Bumper Pool 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report
- 2020 and 2021 Second Team All-SEC
- Four-sport high school athlete who played golf, wrestled, and participated in track & field
- Utilized in high school as a two-way threat and wildcat QB in addition to a role on defense
- Scheme tendencies: Three-high safety shell, frequent Cover 3 with three-man pass rush
- 2022 projected role: Starting inside linebacker
Pros: Bumper Pool is a tackling machine who has proven over the course of the last few seasons to have a nose for the football. He’s been credited with 320 tackles and 20.5 tackles for loss over his last three seasons, including the COVID-19-shortened season in 2020. This level of production is impressive in the SEC and you’ve seen big flashes of booming hits and stout tackles as a part of that resume he’s built for himself as a player. Pool has been a high-motor player and I thought his games showcased effective shallow zone conversions into click-and-close opportunities on extended plays. When he’s allowed to flash and react, you see him at his best to go make a play. This mentality may be well served as a special teams ace and I do think he has enough linear athleticism to serve a role on the kick coverage units to ensure himself value and a role for all 32 NFL franchises. He’s been charged with realistic reps in Arkansas as a coverage player, taking shallow middle and hook/curl zones. Although he doesn’t have the ball skills to win in coverage, those plays have allowed him to flash that ability to trigger and rally to the football. He’s got length and an NFL body to play right away, too.
Cons: I’m not sure I saw an every-down player based on my 2021 games studied. Bumper Pool was not impactful in the passing game and did not showcase an ideal range to serve a role in coverage. Without a passing-down skill set, you are left with a much more narrow field of draft selection opportunities. While he does have this season to recreate himself, he’s been a tenured player and has yet to make that leap. I’m curious what he can become, but he’s not currently someone I would advocate for playing on third downs. His consistency as a tackler seemed less firm in 2021 than it was in 2020—he appeared to take ambitious angles and struggled with redirection and dynamic change of direction to pivot and work himself back into plays. For all the tackles he made, his ability to finish plays when in position was an issue, particularly against both Alabama and Ole Miss—teams that test your ability to cover ground and use the width of the field. Add in some frustrating reps in challenging blocks and Pool has his work cut out for him; I’d love to see him use his length and punch and extend in order to separate and deconstruct blocks as compared to trying to run underneath them.
Bumper Pool NFL Draft Scouting Report by Kyle Crabbs