BSPN: Cooper DeJean Good Fit For Bucs

April 6th, 2024

Iowa CB Cooper DeJean.

Just say, “No.”

Joe would just say no to a tweener defensive back if the Bucs must burn the No. 26 pick on a corner who might be a regular corner, might be a nickel corner or might be a safety.

Matt Bowen of BSPN wrote a column where he has the best fits for each team. Bowen believes since the Bucs traded Carlton Davis to the Lions, there is a big hole at corner. And the best guy for that job is DeJean, not so much because he would be the best corner on the board at No. 26 but largely because he is versatile.

The Bucs traded away Carlton Davis last month, creating a hole at cornerback. DeJean’s versatility means he could fit opposite Jamel Dean, but he also has the physical mentality to play as a slot defender in Todd Bowles’ defense. DeJean has excellent backfield vision and the ball skills to patrol the outside thirds in zone coverage, plus the man-to-man skills to match in coverage.

A natural playmaker who had seven career interceptions and three defensive scores, DeJean also would bring All-Pro upside to the Bucs as a punt returner. DeJean had six punt returns of 20 or more yards and one touchdown in college.

Everything Joe has read about this DeJean is that he is a tweener. Joe doesn’t care for tweeners. Joe wants a guy who can flat out play corner.

And drafting a slot corner with a first-round pick, really?

Here is what the Czar of the Playbook, Emory Hunt of CBS, typed about this DeJean in Hunt’s “2024 Football Gameplan Draft Guide.”

– Very good athlete and athleticism for the position. Does a solid job in playing off-coverage well, as he trusts his speed and athleticism to make a play.
– Elite-level ball skills. Won’t miss an opportunity to turn the ball over. Also does a great job in playing the ball when it’s in the air, taking great angles toward it to break up the pass.
– Solid bail technique, able to get out of his transitions to challenge the route.
– Top-tier return specialist with as a punt returner.

Areas of Improvement:
– Getting better at press coverage is where he can add to his game. More so with using his hands better/earlier within the route to reroute the receiver.
– Can get a bit high in his backpedal which can cause some issues in flipping his hips out of it.

Joe would much, much, much, much rather have Kool-Aid McKinstry, a Nick Saban corner, any day of the week.

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