College: Mississippi State
Birthday: August 8, 1979
Strengths: The Bulldogs switched Pig Prather from offense to defense after his freshman year, and both have benefited enormously.
Prather is a big-hitting strong safety with speed, smarts and terrific, well-honed instincts. A sound tackler, Prather plays the run particularly well, and Mississippi State likes to put him on the line of scrimmage so he can wreak havoc in the opponents’ backfield. Prior to this year, he had 11 tackles-for-losses, including five sacks.
Prather also does well in pass coverage, possessing the speed needed to stay man-to-man on most wide receivers, which he needs, because he loves to press his man at the line of scrimmage — he’s very physical and very aggressive in pass coverage.
Areas of concern: Last year, Prather blew out his ACL in the second-to-last game of the year, and though he seems to have successfully rehabbed his knee and shown no ill-effects, he is, in effect, damaged goods.
Prather is still raw in pass coverage. Right now, he can make up for some of his deficient skills with speed and power, but he’ll have a tough time hiding it in the NFL. It’s a simple case of needing some refinement and playing in a different scheme that allows him to work on it. The Bulldog like Prather better off at the line of scrimmage, not back in the secondary.
Is he sponge-worthy?: Simply put, 2002 is a great year for safeties. And Prather is probably the third or fourth-ranked prospect, maybe even fifth, so yes, there’s a chance he’ll fall into the second or third round, and yes, there’s a chance Houston will be interested.
In addition to safety, Prather has also excelled at the return game; in fact, his kickoff return average (24.1) ranks third all-time at Mississippi State. He’s a big hitter with brains who has risen to the top of his class despite only two years experience at the strong safety position.
Prather has a tremendous work ethic, as evidenced from his quick return from the ACL, not to mention how hard he’s worked to master his new position. If the Texans do look his way, they’ll be getting a physical specimen with room to grow, and the desire to improve.
Pig Prather Return to The War Room
Fully healed Prather has no doubts The Clarion Ledger checks in on Pig Prather;s return from ACL surgery.
Mississippi State’s Dog named Pig back on the prowl The Sporting News warns SEC opponents to beware of a Pig on the prowl.