Plenty of NFL experts and draft analysts have the Buccaneers selecting defensive back Derwin James, out of Florida State University. This pick would make a lot of sense, as Tampa Bay’s pass defense was among the worst in the NFL, last season. Pairing him up with Justin Evans, as the two starting safeties, would be a huge and much-needed upgrade for Tampa’s secondary.
Let us evaluate what James brings to the table: At 6’2” and 215 lbs, he has great size and weight for the position he plays. He is an instinctive player with a very high football IQ and great speed with a 40-Yard dash of 4.47 seconds. He is a sure tackler, a solid tackler in the open field, as well as a very hard hitter, and can be used as a run stopper, as an eighth man in the box. He is very athletic and physical enough to be used in pass coverage against tight ends, or running backs. He is a natural leader in the locker room and poised to become a captain on the defense of any team he ends up with. In addition, Derwin James seems to have his mind on the game, as he has not had any off-the field issues, nor is he a dirty player, despite his hits being devastatingly hard at times.
All in all, it is not surprising that he is destined to be the first defensive back to come off the board in this year’s draft. James’ unparallelled athletic ability, in addition to his superb play-recognition, leadership skills, and good character, make him an instant improvement for every team in the NFL. He possesses everything desired to become an All-Pro safety and might be just what the Bucs need to finally get this ship going in the right direction again.