Nat Berhe, Strong Safety, San Diego State University
5'10", 193 pounds
Strengths: Berhe will be drafted primarily for his tackling ability--he led the Aztecs this year with 99 tackles and made the 2013 All-Mountain West First Team-Defense. He reads offenses quickly and accurately, and he pursues the ball like his life depends on it. He packs a big punch in each tackle and his quick feet and acceleration keep him in front of ball carriers or wide receivers in the open field. Berhe played four years at SDSU, two of which were at the "Aztec" safety position, or the "jack of all trades" as Berhe described it to Chargers.com. CBS Sports Draft Analyst Rob Rang told the San Diego Union-Tribune that Berhe's flexibility makes him desirable to an increasing number of teams looking for versatile safeties who can play strong or free safety. His football smarts, hard-work mentality, tackling ability and versatility led him to record 299 tackles over 41 career starts.
Weaknesses: The elephant in the room whenever Berhe talks with NFL coaches or general managers is his size. Berhe is only 5'10" and his arms are 30-and-5/8 inches long, according to NFL.com. His NFL.com draft profile reports that he has an impressive 35.5-inch vertical, but the 6'2" receivers he'll face in the NFL will jump just as high and reach even higher. His speed also comes in bursts, so he sometimes struggles on deep routes.
Bottom line: As previously mentioned, Berhe's tackling ability is good enough to get him drafted and to get some early playing time on special teams. But in terms of playing NFL safety, there's a simple question: will he be able to overcome his size disadvantage with his high football IQ, work ethic and versatility?
Take a look at this highlight reel. You'll get to see some of Berhe's strengths in action.
Projected round: 6