2021 NFL Draft: Divine Deablo Player Profile

Divine Deablo NFL Draft Overview

Position: Safety
Height: 6’-3”
Weight: 226 pounds
School:
Virginia Tech

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Divine Deablo 2021 NFL Draft Profile

Measuring in at 6’-3” and 226 pounds, Divine Deablo is one of the biggest safeties in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Virginia Tech product used his massive size and strength to put together his best season to date. Seeing the field for 644 snaps, Deablo finished his redshirt senior season with 43 tackles, 12 assists, and just seven missed tackles.

Deablo initially joined the college football ranks as a three-star recruit…at wide receiver. After committing to Virginia Tech, the team and player both realized that his future lied on the other side of the ball. Throughout the 2018 and 2019 seasons, Deablo recorded 101 tackles, 27 assists, and 25 missed tackles on a combined 1,556 snaps.

Strengths

  • Massive safety that will overpower any running back that comes his way;
  • Above-average football IQ with the ability to anticipate routes and plays;
  • Could play pseudo-linebacker in nickel and dime packages;
  • Can hang with tight ends in coverage;
  • Sound fundamentals in the run game – won’t miss many tackles;
  • Special teams experience – could make immediate impact in that role.

Weaknesses

  • Only one year of notably good play came as a redshirt senior;
  • Pedestrian athleticism even when size adjusted;
  • Slow acceleration – probably won’t make it as a free safety;
  • Bites hard on play action;
  • Struggles to change direction and can be beaten in the quick game;
  • Might have to transition to linebacker at the NFL level.

NFL Comparison: Laron Landry

Teams With Need At Position: New York JetsBaltimore RavensCleveland BrownsJacksonville JaguarsLas Vegas RaidersDallas CowboysPhiladelphia EaglesDetroit LionsNew Orleans Saints

Projection: 4th Round

Bottom Line on Divine Deablo

It’s not often that you stumble onto a prospect like Divine Deablo. Based on his build alone, the 22-year old safety looks more like a linebacker, yet he managed to play adequately in space at the college level. Most of this is due to his above-average instincts and ability to diagnose plays, as his impressive football IQ allowed him to compensate for his pedestrian speed. As you’d expect of someone his size, he can absolutely hold his own in the run game and delivers some vicious hits. If you’re an optimist, you could say that this combination of traits could make him an ideal pseudo-linebacker in nickel packages.

If you’re a pessimist, however, you could say this means Deablo doesn’t have a true position. Personally, I lean more towards that side of the fence. Deablo’s lackluster agility and acceleration means that he will never be anything more than a box safety, and he might not have the size to be an every-down linebacker. This is especially concerning considering how often he bites on play action, which will definitely happen more as a full-time linebacker. Additionally, the fact that his only great season came when he was significantly older than the rest of his competition should be a major red flag.

Personally, I don’t see Deablo ever developing into anything more than a decent backup with special teams upside. However, I’ve been wrong before, and I can’t deny that his massive size could translate to the NFL with good coaching. Deablo’s earned the right to start his career as a safety, but his coaching staff should be prepared to make him a full-time linebacker if he can’t handle the coverage responsibilities of the position.

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