Derwin James: I can play deep, cover tight ends, whatever you need

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Derwin James is one of the top safety prospects in this year’s draft class and one of the things that has helped him rise up boards is the variety of ways that teams can use him.

James made an impact in all phases of the defense while at Florida State — 15 tackles for loss, five sacks and three interceptions while playing two full seasons for the Seminoles — and is big enough at 6’3″ and 215 pounds to profile into the hybrid roles that have become popular on defense in recent years. He showed off good speed for that size on Monday with an official time of 4.47 in the 40, backing up what he said over the weekend about being able to check a lot of boxes.

“Safety and slot corner, those are the two positions most teams are talking about,” James said, via “… They moved me around a lot [in college]. I can do it all — I can play deep, I can play the tight end, I can play in the box, I can blitz, whatever you need.”

James was asked about Cowboys fans singing his praises on social media and called it a good compliment, although he added that he feels “like they’d have to trade up” from No. 19 if he’s going to land in Dallas. That remains to be seen, but James has done little on the field or in the combine to suggest he’ll be lingering too long come April.