STRENGTHS - Smart and instinctive, Kovacs is consistently able to get started towards the ball quickly, which helps him to play faster than his 40 time. These quick starts help him to constantly be around the ball on running plays. When he stays under control and over his feet he can be an effective wrap-up tackler who drives up into ball carrier and makes good tackles. Aligning near the LOS often, Kovacs is smooth and efficient in his pass drops to flat, reads and reacts to the QB/Pass well and flashes a good closing burst to either make play on ball or the tackle right after the catch. Although he lacks top speed, he is effective covering backs to the flat and tight ends on short routes. In deep alignment his instincts/reads help him to close quickly on passes in front of him so that he can make good tackles after the catch. A tough and highly competitive player with great intangibles, Kovacs is the type of safety who is often written off due to a lack of athleticism, but ends up sticking as a backup safety and special teams player for many years.
WEAKNESSES - Although highly productive at Michigan, Kovacs has not shown the athleticism I believe is necessary to be a productive starting safety in the NFL. His lack of foot quickness, speed and burst limit his range in deep coverage and make him a liability trying to cover slot receivers and fast tight ends in man coverage. He will not be able to consistently get outside from 2-deep alignment to help the cornerback with over-the-top coverage. Despite no doubt showing the ability to be a sound, wrap-up tackler, he has a bad habit of getting over-aggressive and lunging/diving to make tackles, which leads to too many missed tackles for a safety who is the last line of defense.
SUMMARY - A former walk-on at Michigan, I do not believe Kovacs can carry over his production to the NFL to be a starter. However, he has many of the traits to be a high end backup safety who contributes on special teams. However, too often this year I have heard him compared to former Wisconsin safety Jim Leonhard who was short and went undrafted out of college, but turned into a good starting safety and punt returner. In my opinion, Kovacs is not near the player in college that Leonhard was and will not defy the odds to be more than a backup at the next level. Overall, I would not draft Kovacs as I do not think he can be effective playing in coverage in today's pass first NFL. However, I would sign him as a free agent because with his intangibles he can likely stick as a fourth safety and special teams player.