D.J. James NFL Draft 2024: Scouting Report for Auburn CB

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

D.J. James NFL Draft 2024: Scouting Report for Auburn CB

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— Fluid athlete who has loose hips, very good body control and plays with low pad level.

— Has quick feet in press coverage, which allows him to keep his leverage and stay square. Does a very good job of using his length to keep leverage and control receivers.

— Explosive athlete who has the top-end speed to run with receivers and good burst to recover downfield when out of position.

— Very good ball skills to track the ball in the air with great timing on pass breakups. Plays through the catch point and does a very good job of separating the receiver from the ball.

— Light in the pants. Physical but lacks the desired strength when taking on blocks and battling for position downfield.

— Can be an ankle-biter at times. Doesn't want to tackle ball-carriers up top, especially the bigger, more physical runners.

— 2022 second-team All-SEC (Coaches, AP)

— Transferred from Oregon ahead of 2022 season

— 3-star recruit in the 2019 class, per 247Sports

D.J. James is an experienced cornerback who had significant playing time at both the University of Oregon and Auburn University. He played in 32 games at Oregon and tallied 70 tackles and two interceptions. He's a long-limbed athlete who has the frame to continue to add plenty of weight.

At Auburn, James was able to showcase his coverage skills in both man and zone schemes. While playing man, he often opted to play press since his quick feet and fluid hips allow him to keep his leverage and get in phase as he works down the field. He uses his length well to control receivers off the line of scrimmage, as well as when shooting his hand through the catch point to break up passes.

When in zone coverage, he has good vision to identify routes and uses his burst to quickly close in on threats coming into his areas. He shows good top-end speed to match receivers and shows very good closing speed when out of position.

As a run defender, James isn't afraid to get in the mix. Though he is thin and lacks the ideal strength for his size, he does a great job of triggering to support the run. Often opting to use his speed to beat blocks, he can get pushed around by linemen and bigger blockers. When tackling, he often dives at ball-carriers and becomes an ankle-biter with bigger running backs, though he does a good job of getting them on the ground.

James is an intriguing prospect who has the desired length and speed to play the position in the NFL. He will need to continue to work on filling out his frame and increasing his functional strength, but he has the skills to build on. James is a high-level developmental prospect who has the potential to be a contributor early in his NFL career.

GRADE: 6.9 (Potential Role Player/Contributor — 4th Round)


from Bleacher Report

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