DeShon has very good size for the position. He’s one of the better tacklers coming out to the draft this year. He has very good closing speed and recognizes plays quickly. He’s a playmaker, both through turnovers and hard hits. He’s a physical guy that loves the sport. You can see his enthusiasm in his play.
DeShon doesn’t have great top-end speed. He doesn’t have the ability to run down plays from behind when he blitzes. He can get lost in traffic during outside run plays. He doesn’t have many starts under his belt. Only one in 2016 and 12 in 2017.
DeShon is a 3-year player, 1-year starter at safety for Texas. He’s amassed 105 total tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, 9 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and two pick-6s. DeShon lacks top-end speed but does a good job of making up for it by being a smart, tough player. He has a natural ability to be in the right place at the right time. He’s a play-maker in coverage and a hard-nosed run stopper. His tackling technique is polished. My only concern with DeShon is his lack of top-end speed. That may end up hurting him in the NFL with so many down-the-field threats. He projects best as a strong safety that can bring some versatility to the position. I have him rated as a late 1st round talent.
DeShon has great balance, He made a great circus-style catch against USC in 2017 and was able to keep his balance, and run it in to complete the pick-6. DeShon shows very good flexibility, both in his hips when he turns to run with receivers and when he’s in the air contesting a ball. DeShon doesn’t have great straight-line speed. But he’s an overall good athlete. . He doesn’t have great deep speed and has to make up for it by reading the quarterback and being in position. He’s a fluid runner and can close the gap quickly. He has good coordination, and a natural ability of getting in between the receiver and the pass. He has good closing speed but can be lost in traffic during run plays.
Big Play Ability
DeShon’s aggressiveness gives him an advantage in man press. He’s a physical safety. He is better at run support and making plays than he is at covering, but his intelligence and aggressiveness make him ideal for man press coverage. Without great speed, if he loses the battle off the line, he could become a liability. DeShon may struggle at Man Off in the NFL, his limited top-end speed could cause him to lose to speed slot receivers like Antonio Brown. He reads the quarterback well and anticipates the throw. He has good closing speed. Sometimes, he does get locked on the quarterback’s eyes. Quarterbacks that look defensive back’s off with their eyes can take advantage of DeShon. DeShon plays big and physical. He isn’t afraid to get his face inside. His aggressiveness at the position gives him an advantage that he loses once the receiver gets by him. DeShon relies on his play recognition and aggressive style to close in on routes. This allows him to get away with not having ideal turn ability. This could be something that is harder to hide in the NFL.
He has very good closing quickness and times his hits very well. DeShon may have the best ball skills at the safety position this year. . He has very good hands and has 6 interceptions and 9 passes defended in 2017. He ran 2 interceptions back for touchdowns as well. He’s a player that seems to always be around the ball. He also had 3 forced fumbles this year with 1 recovered. DeShon always finds himself around the ball. He diagnosis routes quick and reacts even quicker. He’s elite at recognizing short routes, breaking on them, and tackling them for little gain.
He’s very quick up the field when he recognizes the play. DeShon does find himself stuck in traffic sometimes. He needs to keep his head on a swivel and do a better job of moving through contested areas to get to the ball carrier. DeShon is an elite tackler. He has very good form, keeps his head up, wraps up, and drives the ball carrier back. He can also lay down big-time hits and dislodge the ball.
Engage with blocks
DeShon competes on every play. He’s always running top speed, even if the play is away from him. Against Oklahoma State in 2017, he started on the opposite side of the field as the play and made his way across the field and was able to force a fumble on the 1-yard line. His production took a spike in 2017, as he played more minutes. He finished with 63 tackles, 11.5 for loss, 2.5 sacks, and 6 interceptions. DeShon’s best abilities are his intangibles. He’s a competitor that shows up on every play.
DeShon reads plays well. He watches the quarterback’s eyes and can find his way to the ball. He has the elite instincts you want to see in a safety. He does sometimes get caught up in the quarterback’s eyes and can be looked off and get out of position. DeShon loves football and is a good locker room guy. He is a player that will set the tone of the game early, and get his defense playing behind him.