2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Florida State SAF Derwin James


PLAYER PROFILE


Height: 6-2

Weight: 215

College: Florida State

Class: Redshirt Sophomore


TRAITS BREAKDOWN


SIZE/PHYSICAL TRAITS (5/5)

  • Great size for either safety position
  • Long arms (33″)

SPEED/RANGE (13.5/15)

  • Fast with great closing speed (ran 4.47 in the 40)
  • Good sideline-to-sideline range

TECHNIQUE/AGILITY (13.5/15)

  • Fluid hips
  • Smooth backpedal

RECOGNITION/INSTINCTS (17/20)

  • Good play recognition — processes play-action quickly and doesn’t bite hard on play fakes; sniffs out run plays
  • Good instincts — always around the ball
  • Leadership ability — made defensive calls and helped teammates get aligned
  • Could do a better job of reading quarterbacks’ eyes in zone coverage

COVER SKILLS (18/20)

  • Very good man coverage ability — allows very little separation and runs routes for receivers
  • Has shown the ability to lock up running backs, tight ends and slot receivers in man coverage
  • Pretty good in zone coverage — good awareness, but can be a step slow in zone at times
  • Can play effectively at strong safety, free safety, slot corner or dime linebacker

BALL SKILLS/PLAYMAKING (7.5/10)

  • 3 interceptions in 26 career games
  • Dropped a number of interceptions
  • Does a nice job of getting head around to locate the ball
  • 11 passes defensed in 2017
  • 40″ vertical to contest jump balls

TACKLING/RUN SUPPORT (9.5/10)

  • Very good tackler — consistently breaks down and secures tackles (only missed 15 of 160 career tackle attempts, per PFF)
  • Somewhat of a catch-tackler
  • Good stack-and-shed technique
  • Hard-hitter
  • Generally takes good pursuit angles to the ball-carrier
  • Effort wanes vs. the run at times — will quit on plays early and not pursue from the backside

BLITZ ABILITY (5/5)

  • Very good blitzer
  • Displays good timing and explosive first-step quickness
  • Good flexibility to dip underneath offensive linemen
  • Length makes it difficult to throw over him when he gets his hands up on blitzes
  • Very strong — has generated push against offensive linemen
  • Could add a couple pass rush moves to his arsenal

DURABILITY (-1)

  • Torn meniscus in left knee ended 2016 season, missed 11 games
  • Reinjured same knee and missed two games in 2017

VERDICT


NFL COMPARISON: Reshad Jones

GRADE: 88.00/100.00 — (EARLY) 1ST ROUND — Good player with Pro Bowl potential

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