Duke Dawson, Florida: 2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report

BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 19: Tyrie Cleveland
BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 19: Tyrie Cleveland /

Florida’s Duke Dawson is an experience cornerback prospect who can work out of the slot or on the outside.

Duke Dawson features average to slightly below average height for the cornerback position. However, has as a solid frame that gives him the ability to play with some physicality. Dawson possesses good overall athleticism including fluid hips and quickness.

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This is someone who has the speed needed to turn and run with speeder receivers. He also as good short-area burst which helps him click and close on the football.

His balance and click and close skills make Dawson a great fit for a zone scheme. In this type of coverage, he would also be able to use his ability to read the quarterback and developing routes. It would also help hide some of his issues in man coverage.

Dawson tends to play too much with his hands by grabbing receivers several yards down field. He also lacks the ball skills and timing to be effective in contested situations. His speed is the one thing that gives him upside in man coverage.

As a run defender, he shows some promise but needs to be more aggressive. Dawson is a solid tackler but doesn’t fight through blocks and is willing to be blocked too often.

His overall skill set makes him a good fit as a slot corner or and outside corner working in zone coverage. He has some starter potential, but overall he doesn’t stand out as someone capable of making a major impact at the next level.

A key to his success will be landing with a team that doesn’t ask him to play a lot of man coverage. In that type of role he will be exposed and draw a lot of interference penalties.