Prospect: D.J. Swearinger, FS, South Carolina
By Clint Clearwater
NFL Draft Director and Senior Writer
January 12, 2013
Ht: 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