Heading into the 2022 season, Jordan Battle was one of my top defensive backs, and I believed he was a first-round lock. His 2022 tape was good, but I liked 2021 much better. Battle is still one of the most well-rounded safeties in the class. I wanted to see more aggression and a step forward this past season, and Brian Branch seemed to emerge as a leader, perhaps limiting growth opportunities for Battle.
- College: Alabama
- Height: 6’1”
- Weight: 210 lbs.
- Age: 22 yrs. (December 14, 2000)
- Year: Senior
- Hands: 8.5”
- Arm Length: 32”
- Bench: 17 Reps
- 40-Yard Dash: 4.55
- 20-Yard Split: 7.21
- 10-Yard Split: 1.56
- Draft Projection: Late First Round to Middle of Second Round
Battle hails from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and played his high school football at the powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas High School. He was a four-star recruit and the 43rd-ranked player in the 247Sports Composite for the class of 2019. Battle received 27 offers and committed to Ohio State initially but flipped his commitment to Alabama after Urban Meyer’s departure.
Each year in Tuscaloosa, Battle saw his playing time increase. As a sophomore, he tallied 66 total tackles with an interception returned for a score. Battle had an impressive junior year, raking in 85 tackles with three interceptions – including two returned for touchdowns.
As mentioned in the opening, Battle had a bit of a step back in production in 2022, and the game tape was less impressive as his role evolved. He moved from a strong safety role to playing more as a free safety. He had 71 total tackles and an interception and missed some time with a leg injury.
Smooth and Versatile
Battle is a fun player to watch on film; he’s incredibly smooth and flows with directions of plays effortlessly. He can play strong safety, free safety, or nickel corner. Battle has tremendous range and can cover a lot of ground rapidly. He transitions from run defense to pass defense in a snap and doesn’t look frenetic when doing so. Traffic doesn’t slow him down either, he sifts through defenders with ease.
The #Packers plan to meet with Alabama’s Safety Jordan Battle today at the #NFLCombine. A projected 3rd round pick via #PFF‘s mock draft simulator. Good frame for the next level at 6’1″ and 206lbs. Very fluid hips, and kind’ve reminds me of Adrian Amos. pic.twitter.com/DB4279Ytzn— Dan Edwards (@PackerEddy_FF) March 2, 2023
I love this play on the tweet above, you can see the range he covers to make the play and how quickly he recognizes where he has to be to cover the receiver. It’s an athletic interception and not an easy grab.
Great job by Jordan Battle in the “Back Peddle and Transition” drill at the NFL Combine. #NFLCombine #RollTide #AlabamaFootball pic.twitter.com/4TlqbLbTNl— The Bama Standard™️🐘 (@TheBamaStandard) March 5, 2023
And in this tweet, we see the hip fluidity and movement skills. Battle is an incredible athlete, these skills will help make him successful.
His intelligence is on display when he’s in the box. Battle diagnoses screens and reacts quickly to plays as they are developing. His range is, once again, on full display in these situations. Unfortunately, at times his range leads him to overshoot a play, but that should get better with coaching at the next level.
Alabama Safety Jordan Battle— Full-Time Dame 💰 (@DP_NFL) August 15, 2021
+Skilled in man coverage
He read the route QB with a flat-footed break for the pick 6! This safety class is a lot of fun! pic.twitter.com/YN1NoYZMAI
In this play, Battle reads the QB and jumps the route, returning the INT for a TD. He returned three of his six interceptions for scores in college.
Finally, Battle is a good hitter – he squares up when ready to make a tackle and can lay down a big hit when needed. He isn’t afraid to attack ball carriers aggressively and doesn’t shy from contact.
If you think Jordan Battle is just a coverage safety than you are sadly mistaken. pic.twitter.com/em4fZWxvyS— TC. (@GoatLatia) March 2, 2023
I love the ability to break off coverage and lay a smackdown on a ball carrier right before the first down marker. I want my safety to be this type of playmaker.
Battle can cover some ground and is an intelligent player in coverage, but as man-to-man cover goes – he’s got some kinks in his game. He has the physical traits to mimic receivers with good hips to transition within routes. But it doesn’t show in the game film as a strength. He works best playing off receivers and then diagnosing as the route develops. Battle has good enough speed to flip and run with receivers if they get past him.
I mentioned that I love how physical he can be, but Battle will take bad angles and over-pursue at times, leaving him out of position. If the play is in front of him and closer to the line of scrimmage, Battle thrives by making those plays. It’s when it gets past the first few yards we then see his recognition and positioning cause concerns.
The Wrap Up
The former Crimson Tide safety will hear his name called early, I am betting he gets second-round draft capital. His intelligence and versatility will help his transition to the NFL, and he will see the field early. Battle is intelligent, and teams will be able to use him in multiple ways.
As far as IDP, I am not very high on Battle and think his versatility may cap him a bit. Moving around the formation may hinder tackle opportunities, and although he’s a hard hitter, his over-pursuit and overplaying ball carriers may end up limiting his role in run support.
Battle is going to be a good player in the NFL and should be in the league for a long time. I love his role versatility for an NFL team, but I am hesitant to rely on him in fantasy.
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