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2024 NFL Draft Prospect Review - DB Cooper DeJean


Photo: Rob Howe/Hawk Fanatic


Player Description



Name: Cooper DeJean

School: Iowa

Position: Defensive Back

Class: Senior

Height: 6'1

Weight: 207 lbs

Draft Projection: Mid 1st round - Early 2nd round

 

Strengths:


  • Incredible position versatility (Hybrid safety/linebacker, cornerback, and punt returner).

  • Freakish- level athlete

  • High football IQ

  • Athletic traits to play on the outside

  • Elite ball skills

  • Solid play strength - able to hold his own against receivers during the stem and the top of routes.

  • Natural at stacking and shedding blocks to support the run

  • Excellent hip fluidity

  • Rarely beaten vertically

  • Able to diagnose route concepts quickly

  • Adept at baiting quarterback into making mistakes

  • Sticks tight to in-breaking routes on Cover 3 or Cover 4


 

Weaknesses:


For much of his career, DeJean has been accustomed to playing off coverage with little experience playing press. Though he is capable of playing on the outside, DeJean is better suited to playing in the slot where some of his coverage flaws can be concealed.


As a ballhawk, DeJean has the tendency to take unnecessary risks to make a play and, when beaten, has questionable recovery speed. On vertical routes, DeJean struggles to turn and locate the ball while it is in the area, making him susceptible to getting beaten. On crossing routes, he tends to hesitate before breaking on the ball, though he generally does not surrender a great number of yards in these instances.


Though DeJean is willing and capable of supporting the run, his overall tackling is questionable. At times, his pad level can be a little high when engaging. His pursuit angles lack consistency, which has led to some missed opportunities.



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