Florida’s Undersized Ahmad Black Makes Big Plays

March 22, 2011 | Brian Billick

Many NFL scouts and talent evaluator will tell you that Ahmad Black is undersized and doesn’t have elite speed or quickness.  He showed up to the combine at 5’9 1/2 and 184 pounds.  Combine that with the fact that he only ran a 4.78 and jumped a 35.5 vertical, he doesn’t have a ton of people salivating at mouth.

Given the number listed above, he is  obviously a smaller player playing a very physical position in the NFL.

But what I will tell you, is that despite his lack of size and speed, Black always seems to be around the football.  On the field, he plays faster than his 40-time suggests by playing smart and instinctive.  You will rarely find him out of position in zone schemes and he reads WR’s well in man coverage.  Before playing safety, he was a cover corner that has no problem manning up on the slot receiver.  He displays a smooth and fluid backpedal with an efficient transition into his break on the ball.  He is a reliable tackler, but gets in trouble when he leaves his feet in an effort to make a lunging hit.

While Ahmad Black may not be physically intimidating, he shows up on the field and makes big plays against the best of competition.  He picked Sam Bradford and Matt Stafford before they turned pro and shined at the Sr. Bowl.  In my opinion, Black may not be the most gifted athlete, but he is an exceptional football player.