By: Steve Johnson
Derwin James, S Florida State
6’2 3/4 215 33″ arms, 9 3/8″hands
4.47 40, 40″ vert, 11′ broad jump
2015: 12 games. 91 tackles, 9 1/2 TFL, 4 1/2 sacks, 4 pass breakups, 2 FF, 2 FR
2016: 2 games. 11 tackles, 1 int
2017: 84 tackles, 5 1/2 TFL, 1 sack, 2 int for 41 yards, 1 TD, 11 pass break ups,
Misc. Stats: 6 KR for 170 yards in career.
Accolades: 2015 Freshmen All-American, 2015 third-team All-ACC, 2017 first-team All-ACC
Injuries: Tore left meniscus in 2016.
History: 5-star recruit out of Haines City, FL.
Strengths: Elite athlete. Tall with long arms. NFL bloodlines (cousin Vince and Karlos Williams are NFL players). Versatile (has lined up at CB, Nickle, sub LB, and even as a pass rushing OLB). Relentless pursuit of the runner. Takes good angles to the ball, wraps up and constantly tries to strip the ball. Sheds blocks well, uses long arms well. Explodes at the point of contact. Excellent blitzer, times it up to swat or throw off the timing of throws. Can run with tight ends and backs. Hard worker, film junkie, vocal leader.
Weaknesses: Needs work in coverage. Inconsistent eyes and reads. Hasn’t played a ton of safety. Has had an injury history. Doesn’t have elite quickness and is somewhat stiff in coverage.
Overview: James is an in the box safety/sub linebacker that needs to improve on his coverage ability. An elite athlete that has some mental lapses as a cover safety. Like Adams and Peppers last year, he would be best utilized toward the line of scrimmage. He’s a better athlete than both of them, but is still inconsistent and raw.
Draft Projection: Top 10 Pick
Phanaddict Draft Grade: 6.70
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