Where Derwin James can improve
Derwin James is a prospect with far more positives to list down than his negatives. That is why he’s viewed by many as a top ten player in the 2018 NFL Draft. Were he to fall to the Washington Redskins, his selection would undoubtedly be a positive. But his areas of need are worth mentioning, despite all that.
James, as I said in a previous slide, is not yet refined. Minkah Fitzpatrick is a more pro-ready prospect, and this could be important for a team like the Washington Redskins, who are in a position to throw all their chips onto the table with Alex Smith in the fold.
Nevertheless, James would provide an impact on day one no matter what. But while Minkah Fitzpatrick has three full years of solid production at the college level, James has been more inconsistent. James also suffered a minor ACL tear in 2016, and while the injury wasn’t as serious as its reputation suggests, it is important to keep in mind.
James’ greatest task at the next level, as well as the greatest task for the defensive backs coach who will train him, will be to elevate his game, and synthesize his athleticism so that he can use it in the most efficient way. James, for all his upside, was a bit inconsistent in coverage at Florida State, and there is clearly room for growth as a football player. His instincts can let him down at times, and he isn’t as quick to get an on-field diagnosis as Minkah Fitzpatrick is.
As an athlete and a list of dimensions on a depth chart, Derwin James strikes fear into his opponent. And while his physical nature might uphold the same effect, there is still some work to do.