When you think of defense at South Carolina the first name that comes to mind is Jadeveon Clowney. While Clowney drew the attention this past year as the dominating force of the Gamecocks defense, the leader of that defense was DJ Swearinger. Swearinger is one of the hardest hitting safeties in this class and can play anywhere on the field. While Swearinger may not have received much attention in college, he will get it on draft day.
6′ 0″ 200 lbs.
There is plenty to like about the way DJ Swearing plays defense, but the area I love most about his game is his love for contact. Swearinger isn’t afraid to come flying in at the ball-carrier and absolutely lay him out, knocking the ball loose in the process. He plays with a reckless style and is willing to sacrifice his body in order to prevent a first down. Even with the NFL trying to emphasize player safety, coaches will still love a player like DJ Swearinger.
Swearinger also has the versatility to play multiple positions in any scheme. He has shown the coverage skills to man up against tight ends or receivers. Swearinger has shown solid coverage skills at times lining right over a receiver, which will only help boost his value. He also can be come in against the run or be brought down on a safety blitz to get after the quarterback.
Swearinger will come into the NFL highly regarded by his teammates and coaches for his leadership ability. He earned the respect of his teammates for how he handled himself on and off the field.
While Swearinger loves to be aggressive and can make some big hits, his aggressiveness also hurts him at times. He will often over-pursue his man and be left out of position. When Swearinger does fall out of position, he doesn’t have the speed to catch up to his man. Swearinger will also struggle at the next level with penalties and will face plenty of fines. He does take shots at “defenseless” receivers. While you have to love his willingness to hit, it will cost him some money in the NFL.
Swearinger also doesn’t have great speed, as his 4.6 40 yard dash at the NFL Combine would indicate. When matched up against faster receivers, Swearinger will often get burnt and his man will be wide open. Finally, Swearinger has to improve his ability to track and hold on to the football. While at times he would step in front of a throw and take it to the house, other times he would whiff and allow an easy reception. There is a lot to like about DJ Swearinger, but his overaggressive style will hurt him at the next level.
DJ Swearinger projects as a late 2nd Round Pick or early 3rd Round pick with the chance to be an immediate contributor as a rookie. Swearinger can play in any scheme and has the versatility to play strong safety or free safety. Teams will fall in love with Swearinger’s leadership ability and hard-hitting style and won’t hesitate to take him to improve their defense.
DJ Swearinger Highlights: