Sunday, March 31, 2013

Prospect Profile: FS DJ Swearinger - South Carolina

Name:  Dayario Jamal "Jungle Boi" Swearinger
Height:  5'-10"
Weight:  208 lbs.
Class:  Senior
High School:  Greenwood High School
Hometown:  Greenwood, SC

Gamecocks Career

2012 Senior Year:  2nd Team All SEC....started all 12 games, logging 79 tackles (62 solo), 3 tackles for loss, 1 QB hurry, 2 interceptions (69 yd INT for TD), 1 fumble recovery (65 yd for TD), 2 forced fumbles and 7 passes broken up

2011 Junior Year:  started all 13 games, 2 at strong safety and playing the rest at free safety....notching 80 tackles (58 solo), 1.5 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, 1 pass broken up and 1 forced fumble

2010 Sophomore Year:  played in all 14 games, starting 8....played both safety positions, ending the season as the 4th leading tackler with 66 total tackles (51 solo), 2 tackles for loss, 1 interception (22 yd TD), 5 passes broken up, 1 QB hurry and 1 forced fumble

2009 Freshman Year:  played in all 13 games as a true freshman, with 19 total tackles (13 solo), 1 pass broken up and 1 QB hurry.

2012 Senior Highlights

+ Extremely physical player who is one of the biggest hitters in college football
Good play recognition and awareness
Downhill player who attacks and explodes through his target against the run
Versatile, having played every position in the defensive secondary
Great at tackling in open space, rarely whiffing on tackles
Athletic and physical enough to cover runningbacks and tight ends
Interchangeable at either safety spot
Emotional and vocal leader
Has been a consistently productive player in his SC career

- Overaggressiveness sometimes leads to poor technique and unnecessary personal fouls
Sometimes can be a bit reckless
Timed speed suggests deep coverage ability and make-up speed
Doesn't have an extra gear or suddenness in his game
Needs to do a better job on jump balls and jumping routes
Doesn't possess elite size

NFL Player Comparison: FS Brian Dawkins - Eagles/Broncos

Draft Analysis
To put it simply, DJ Swearinger is a throwback.  His play is reminiscent of old headhunters like Jack Tatum, Ronnie Lot, Steve Atwater and more recently guys like Brian Dawkins and Bernard Pollard.  Like the aforementioned players before him, Swearinger can make ball carriers think twice about crossing the middle of the field or even come in his general direction.  He can change the complexion of a game off of one hit.  

Swearinger is a very versatile prospect, who has played just about every position in the secondary during his career at USC.  He is just as good playing in the box close to the line of scrimmage or playing deep center and attacking plays in front of him.  He doesn't have elite speed, but his ability to turn and run from his backpedal without losing any speed makes up for it.  

In any other year, Swearinger would have been a top prospect.  He's the type of player who could blossom into a Pro Bowl player and end up on a playoff contender because he's slotted to go between the 2nd to 3rd round.  Wherever he gets drafted, a team will likely end up getting a draft day value based on his talent.

Raiders Outlook
Oakland would be a great spot for DJ Swearinger.  He would bring the type of enforcer that Oakland has lacked for many many years.  In many ways, Swearinger is everything that both outgoing Huff and Mike Mitchell are not.  Huff was tall and fast, but he played passively in run support and his tackling skills were subpar.  Mike Mitchell was known for being a hard hitter, but it rarely showed on the field because he was too slow to hit anyone.  Swearinger's straight line speed isn't elite, but he made a lot of plays in the very talented SEC for 4 years.  Currently the Raiders own a 3rd round pick and it could very well be that Swearinger is available with the pick.  Reggie McKenzie values players who love football, and Jungle Boi has the hunger to deliver on the field.  

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