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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: S Tyler Coyle

  • The Draft Network
  • April 4, 2021
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Purdue safety Tyler Coyle is one of the belles of the 2021 Pro Day circuit after some eye-opening numbers at the Purdue showcase this spring. Coyle posted monster numbers in just about every test, but his resume on film does not align with the special display he put on for NFL personnel. As such, Coyle makes for a challenging projection after transferring from Connecticut to Purdue for his redshirt senior season of eligibility. Coyle’s instincts in coverage to process route combinations are only modest and he can be suckered into color flashing across his face, which pulls him out of position to defend the football. His best work comes when he’s allowed to flash and react to things in front of his face, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s transitioned into a nickel linebacker/safety hybrid down the road to ease his vision and give him shorter spaces to work. 

Ideal Role: Developmental safety and special teams gunner.

Scheme Fit: Nickel-heavy defensive system featuring three safeties.


Written by Kyle Crabbs

Games watched: Navy (2019), Cincinnati (2019), Northwestern (2020), Nebraska (2020)

Best Game Studied: Navy (2019)

Worst Game Studied: Northwestern (2020)

Football IQ: Coyle will need some patience to cater to his current play and processing—he does not appear to be overly instinctive, so the challenge will be finding the right role to allow him to play fast. He hasn’t shown a lot of anticipation in deeper coverages and can be prone to giving up space when isolated in a one-on-one scenario. Tackling issues are a hard pill to swallow, too. His experience on special teams is an encouraging layer to provide a pathway to the field. 

Tackling: He's guilty of overrunning and being late to gear down when looking to close space from afar. He’s got plenty of physicality and hitting power rolled into an explosive frame, but it is more so a challenge of getting him to align his challenges properly. He's guilty of ambitious angles at times. 

Versatility: Consider him good to go on special teams. His abilities project favorably to both deeper coverage and as a hybrid safety, but you’ll need to get him comfortable first instead of simply throwing him into the fire. He’s almost worth a Day 3 investment alone based on the athletic profile and all the different things you can do with him if the lightbulb comes on. In a worst-case scenario, he’ll still play special teams for you. 

Range: Every once in a while you’ll see that 4.3 speed jump off the screen. He’s got plenty of potential here but needs to trust his eyes and spring into action more quickly. You’d think if he'd ever be ready for a high-post role in single-high, he’d have reached that level of processing already. Short-area twitch is sufficient to play in shallow zone or off-man versus quick game, but he will be vulnerable to double moves and giving up shots over the top. 

Ball Skills: When he’s in the ballpark, he shows a good deal of ability to attack the football. He will lengthen himself appropriately to extend at the catch point and shows good contortion skills to squeeze every inch of leverage out of his position to attack the ball. 

Run Defense: I don’t think it is a coincidence that Coyle was as productive as he was against Navy. When he’s free to drive and attack, his range and twitch show up the most. Tackling issues in space are hard to miss, however—he can be prone to undisciplined challenges and overrunning his fit into the ball carrier. Asking him to play the last line of defense is currently a shaky proposition given his warts. 

Functional Athleticism: Athletically, he’s a marvel. Functionally, he does not play to that potential and ability. His transitions are underwhelming and his range isn’t as significant as you’d expect from a 4.3 athlete. His body control at the catch point flashed as one of his more impressive flashes of ability on film between his time at UCONN and Purdue. 

Competitive Toughness: Coyle has all the size and explosiveness you’d like to see on the back end as a “do-it-all” option, but he appeared to lack confidence too often reading action in order to play instinctively. Without that looseness to his play, much of his hitting power was neutralized by self-inflicted wounds. The good news is he has plenty of untapped potential here for any coach who can push the right buttons. 

Flexibility: He showcases effective mobility of his frame to attack the football in coverage. His comfort in space appears to be most refined when he’s triggering downhill, not when he has to flip and carry his hips vertically to carry down the field. 

Special Teams Ability: Coyle is going to need to make the most of his opportunities as a special teams player if he wants to make an active roster in the NFL. He should get plenty of looks there as a result of his top-shelf athletic profile. He’s taken significant snaps at the college level as a gunner and kick coverage option, so look for his impact to come there early on. 


TDN Consensus: To Be Determined

Kyle Crabbs: 70.5/100

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