NFL Analysis


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Calen Bullock 2024 NFL Draft: Combine Results, Scouting Report For Houston Texans Safety

Sep 2, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojans safety Calen Bullock (7) against the Nevada Wolf Pack in the first half at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 NFL Draft is getting close, making it an excellent time to highlight some of the class' best players with scouting reports. Each report will include strengths, weaknesses and background information. 

Here's our report on Calen Bullock.

Calen Bullock's 2024 NFL COMBINE RESULTS

  • Height: 6-foot-2
  • Weight: 188
  • 40-yard dash: 4.48
  • 10-yard dash: 1.51
  • Vertical jump: DNP
  • Broad jump: DNP
  • Arm: 32 1/2"
  • Wingspan: 78 1/8"



  • Played almost exclusively on the back end in 2022 in split safety and post-safety in single-high coverages.
  • Outstanding length with long arms. Can cover ground on the back end with his stride length and play speed. 
  • Excellent range playing on the back end. Can work from the hash to opposite numbers to make plays on the ball.
  • Comfortable pedal on the back end with easy transition and change of direction. He can flip his hips and open his stride.
  • Played top-down from the back end with quickness and burst. Excellent downhill and lateral range with speed.
  • Run game snaps in which he played downhill with smooth athleticism and good tackling ability. Fluid athlete. 
  • Snaps in which he played aggressively and competitively downhill from the back end. Played fast with urgency. 
  • Showed the vision, range, plant and drive burst of a back-end safety. Read routes effectively. 
  • Athletic, physical traits and skill set best suited to be a back-end safety. Traits to be a post-safety. 
  • 2023 – More alignment diversity with many more snaps in the box and slot in addition to playing on the back end.
  • Fluid mover with a gliding feel as run-and-chase-pursuit player and rangy back-end safety. Long strider.
  • Continued to show desired range playing on the back end. Covered ground fluidly and easily with stride length.
  • Reads routes well and plays the ball effectively. Short-area burst and long speed to close down separation.  
  • Snaps in which he matched up man-to-man on TE from off-coverage alignment.
  • A lot of experience playing man coverage vs. TE and slot wide receivers. Can he do that at the next level?


  • Competitive as a tackler but did not play with much physicality and strength. Not a bring the wood kind of safety.
  • Rarely aligned in the box or the slot or to the boundary. Almost exclusively a deep safety aligned to the field. 
  • Can Bullock fill the role of an interchangeable safety playing in the box and being a physical factor in the run game? 
  • Not many snaps in which he matched up man to man on TEs. Length and athleticism suggest he can do that.
  • 2023 – Too often when he played downhill in the run game. He stopped his feet before contact.
  • Technique as a tackler when coming downhill was problematic. He dropped his head and threw his body.
  • There were too many snaps in which his eyes got caught in the wrong place, and he was too late to react.
  • Issues at times as back-end safety processing receiver distribution and route concepts. Late to responsibility. 
  • Play strength is an issue. He plays with a competitive nature but is just not strong enough to win the physical battles.

Jan 2, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Tulane Green Wave running back Tyjae Spears (22) scores a touchdown past USC Trojans defensive back Calen Bullock (7) during the first half in the 2023 Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports


Bullock will likely transition to the next level as a back-end safety with his thin frame and excellent play speed and range that consistently showed up on tape. Bullock is long, lean and athletic. While there was a competitive and physical nature to his game, he did not exhibit the play strength and tackling technique needed to play with any consistency in the box. 

Bullock’s tape presented somewhat of a dilemma. He was physically tough in his mindset and approach yet lacked the play strength to execute his mentality. Too often, he was physically beaten as a run defender. Bullock is at his best as a post-safety, where his gliding strides and sideline-to-sideline range can best be maximized. 

That would project and transition best in a defense that features Cover 1 and Cover 3 as foundations. While Bullock has the length and athleticism to match up to NFL TE, he might not have the needed play strength to stay connected to their routes. 

It’s questionable whether defensive coordinators would feel comfortable with those matchups, but Bullock must, at times, match up with TEs. The question is whether he can do that detached from the formation. Bullock’s best transition to the NFL is not a mystery. He is a single-high coverage safety, bringing higher-level range with his stride length and play speed. He has excellent ball tracking and ball production skills, which give him a playmaking dimension. 

There are meaningful limitations to his game regarding recognition, reaction, run defense, and overall play strength that need to be improved significantly before Bullock can develop into a quality starting post-safety. One of the main questions that teams and coaches will have to get a feel for is whether Bullock can develop into more of an interchangeable safety with a stronger primary run support dimension and man-cover skills.


Bullock came out of southern California as a four-star recruit and stayed home to attend USC. He played significant snaps as a freshman at multiple secondary positions before playing primarily safety in 2022.

In 2022, Bullock predominantly aligned to the field in split-safety looks. There were man coverage snaps in which he matched up man-to-man on the TE and slot WR. Bullock aligned to the boundary and made a strong downhill tackle in the run game vs. Oregon State. He had some strong snaps vs. Arizona, playing downhill and making tackles in the run game and WR screens.

In 2023, Bullock also predominantly lined up to the field (almost always the passing strength of the offensive formation), and when the formation was trips, he often matched up man-to-man. He continued to get snaps in which he matched up to slot WR (especially #3 to trips). There were Cover 2 snaps in which he was the middle-hole defender. Bullock's role expanded in 2023 with more snaps in the box and in the slot with the distribution between playing on the back end (still the most snaps) and the box and the slot much more even.