DeShon Elliott 2018 NFL Draft Profile

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DeShon Elliott
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Overview
Position
: Safety
Height: 6’2
Weight: 210 pounds
School: Texas Longhorns

DeShon Elliott 2018 Draft Profile

DeShon Elliott is nicknamed “The Joker” due to his fascination with Batman’s biggest adversary. And like Heath Ledger’s character in The Dark Knight, Elliot is a true Agent of Chaos on the gridiron. If you throw on some of his highlights or any of his game tape, one of the many things that will jump off the screen is he can hit and hit hard. He was quite the enforcer for the Longhorns in 2017 and could very well be utilized the same way in the league with his size and range that he possesses. Elliot was a four-star athlete coming out of high school in 2015 and was the 25th ranked safety. He’ll be one of the four safeties in that class hearing their name called come draft weekend. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Derwin James and Ronnie Harrison have all declared for the draft as well. Fitzpatrick and James will most definitely be the first two safeties off the board, Elliot could very well be the third.

Elliott, a Thorpe Award finalist and consensus All-American finished the season with 63 total tackles, 8.5 for a loss, 1.5 sacks, nine pass deflections, six interceptions, three forced fumbles and two defensive touchdowns. The game that will have scouts and general managers talking now until draft day is the Longhorns’ clash with USC. He finished the game with seven tackles and two interceptions. Many analysts have Sam Darnold as the top quarterback in this year’s draft, yet Elliot picked him off twice and almost had a third after he read Darnold’s eyes and jumped the route. He had two multi-interception games this season and could’ve ended the season with eight or nine total interceptions if it wasn’t for the drops. He was most definitely in the position to have a lot more than he did.

Strengths

  • Great at coming off the edge in Blitz and pressuring the quarterback.
  • Can be utilized a great deal vs the run, can plug up holes and deliver the necessary hits
  • Phenomenal tackler. Not just delivering solid pops, but consistent when wrapping up as well. Coaches won’t have to worry about him missing any tackles, especially in the open field.
  • Talented at both playing single high safety or in the box. There is film of him playing all over the field in a variety of roles and packages
  • High football IQ, great awareness and play recognition
  • Adept at reading the quarterback’s eyes. A true ball hawk

Weaknesses

  • Tends to get beat on the deep ball when he’s in single man coverage.
  • Lacks breakaway and top end speed for a player at his position. General managers and coaches put a lot into 40 times. Probably too much. But the 40 is going to be a major indicator of where he gets drafted and more importantly, what round.
  • Doesn’t have the sideline to sideline speed to make plays outside the hashes, seems to be a step or two late.
  • Although he has good range, he doesn’t have great range that teams will want him to possess to see him as a game changer.
  • He won’t be the quarterback of any team’s defense. But pairing him with another talented safety with great range will showcase his ability and talent. 

NFL Comparison: Reshad Jones

Teams With Need at position: Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Rams, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys

Projection: Mid second round

Bottom Line

Expect Elliott to be a really good pro at the next level and possibly even better than he was at Texas if drafted in the right scheme. He possesses the size general managers and defensive coordinators salivate over and look for in their starting safety. There are quite the number of teams in the league that could use a guy like Elliot at his position. His performance at the Combine and his pro-day will play a pivotal part in what day he ends being selected. I don’t see how he would slip out of the second round unless he somehow tanks both days.

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