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2024 NFL Draft: Texas Tech safety Dadrion Taylor-Demerson scouting report

The Oklahoma 5A Player of the Year following his senior season at Carl Albert High School in Oklahoma City, Dadrion Taylor-Demerson moved from running back to safety following his commitment to Texas Tech over Air Force, Army and Utah State. He had limited snaps in his first two collegiate seasons, and he really came around in 2022, when he allowed 27 catches on 46 targets for 394 yards, 124 yards after the catch, no touchdowns, three interceptions, five pass breakups, and an opponent passer rating of 59.5.

Last season for a Red Raiders defense that rose in efficiency, Taylor-Demerson gave up 20 catches on 35 targets for 221 yards, 112 yards after the catch, three touchdowns, five interceptions, four pass breakups, and an opponent passer rating of 65.0.

PLUSES

— Functional field speed is singularly impressive; Taylor-Demerson can get from Point A to Point B as quickly as any defender in this draft class. It’s hard for quarterbacks and receivers to get a bead on his positioning in the open field.

— True multi-position versatility; he can win as a slot cover man and blitzer, and as a single-high and two-deep safety.

— Converges to cover like a bat out of hell, and can create chaos with well-timed hits and deflections.

— Smooth, instructive match and man defender with the athleticism to lock turn-for-turn with most any receiver.

— Can work 10-15 yards in an instant to break up and intercept passes; he’ll bait a lot of quarterbacks at the next level.

MINUSES

— Tackling is a real mixed bag; part of that daredevil style. He had 44 missed tackles in five seasons for the Red Raiders. His style is basically getting on someone’s back and waiting for the cavalry.

— Will lose his landmarks and spots at times in zone coverage; he’s more of a man/match guy at this point.

— As much as he’ll fool your quarterback with his speed and closing ability, Taylor-Demerson can be deceived right out of his socks by action and late movement.

— Speed covers up some transitional issues; it’s impressive to watch him turn and run with a second receiver off his first assignment, but you’re not always sure what the plan is.

From a pure physical tools perspective, Taylor-Demerson is flat-out ridiculous. I’d take him in the late second/early third round just to get the benefit of all that flash, and build everything around him over time. He’s got a lot of stuff you can’t teach, and the rest seems coachable.

Story originally appeared on Touchdown Wire