Jamien Sherwood 2021 NFL Draft Overview
Weight: 220 pounds
Jamien Sherwood 2021 NFL Draft Profile
From Jensen Beach High School, just two hours north of Miami, Jamien Sherwood made a name for himself heading into the recruiting cycle as a four-star recruit with offers from “blue blood” programs like Georgia, Oklahoma, and Auburn. Sherwood ultimately chose to play for Gus Malzahn and the Auburn Tigers over his home state Florida Gators.
As a freshman, Sherwood immediately played his way onto the field, which is impressive in the context of the daunted SEC. Not only did Sherwood play special teams, but he also contributed on defense. On defense, Sherwood posted 22 tackles, while defending two passes, intercepting one pass, and displaying his versatility with 1.5 sacks. With an impressive frame, 6’-2” and 220 pounds, Sherwood primarily played at strong safety. He also received snaps at linebacker in nickel situations, highlighting his physicality and versatility.
Entering his Sophomore season, Sherwood remained in a backup role behind Daniel Thomas, who returned for his senior season. Thomas was drafted in the fifth round by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2020. Despite not starting, Sherwood’s snaps grew as he was often the third safety or nickel linebacker in passing situations. While he didn’t have any interceptions or sacks, the Jensen Beach product had four tackles for loss, 43 tackles, and five passes defenders. After a strong 2019 campaign, Sherwood had high expectations heading into 2020. In a starting role, Sherwood had 75 tackles, three tackles for loss, and two fumble recoveries in his most productive college season.
Outside of the numbers, Sherwood cemented himself as an elite run defender in his junior season, flashing against Georgia with ten tackles. He also had his fair share of highlight-reel hits, including one in SEC play versus Texas A&M. Finally, in coverage, Sherwood displayed athleticism in man coverage, one of his weaknesses, with a critical pass break-up against Georgia. Following his junior season, Sherwood decided to forgo his junior year and declare for the NFL Draft.
- Excellent tackler, particularly in the run game; quick to fill gaps;
- A strong physical presence as a box safety; known as a “hard-hitter”;
- Displayed versatility as both a quality linebacker and safety;
- Has solid quick-twitch athleticism (36-inch vertical); good frame for a potential switch to linebacker;
- Despite being labeled a hard-hitter, he is incredibly disciplined, quick to sniff out screens or misdirections.
- Falls into the “tweener” category; may be difficult to project in the NFL;
- Does not have the speed to play in zone coverage as an interchangeable safety (4.75 40-yard dash)
- Not a natural fit in man coverage in potential match-ups with tight ends;
- Needs to bulk up to handle a 17-game season at linebacker.
NFL Comparison: Keanu Neal
Teams with a Need at Linebacker/Safety: Washington Football Team, Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots
Projection: 3rd-5th Round
Bottom Line on Jamien Sherwood
Jamien Sherwood fits the mold of the “modern-day” WILL linebacker at the next level. While his athletic profile may not be at the level of more intriguing former “hybrid” prospects, like Landon Collins and Isaiah Simmons, Sherwood possesses a few elite traits in his own right. In his rookie season, he should be able to see the field as the sub-linebacker in Nickel situations with his ability to impact the run game. As he begins to grow into his six-foot-two-inch frame, he could be able to develop into a starting-caliber linebacker. The Washington Football Team could find Sherwood intriguing because Landon Collins stated his concerns for a potential switch to linebacker.
Over recent years, the NFL has increasingly become a “YAC league.” The emphasis on short passes, whether that be RPO’s or screens, makes sure-handed tackling even more important. Sherwood could be drafted as high as the second round with his short-distance burst and hard-hitting, but secure tackling. However, the primary concerns with Sherwood lie in coverage. He doesn’t have the speed or agility to match up with wide receivers in the slot, but he isn’t big enough to consistently guard NFL tight ends. This would be Sherwood’s primary obstacle at the next level. However, with his flashes at Auburn, he could develop these coverage skills at the next level.
In a deep linebacker class, headlined by Micah Parsons and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Sherwood could go under the radar and be an excellent draft pick in the mid-rounds. While he may not be of the same caliber as fellow hybrid linebacker Owusu-Koramoah, Sherwood could provide solid value as a late day two or early day three pick given his physical playstyle and tackling ability.
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