DeShon Elliott, S
School: Texas | Conference: BIG 12
College Experience: Junior | Age: 20?
Height / Weight: 6-2 / 210 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 2nd Round
NFL Comparison: Harrison Smith
DeShon Elliott is a Rockwall, Texas native and was a four-star recruit coming out of high school where he was a linebacker and a safety. The University of Texas recruited him as a defensive back which gave them the upper edge over competing schools like Texas A&M, Baylor, and Oklahoma. Those linebacking roots still show up on the field. Elliott takes as much pride coming down to the LOS and making a tackle as he does playing single high safety and getting a pick. Elliott had a spectacular junior season where was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe award but lost it to Minkah Fitzpatrick. In a draft class that features a handful of top names at both safety positions, it is very surprising that Elliott’s name hasn’t been mentioned in the conversation much at this point. He plays with outward confidence on the field and has very good athleticism, instincts, vision, reflexes, range, and overall technique. Elliott's performance gets a second-round grade from me, if she shows up at the combine and lights things up he could shoot up the board.
- Excellent size, physicality, and athleticism for the position. He has the recovery speed to close on opponents, the build to come upon them and lay a solid hit, and the length to get his hands up and defend passes.
- Aggressive player in run support that likes to get in on the action and make tackles. A smart player in coverage who displays great anticipation and reaction skills that put him in the right place at the right time.
- Vision, instincts, coverage ability, and ball skills are all there. Smart player than understand space, depth, and coverages. Trusts his instincts and will break to the ball. He is truly a threat if you throw in his zone.
- Playmaker. 6 interceptions (2 for pick 6), 8.5 tackles for loss, 9 passes defended, and 3 forced fumbles give you an idea of how impactful he can be.
- Versatile player. Will draft interest from teams who want talent at either safety position as he can play both.
- Occasionally will be neutralized by blockers when coming up and playing the run. Doesn't have the adequate skills to disengage from those power blocks.
- Doesn't have elite speed - on deep throws with considerable velocity he may be a step late with help.
Let’s see his work:
DeShon Elliott finished the season with 13 plays on the ball including 6 INTs and 7 PBU - the second-most among all FBS safeties. pic.twitter.com/9WfYveEPbN— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) January 14, 2018
If you’re looking for interchangeable safeties who can play split, deep middle, man, in the box, then look at UT’s DeShon Elliott, and Stanford’s Justin Reid. Two of my favorites that will go top 50. https://t.co/EfO7TdfkuM— Jonah Tuls (@JonahTulsNFL) December 30, 2017
4th quarter, 4th down & @jimthorpeaward semifinalist DeShon Elliott to rescue. Thorpe Award & All-America voters consider DeShon's credentials.— John Bianco (@UT_Bianco) November 19, 2017
2nd in nation in INTs (6, most at UT since 2009 Thorpe finalist Earl Thomas)
1st in nation with 2 INTs returned for TDs pic.twitter.com/hRXIhjZtb9
Week eight is still DeShon Elliott season. Here's the pick-six pic.twitter.com/QtjEXGjj9K— Ezra Siegel (@SiegelEzra) October 28, 2017
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
There are some that will pound the table for Derwin James or Minkah Fitzpatrick to be the Redskin’s starting FS next year. They should, both are great players but are a near lock to be taken in the 1st round. However, should the Redskins actually attempt to be serious about upgrading the position Deshon Elliott is the next best player at the position who could go a round later, in my opinion, should they miss out on those guys. I would naturally keep Elliott at FS if he were drafted by the Redskins and move Swearinger to SS and have Monte Nicholson be the 3rd safety. Elliott’s range, instincts, vision, confidence, anticipation and ball skills make him a true threat not only in the middle of the field but underneath and on the boundaries as well. Elliott showed this year that he is a pretty refined player with not a lot of considerable coaching up needed. He shows plug and play potential at the position and offers the value and versatility to be able to play both spots should the Redskins need him to. Elliott would bring playmaking ability to the position. I’m all aboard.