Photo of Jamie Silva
Grade
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  • 5'11" Height
  • 205LBS. Weight

Overview

The pulse of the Eagles' defense, few safeties make plays downhill like Silva did at Boston College. He is a versatile defender with experience at both free and strong safety and is the team's active leader with 302 career tackles. He established himself as one of college football's elite kickoff coverage defenders. On that unit, he shows a penchant for making big plays and competed with reckless abandon that reminds professional scouts of former Buffalo Bills standout Steve Tasker. Silva tallied 38 tackles with a pair of fumble recoveries on special teams during his career.

Silva was a four-sport standout at East Providence High School, where he earned Rhode Island Player of the Year honors from the Providence Gridiron Club in 2002. A two-time All-State selection during his final two seasons, he added 2002 Rhode Island Golden Dozen Team accolades. He was a four-year, two-way starter, competing as a running back and safety, joining his brother, Steve on the varsity squad during his first two years. Jamie Silva also handled return duties and saw action as a linebacker.

Steve Silva was named USA Today Rhode Island State Player of the Year and Gatorade Rhode Island Player of the Year at East Providence High, where he was also a two-time All-State and All-League selection. A three-time All-Area honoree, he rushed for over 3,000 yards and scored 47 touchdowns during his career. He went on to Holy Cross, where he earned first-team All-American honors from the American Football Coaches Association and the Sports Network, in addition to being named the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year and the Patriot League Special Teams Player of the Year as a senior. He finished his career with 615 carries for 2,646 yards (4.3-yard average) and 32 touchdowns, adding 1,180 yards and two scores on 154 catches, 480 yards and two touchdowns on 28 punt returns (17.1 avg) and 817 yards with a score on 34 kickoff returns (24.0 avg). He ranks second in school history with 5,123 all-purpose yards, as he also completed 4 of 8 passes for 71 yards and three scores.

Jamie Silva ran for more than 4,500 yards, including 2,100 in his senior season, as he scored 29 touchdowns in 2002 and 49 touchdowns in his four years with the varsity. He also had 16 interceptions and more than 300 tackles in his career, leading the team to the state Division I title in 1999 and 2002.

The team captain was chosen MVP as a senior and was also a three-time All-Area and four-time All-Division selection. Silva competed as a forward on the basketball team and handled shot put, hammer and relay duties for the track squad. He also lettered in baseball.

Instead of following his older brother to Holy Cross, Jamie Silva enrolled at Boston College in 2003, spending the season on the scout team as a strong safety. Silva was one of only a handful of BC players to make their collegiate debut in the starting lineup, as he started the first three of 12 games in 2004 games at strong safety. He finished ninth on the team with 43 tackles (21 solo), as he picked off a pass and deflected another. Showing his great feel for the ball, he recovered three fumbles and caused another, delivering nine tackles (seven solo) with two fumble recoveries on special teams.

Silva was an All-Atlantic Coast Conference honorable mention in 2005, as he started nine (two at strong safety, seven at free safety) of 12 contests. He led the Eagles with 87 tackles (60 solo), including a sack and 5 1/2 stops behind the line of scrimmage; he batted away two passes and intercepted another. He also made eight tackles (five solo) on special-teams coverage units.

As a junior, Silva started all 12 games in which he played, sitting out the Maine game after he suffered a left knee strain vs. North Carolina State. He ranked third on the squad with 57 tackles (37 solo), including one sack and 6 1/2 stops for losses. He also intercepted four passes and deflected another, coming up with six tackles on special teams.

With the new coaching staff in place for 2007, Silva saw his role change. Instead of playing mostly as an extra linebacker in the box, he was allowed to roam the field freely from his free safety position. Prior to the season, BC cornerback DeJuan Tribble garnered most of the media attention, but it was the performance of Silva, who become a finalist for the coveted Jim Thorpe Award, that was the story for BC. He received numerous All-American honors and his hard-hitting style of play was critical for a defense that led the nation in rush defense, allowing only 68.08 yards per game. BC ranked 25th nationally in total defense, giving up 331.38 yards.

During the regular season, Silva led the team with a career-high 115 tackles (75 solo), including 1 1/2 sacks and four stops behind the line of scrimmage. He recovered a fumble that he advanced for a touchdown, caused two fumbles and deflected three passes. He also led the team with six interceptions and registered 15 tackles (12 solo) on the special-teams units.

In 49 games at Boston College, Silva started 37, including four at strong safety and 33 more at free safety. He had 302 career tackles (193 solo), adding 3 1/2 sacks for minus-23 yards and 15 1/2 stops for losses totaling 55 yards. He caused three fumbles, recovered four others, including one that he returned 51 yards for a touchdown, and deflected seven passes. He posted 38 tackles (28 solo) with two fumble recoveries in special-teams activity. His 12 interceptions rank fourth on the school's career-record list, returning those pass thefts for 108 yards (9.0-yard average) and a touchdown.

Analysis

Strengths

Positives: Has a thick upper-body frame with good chest and arm tone, tight waist and hips, thick thighs and calves and minimal body fat...Physical tackler with the frame to add at least another 10 pounds without any loss of quickness...Outstanding coverage man for the kickoff and punt units, playing with reckless abandon (see 2007 Georgia Tech, Army and Virginia Tech games)...Has the balance and body control to slip under blocks and apply backside pressure...Very alert of the action on the field, playing with impressive strength to quickly gain leverage...Competitive player, who makes quick decisions and excels at keeping the action in front of him, showing proper wrap-up tackle technique, as he does a good job of attacking the ballcarrier's outside leg to impede forward progress (see 2007 Wake Forest, Maryland and Virginia Tech/ACC Championship games)...Sets the tone of the game with his aggressive play and does not hesitate to close once he spots the ball, as he plays with good functional strength that allows him to explode behind his hits...Has the field awareness to adjust to the ball in flight and is efficient at handling the switch-off when working in the zone...Has a good feel for his assignment, showing the ability to anticipate to get a jump on the ball...Plays well within the defensive game plan and is not the type that will neglect his responsibilities...Has a strong desire to fill the rush lanes, extending his arms properly to engulf ballcarriers...Charges with good urgency to fill the rush lanes and is a good force-type safety with the athletic agility to make plays in the open field...Consistently goes for the ball, taking proper angles as he times his hits...Displays the vision to turn and locate the ball in a crowd and while he lacks blazing speed, he is quick to close, staying low in his pads...Secure tackler who displays his power as he consistently drives the opponent back...Exceptional worker in the training room, so much so, the coaches have to force him to leave...Plays with great emotion and desire, knowing he has the strength to deliver crunching tackles when asked to play near the line of scrimmage...Shows good route awareness and maintains contact on the receiver playing in the short area, demonstrating the natural hands and leaping ability to compete for the ball at its high point...Keeps his shoulders square and stays low, driving with his legs to rock the ball carrier back at the line of scrimmage...Runs with an effortless stride and is very decisive in his movements on plays in front of him...Plays with a total disregard for his own safety and is the type that plays through pain...Gets a good jump on the ball to stay with the receivers in the short-range area, using his hands well in attempts to impede the route's progression...Rare to see him take wasted steps in transition coming out of his backpedal and into his breaks...Loves to compete for the high passes, as he is good at elevating to catch the ball in his hands and away from his body...Always sticks his head into the pile and is very good at coming up and filling the rush lanes, looking like the Colts' Bob Sanders with his ability to use his hands to slip blocks and push the fullback back into the hole (uses his hands well to counter the bigger blocker's moves)...Highly intelligent player (note Wonderlic score of 29) and will have no problems digesting a complicated playbook...On special teams, he is a highly effective and fearless wedge-buster who breaks loose up the middle in a flash...Not used often, but has that low center of gravity and leg drive to surprise a lethargic blocker when asked to shoot the gaps and blitz...Has no trouble mirroring tight ends, backs and slot receivers, turning and trailing well while not allowing any separation underneath. Negatives: Has shorter-than-ideal arm reach and small hands, but compensates with good leaping ability, timing and natural hands to reach and pluck the ball at its highest point...Earlier in his career, he looked a bit stiff in his hip turn when transitioning, but had better lateral range as a senior, as he refined his backpedal, staying lower in his pads to come out of his breaks with few wasted steps and no longer rounds his cuts...Lacks that sharp burst or second gear needed to recover when beaten deep, but uses his hands well to press and makes a conscious effort to turn and trail the receiver throughout the route...Has improved his backpedal technique, but he will round his breaks at times (gets caught in his feet at times trying to break in the open and needs to improve his hip swerve in order to get a more fluid motion when turning on the ball)...Takes very good angles to close on the ball, but when he over-pursues, he is not always capable of recovering and getting back into the play...Might be a better fit at strong safety, where he excels at playing downhill, as he might not have the desired range to handle the speedy receivers in their attempts to separate in the deep secondary. Compares To: COREY CHAVOUS-ST. Louis...Few safeties in the professional ranks have the instinctive feel for the ball and knowledge of the action in front of him that Chavous displays. Silva plays with the same field vision, ball anticipation and determination. He is a physical tackler who excels in run support and does a nice job of impeding the ballcarrier's forward progress with his hard-hitting wrap-up tackling skills. He has small, yet natural hands to make the interception and is very good at gaining placement in attempts to reroute the receiver. What he lacks in hip fluidness and explosive second gear, he makes up for with solid tackling skills, taking proper angles and great anticipation skills. Toss in his total disregard for his own well-being, determination to make the play and an added bonus with his kamikaze-style of play on special teams and you have player who is certain to be a fan favorite.
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.
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