2021 NFL Draft: Tyree Gillespie Player Profile

Tyree Gillespie 2021 NFL Draft Overview

Position: Safety
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 209 pounds
School: Missouri

Tyree Gillespie 2021 NFL Draft Profile

Tyree Gillespie is a safety with plenty of upside. Surely, playing in the SEC Conference is the best training a college football player can get in preparation for the NFL. Originally, Gillespie played both sides of the ball by playing running back and safety at Vanguard High School near Orlando, Florida.

Missouri recruited him as a three star recruit. Scouts will likely label Gillespie as a developmental player or a special teams ace. And there’s nothing wrong with having a niche to be an expert at, but there is plenty of upside potential for Gillespie.

Not to mention, Gillespie ran a 4.38 40-yard dash at Missouri’s Pro Day and that will get the attention of NFL teams. Obviously, his speed came in a lot quicker than expected, but it will make teams take notice.

Gillespie’s performance in college gets overlooked a bit because of a loaded defensive roster at Missouri due to linebacker Nick Bolton and other standouts. But make no mistake, the 50 tackles and seven passes defended is worth noting. He is also extremely tough against the run; he is always up to land a vicious blow. Also, he is great at playing zone and gauging where a play will end up, but his hyper-aggressiveness can sometimes get him in trouble.

He does need to work on taking the appropriate angle and wrapping up better. Although, he did shutdown Kyle Pitts, the highly touted prospect from Florida, which is no easy task. Gillespie excelled in the game against Alabama too. The consistency of Gillespie stepping up in big moments keeps showing up on game film.

The value of a great safety is their ability to read a quarterback and confuse them. Film study on safeties can make it difficult to gauge the talent, but Gillespie’s instincts and ability to fool a quarterback into bad throws are natural. The film against Alabama may be one of his best games from the 2020 season.

Strengths

  • Dominant from inside the box
  • Game changer with instincts to set a tone
  • Speed to cover any receiver
  • Phenomenal movement when closing the gap
  • Enforcer

Weaknesses

  • Can improve on man-to-man coverage
  • Over aggressiveness can be a blessing and a curse
  • Needs to learn to take a better angle
  • Lacks some common sense instincts
  • Consistency

NFL Comparison: Justin Hardee

Teams With Need at Position: New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, Las Vegas Raiders, New Orleans Saints, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions

Projection: Third round

Bottom Line on Tyree Gillespie

Gillespie will be moving up the draft boards due to his exceptional Pro Day. His speed was thought to be a lot of slower until he blazed a sub 4.40 40-yard dash. Still, he has work to do if he wants to play on Sundays. He has everything a coach looks and he should develop into a starting role eventually. For him, special teams is a place for him to carve out a niche to get on the field early. Furthermore, fans will fall in love with his hard hitting “no fear” playing style.

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