D.J. Swearinger FS South Carolina #36
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Size/Athleticism: Strong overall build with nice blend of size and athleticism. His well-rounded skill set makes him an extremely versatile safety.
Coverage: Experienced in zone and man coverage. Does a nice job playing the center field role. He keeps his eyes on the quarterback while remaining aware of the receivers in his zone. He’s very patient in zone, and doesn’t over-commit in any direction and rarely incorrectly guesses in an attempt to jump a route. Played some cornerback early in his career.
Ball skills: Impressive leaping ability. He’s physical and can battle for jump balls. Doesn’t have great hands, but he’ll come down with an occasional interception.
Run support: Does a great job stepping up and plugging holes at the line of scrimmage. Can deliver the big hit, but he’s also a very reliable wrap-up tackler. Consistently takes correct angles in pursuit. Does a really nice job corralling the receiver in open space, especially on screens or quick passes in the flat. Impressive closing speed. He isn’t exceptionally fast, but he has a quick first step and has a great burst in short distances.
Intangibles: Suspended by NCAA for one game for an illegal hit.
Durability: Slowed by a foot injury in 2011 and missed spring practices due to the injury.
Comments: Swearinger in an incredibly physical and versatile safety. He can play either safety position and will fit perfectly into a scheme that likes to use interchangeable parts in the secondary. There are some concerns about his foot injury which has lingered over the past two seasons, but he battled through the injury and has otherwise been durable throughout his career.