Derwin James Scouting Report


"He flies around the field and blows up guys but his anticipation and instincts sometimes negate his great athleticism. He's a charismatic alpha who’s a solid bet to eventually minimize the kinks and produce well as a pro."

Kim Klement USA Today Sports

Strengths:

Big, fast DB built like an OLB. Plays with natural leverage and is a heavy hitter when he connects. Experienced everywhere from the box, slot to single high and regularly rushed off the edge. Fluid mover, flips hips and changes direction well. Strong motor. Flashes power in his hands. Charismatic and passionate.

James could legitimately play DB or star LB as a pro. His size/speed plus power and character would normally ensure him as a top ten pick but the QBs in this class are crowding the top of the draft. In the clip above James blitzes off the edge and ragdolls the RT before overrunning the QB.

Weaknesses:

Not instinctive and lacks anticipation. Lacks lateral quickness and can lose in short spaces. Finds blockers. Shaky last line defender who seeks the kill shot instead of breaking down effectively. Meniscus tear ended his freshman season.

James is often a leaky tackler despite his physical gifts. The clip above is fairly routine and not an outlier. Tackling often improves as a professional but there's still room for concern if he's your last line of defense as a rookie.

Overall:

James is a freaky athlete who's been a productive star from day 1 at FSU. He's a versatile wrecking ball that's played a lot on the edge along with single high. He flies around the field but his anticipation and instincts sometimes negate his great athleticism. All pro traits are obvious but his inexperience shows up as well on tape.

He's a charismatic leader type alpha who’s a solid bet to eventually minimize the kinks and produce as a professional. He's raw but the skill set is knocking on an Adrian Wilson, Sean Taylor level. I think his floor is somewhere near a Kam Chancellor.

NFL Comp: Sean Taylor

#DerwinJames

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