during his read so that he doesn’t over pursue, or get caught in no man’s land. I would not expect to see him much in the first year or so, but if he can get down what the coaching staff can teach him, he has the talent to be in the Pro-Bowl each season.


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