Prospect: D.J. Swearinger, FS, South Carolina
By Clint Clearwater
NFL Draft Director and Senior Writer
January 12, 2013
5-11 Wt: 210 40: 4.50

Strengths: He has good awareness.  Strong leader of the defense.   Has a great reaction time.  Physical player.  Plays with good speed and range; able to play center field.  (may not have an elite 40 time, but he plays with great game speed.)  Looks very comfortable in zone coverage; keeps his eyes on the QB.  Shows that he has a good back peddle.  Also has a low center of gravity and very fluid hips.  Able to play man to man coverage; but could use a little improvement here.  Aggressive in run support; not afraid to fly up and make the big hit.  Good play recognition.  Takes good angles in pursuit.  Pretty good jumping ability, and times jumps well.  Has potential to be a defensive playmaker; looks to strip the ball often.  Very versatile.  Consistent player.

Weaknesses:  I think he is overly aggressive at times and he over-pursues which leads to big mistakes.  I don’t like seeing him making big hits and not wrapping up; shows poor technique.  Size is not elite.  Does not make big time, game changing plays that you expect top safeties to make.   

Summary: Whenever you hear someone talking about the South Carolina’s defense it’s usually about Jadeveon Clowney, but the Gamecocks really have a quality defense with some quality prospects for this upcoming draft.  D.J Swearinger is one of those prospects.  Swearinger really has stood out in every South Carolina game film that I have watched.  He is a consistent player and leader for the Gamecock’s defense.  He’s got real skills that will get him noticed before this April’s draft, that’s for sure.  I really love his instincts and toughness on the field.  There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s got potential to be a star safety in the NFL.  His size and techniques are concerns, but for me this is a no brainer.  D.J. Swearinger is a consistent leader (which is rare to find) and force for the South Carolina secondary and I wouldn’t hesitate drafting him in the 2nd or 3rd rounds.

Draft Projection: 3rd round