Derwin James is a hybrid safety and linebacker from Florida State. His athleticism and instincts make him the ideal plug-and-play defender that defensive coordinators can build their scheme around. He has the talent to play multiple positions on the field including strong safety, inside linebacker, as well as slot cornerback. While he’s great in underneath zones, he’s not the best as a deep safety. He’s a bit slow to react and his pursuit angles aren’t always ideal; however, based on his traits I still gave him an early-to-mid first round grade in this draft.
For his pro comparison, Derwin James reminds me a lot of Landon Collins. They both have the versatility and awareness in zone coverage to make plays. I think James was the better prospect coming out college, but Collins has turned into an incredible player for the New York Giants. In my opinion, the way the Giants use Collins in multiple position is the ideal method for James at the next level.
How this might affect the Seattle Seahawks
With the Seahawks picking 18th in the draft, there is a possibility he could fall to their pick and as you can tell from this video I’m a huge fan of his as a prospect. I feel like he could bring a lot of value to any team that drafts him. The question you have to ask is: What role do you see him playing?
That’s where it gets tricky. A lot of his value would be in the same capacity as Kam Chancellor, which could be helpful if Kam does not play in 2018, but the team did just give Bradley McDougald a three-year deal and drafted Delano Hill in the third round a year ago. Now, he could be an excellent pick if John Schneider decides to go Best Player Available (BPA), but I feel like there are greater needs for this team.
Predict Derwin James’ career! (out of 10)
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Good, but not great. (7-8)