Marvell Tell Jersey

The 2019 NFL Draft is a few weeks away, yet the safety position isn’t receiving as much attention as it should. With future NFL starters in Washington’s Taylor Rapp and Mississippi State’s Johnathan Abrams leading this year’s class, it’s USC’s stalwart senior safety Marvell Tell III that might catch a national audience by surprise.

For those who watched any Trojan game in the past the two years, it was clear to see that the secondary was atrocious. From Jack Jones and Iman Marshall being oft-burned corners two seasons ago to the injuries that left the secondary depleted last season, USC was mostly an easy team to pass on. In that gloom however, frequently came the consistent effort and playmaking of Tell.

The two biggest strengths Tell has are instincts and fluidity. For the latter, it was always intriguing to see Tell use that long frame to defend a pass over intercept a football. There isn’t any stiffness in his motion—his ability to cover the field and track the ball is done effortlessly. Tell also has an innate inability to put himself in position to make a play on the ball. Whether it be anticipating the route or reading the quarterback’s eyes. Tell’s five career interceptions are telling of his ballhawking ability.

What might prevent NFL teams from drafting Tell on Day Two is his inability to tackle. That’s not to say he isn’t willing, he just doesn’t have the strength nor physicality to it on a professional level. His workout numbers reflect the type of athlete he is—quick, explosive and long, but lacks ideal strength to consistently make tackles. Much like it went for the entirety of the Trojan defense last season, Tell’s biggest deficiency is tackling.

This might be a cop out, but it was difficult finding an individual performance to credit as his best. For that reason, I’ll coin the 2017 season as his best Trojan performance. It was Tell’s first season starting full-time and expectations for the secondary were high after the departure of Adoree’ Jackson. The tandem of Jones and Marshall were getting torched and the Trojans were giving up a heap of points to all opponents. Tell’s leadership shined through that season as rallied the secondary regularly after giving up big plays and was often the “eraser” to make up for blown coverages.

With a plethora of safety talent and less teams looking after Free Agency, I could easily see Tell going on Day 2 in the fourth round. It might seem like a stretch to some folks, but Tell has the length, athletics, attitude and instincts desired in today’s NFL. Once he gets his tackling mechanics downs and becomes a more consistent tackler, some team is going to have a Pro Bowl-caliber safety.

With a plethora of safety talent and less teams looking after Free Agency, I could easily see Tell going on Day 2 in the fourth round. It might seem like a stretch to some folks, but Tell has the length, athletics, attitude and instincts desired in today’s NFL. Once he gets his tackling mechanics downs and becomes a more consistent tackler, some team is going to have a Pro Bowl-caliber safety.

While it remains to be seen as to where exactly Tell comes off the board next month, one thing is for certain — whatever NFL team lands his services is going to get one heck of an athlete. With NFL wide receivers, tight ends and running backs getting oth stronger and faster, adding an athlete of this caliber on the defensive side of the football certainly wouldn’t hurt.

He has 164 tackles, including 5.5 for losses (with 1 sack), 8 deflections, 4 interceptions (with a TD) and a fumble recovery in his career. He has appeared in 37 games in his career, with 29 starts.

Hundreds of NFL hopefuls flocked to Indianapolis last week with one goal in mind – to elevate their draft stock in front of all 32 clubs. Now that the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine has come to a close, here’s a look back at some of the standouts in each drill as well as other headlines coming out of Indy.

We’ll move onto the next talented cornerback suiting up for the North Team in this year’s Senior Bowl. The North Team has a ton of skilled players that could become key contributors after the 2019 NFL Draft. Former four-year starting USC Trojans cornerback, and five-star recruit, Iman Marshall is one of the more athletic at his position in this year’s Senior Bowl.

Per 247Sports, Marshall was one of the latest additions to the North Team for the Senior Bowl this week. Marshall is set to replace another talented USC defensive back, safety Marvell Tell III in the 2019 Reese’s Senior Bowl due to a lingering injury issue. Tell is one of a number of injured prospects that had to sit out the Senior Bowl.

This is a great opportunity to catch a prospect that actually fell down many team’s draft boards during the 2018 season. Marshall had himself a down 2018 campaign, and he hasn’t registered a single interception since 2016. What he did do in 2018 was become a more complete player for a USC defense that had a rough year in general. He racked up a career-high 5.5 tackles for loss and his first career forced fumble during his senior campaign.

The offense didn’t give USC’s defense enough support to make much happen in most games this past season. That’s one of the factors that led to USC having a tremendous letdown of a 2018 season, and why it missed the postseason entirely. Texas football was one of the teams that Marshall and the Trojans fell short against during the regular season.

“After playing four years at the collegiate level, I’m well-seasoned, experienced and ready to take my talents to the next level,” said Tell. “My body of work speaks for itself. I covered 1,381 pass plays in college, and allowed only 795 yards in four years.” The 6’2 200lbs safety from USC is correct. He is the modern day Iron Man; defending 2,646 of 3,589 snaps (74%), allowing six touchdowns despite being targeted 111 times, and only committing six penalties during his career as a Trojan.

Respected NFL talent evaluators recognize Tell’s talent and value. “[His] football IQ, combined with his physicality, speed, and ability to play downhill will attract NFL GMs,” says Gil Brandt, former Dallas Cowboys Vice President of Player Personnel and current senior NFL.com analyst. Brandt has told numerous media sites that he believes Tell should be a Top 50 selection in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Tell also excels as a leader. He was a team captain at USC known for his role-modeling, professionalism, discipline and responsibility. Tell makes a strong first impression. His agents, Leigh Steinberg and Chris Cabott, were impressed when Tell wore a suit to their final meeting before signing. “It’s rare to see an athlete go to such lengths to demonstrate how seriously he takes a process,” commented Steinberg and Cabott. “We think front offices and coaches will be equally impressed with Marvell’s intelligence, performance and demeanor.”

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