Here is what NFL scouts were saying about Raiders LB Divine Deablo ahead of Draft

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Levi Damien
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Tweener. That’s what some would have called Divine Deablo ahead of this year’s draft. A guy who came to college as a wide receiver, switched to safety, even playing some cornerback, but has the makings of a linebacker at the NFL level.

“Interesting guy,” one scout told The Athletic of Deablo during the pre-draft process. “He’s in the mold of (Kyle) Dugger and (Jeremy) Chinn. An absolutely fabulous kid. I don’t know where you play the guy. There will be some concerns in one-on-one coverage. He’s got a little tightness to him. He loves the game. You’ve just got to figure him out.”

Having to “figure him out” made him tough to place in the draft. The 6-3, 226-pound DB idolized fellow Virginia Tech alum Kam Chancellor who went on to star at safety in the Seahawks’ Legion of Boom defense. Deablo even changed his number to 17, just like Chancellor wore in his days for the Hokies.

Kam was drafted in 2010 and the league has changed quite a bit since then. Even in the past five years since Chancellor made his last Pro Bowl it’s changed.

One scout said he saw the physical similarities between the two, but not quite the level of aggressive playstyle. He also saw some intriguing possibilities when he was asked to play some linebacker at the Senior Bowl.

“You think you’re going to get Kam Chancellor,” one scout said. “This kid doesn’t have that kind of mentality. Chancellor would knock your teeth (out). Deablo is athletic as a tackler, but he’s not mean or explosive or anything like that. But the upside’s really good.

“He played a lot of sub linebacker in the Senior Bowl and did really well. He doesn’t have a ton of wiggle as far as man coverage, but he can play in zone because he’s fast, long and pretty instinctive.”

Nowadays, coverage abilities in a linebacker are considered crucial. So, when you see a safety with the kind of size and tackling abilities, he is viewed by many teams as a linebacker.

What’s interesting is, when The Athletic’s Bob McGinn polled 20 scouts about the safety class, Deablo still landed at sixth in the class. Even with many seeing him switching positions.

Deablo shocked a lot of people, running a 4.42 40-yard-dash at his pro day. That’s fast even for a safety, it’s blistering fast for a linebacker.

“I didn’t think the guy could run,” a third scout said. “I estimated 4.7. Then he did. He’s best in the box, but has free-safety range. I imagine he’ll end up playing linebacker.”