Los Angeles Chargers: 5 safeties to target after the first round

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Texas S DeShon Elliott

The more I watch DeShon Elliott, the more I like him.

Unlike Bates, who made an instant impact in his short time at Wake Forest, Elliott took longer to stand out. However, he’s just as much a playmaker as Bates is.

According to Elliott’s draft profile on NFL.com, 2017 marked the first year he became a full-time starter. He tied for fourth in the FBS with six interceptions, including having two pick-sixes. He also racked up 63 total tackles, including 8.5 for loss, batted down nine passes, forced three fumbles and sacked the quarterback 1.5 times. Elliott earned unanimous first-team All-American and All-Big 12 honors. He was also one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award (nation’s top defensive back), finishing second behind Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Elliott always found himself around the ball. He was also a beast in coverage. Oh, and he’s a very good tackler who can pack a punch.

Elliott comes with solid size. He’s a 6-foot-2, 205-pounder with long arms (32 1/4″). He’s considered an average athlete, but he definitely caught scouts’ attention after a solid performance at the NFL Scouting Combine. His 4.58 40-yard dash tied for 13th-best and his 36-inch vertical ranked ninth among safeties. He finished with a solid 15 reps on the bench press and also looked smooth in on-field drills.

Why is his stock all over the place? Well, prior to 2017, Elliott totaled just 43 tackles, five pass deflections, three interceptions and one forced fumble in 17 games played over his previous two years combined. Like I mentioned above, he doesn’t have much starting experience (13 starts). Is he a one-hit wonder? Did he leave Texas too early? These are questions teams will ask.

Overall, he’s not a pure centerfielder. Nor is he the fastest guy on the playing field. But he has the versatility to play as a single-high safety, in a two-deep safety role or near the line of scrimmage. If he happens to fall to the third or fourth round, where many mocks have him, then I think he’ll be a steal for whichever team drafts him.

I mean, how can you not want a player whose nickname is “The Joker?”

Round Prediction: Round 2-4