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Troy Warner UDFA profile

Name Recognition

Younger brothers are often not as successful as their more famous NFL older brothers. Terrence Holt, the younger brother of Torry Holt, was an early 5th round pick in 2003. He played 4 seasons for the Lions, 2 of them as a starter, before signing a 5 year contract as a free agent with Arizona to be their new starting free safety. He struggled and was released after only one season with the Cards. Terrence had a decent career for a 5th round pick, but he was never a star.

One of the better safeties in that 2003 draft turned out to be an undrafted player, Quintin Mikell, who wasn't invited to the Combine and ran slowly at his pro day. After the first 4 seasons of their respective careers, Holt was the more successful player. He had already started for 2 years and got a $3 million salary in free agency. Meanwhile, Mikell was only a backup safety who had started just a single game with the Eagles. Mikell was an outstanding special teams player and sometimes the Eagles used him in short yardage run situations. Early in his career, Mikell wasn't as proficient with pass coverage duties as a deep lying safety. Mikell got a 2nd contract to stay with Philly, but only with a $1 million salary.

Things began to change in 2007 as the two players started playing under their 2nd NFL contracts. Both of the starting safeties for the Eagles were out at various points in the season and Mikell stepped in, splitting 11 starts between free safety and strong safety. Over the next 3 seasons, he played great as the starting strong safety, twice being named 2nd team All Pro. In 2011, Mikell signed with the Rams as a free agent and played for the Rams through the 2012 season.

By the time his career was over, Mikell was arguably the 2nd best safety in that draft class after Troy Polamalu. Pretty good for an undrafted player who early on was pegged as being just a special teams player.

Former BYU safety, Troy Warner, isn't as talented as his older brother, Fred Warner, the linebacker for the Niners. Troy Warner didn't get drafted like Terrence Holt. He doesn't have a college resume as impressive as Mikell's. Warner had an injury marred career at BYU, while Mikell was a two time conference defensive MVP at Boise State. Mikell had 199 tackles and 15 TFLs over his last two seasons in college. Warner only had 29 tackles last season and only 2.5 TFLs in his entire career. Nothing on paper points to Troy Warner ever being great in the NFL or even being an eventual starter. Can he at least stick on the Rams roster, even it it is just as a special teams player or on the practice squad?

Background

23 years old. Redshirt Senior. Degree in exercise and wellness. Married since 2019, his wife worked as a nurse in a hospital.

4 star recruit. One of 8 BYU captains last season (remember that the starting QB, Zach Wilson, was not one of the team's captains.)

As true freshman in 2016, started 9 games at CB. Missed 3 games due to right hamstring injury. Had 7 PBUs.

In 2017, he made 8 starts, but in the middle of the season had a season ending foot injury. Lisfranc injury in his left foot, surgery with pins inserted. Unbeknownst to Warner and the doctors, a piece of one of the plates inserted in his foot broke off and got engraved into his bone. He played in 2018 and made 4 starts, but was bothered by pain and inflammation and when they figured out the problem he had a 3rd surgery on his foot to remove the object. Warner was held out of practices early in the 2019 season, then played in the final 4 games of the season, counting as a redshirt year. Dayan Ghanwoloku, a Rams UDFA last year, was one of the players who played more due to Warner's injuries.

In 2020 (in 12 games) Warner had 29 tackles, the first two INTs of his career, and 1.5 TFLs. BYU played relatively weak opponents in 2020 and in some games Warner didn't get involved in much action. He was 9th on the team in tackles. For his career, he had zero sacks and 2.5 TFLs.

Warner suffered what was described as a "potentially significant" pec injury during the bench press at his pro day. He also reportedly had a hamstring issue. So, there are no workout numbers for him.

6'1 1/4'' tall, 200 pounds, 30 3/4'' arms, 75 1/2'' wingspan, 9 3/4'' hands.

Sports Illustrated said he's an average athlete, gives up separation in man coverage against TEs, has tight hips, lacks range in deep zone coverage and is just a camp body.

Sports Illustrated ranked him as the 14th best strong safety. Of the SS on their board with UDFA grades, he ranked 4th.

TDN not ranked.

PFN 567th overall. Jovan Grant, the Rams UDFA safety from Merrimack, was ranked 471st.

Jovan Grant: 6' 3/8'' tall, 214 pounds, 31 1/2'' arms, 73 3/8'' wingspan, 10 1/4'' hands.

Jovan Grant: 4.70 sec (40 time), 1.60 sec (10 yard split), 20 bench reps, 40'' vert, 9'10'' broad, 4.20 sec (shuttle), 6.81 sec (3 cone).

Tony Pauline says Warner has good hands, instincts, wraps up on tackles and has a special teams mentality, but has average closing burst and lacks long speed.

Strengths

Special teams experience. Was on punt return unit last season, blocking sometimes on the line and other times behind the line. On FG defense.

Played SS in a 3-4 defense. Sometimes used as CB or edge containment defender closer to the LOS.

Composed in coverage, doesn't panic or do silly, unnecessary things that draw penalties. Stays deep and doesn't get lured out of position too often.

Some man coverage skills. Delivered in some 3rd and 4th down situations covering TEs and WRs in man. Had some good reps against Jacob Harris.

Mature, leadership characteristics. Lines up other players pre-snap, seems to communicate well.

Weaknesses

Lacks aggression. Makes conservative decisions on field, hesitates, not disruptive. Doesn't find his way to the ball enough.

Handsy in man coverage in slot. Not smooth in transition at the top of route, can be stressed trying to mirror the WR out of break. Not enough speed to stay in hip pocket of WR and run across the field on crosser. Appeared to use his hand to grab TE in man coverage, borderline penalty.

Takes poor angles in deep zone coverage. Lacks instincts for how to move in relation to the route combination and the QB's read.

Lousy job blocking, lazy effort, got his punt returner nailed by the first defender running up the middle of the field.

Only career INTs were easy picks that came from poor QB plays. One INT was like fielding a punt.

Average speed. Has to dig hard to try to run fast when he's not at ideal angle or to try to make up ground in coverage.

Average size and tackling power in open field. Doesn't attack the ball carrier with enough strength and speed. Got stiff armed and pushed down by RB, unable to make tackle. Tentative tackler who tends to play it safe.

Used predominantly as deep safety in split field zone coverage, not required to display range in single high looks.

Injury history, has struggled to stay healthy, contributing to him never really fulfilling recruiting hype.

Verdict

I think Nick Scott projects better as an NFL player. Unless one of the other safeties gets injured during the preseason, Warner is just competing for a PS spot. He can play special teams and has intangible traits that translate to being a reliable backup, so he has a chance to hang around as a fringe roster player. Warner isn't as intriguing a DB compared to some former Rams, such as Kevin Peterson (UDFA 2016, currently a free agent), Steven Parker (2018 UDFA, spent most of last season on the PS of the Dallas Cowboys, his 3rd NFL team after the Rams lost him to a waiver claim) or Cody Davis (2013 UDFA, currently with the Patriots and signed a new contract). I see Warner as having limited upside.