Devon Witherspoon 2023 NFL Draft Profile

Devon Witherspoon NFL Draft

Devon Witherspoon NFL Draft Overview

Position: Cornerback
Height: 6’ 0”
Weight: 180 pounds
School: Illinois

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2023 NFL Draft: Devon Witherspoon Scouting Report

Devon Witherspoon was the defensive leader for the surprisingly-good Illinois team in 2022. Witherspoon features great ball skills and is one of the best coverage corners in this year’s draft class. He projects to be the second corner taken this year behind only Christian Gonzalez. In 2022, Witherspoon had three interceptions and 17 passes defended, which put him in second in the Big Ten for the latter statistic. He also tallied 41 total tackles on the year and had 159 in his four-year career at Illinois.

Witherspoon was named to the All-Big Ten first team and received plenty of All-American honors. He had the best coverage grade in the nation with a 92.5, according to PFF. Witherspoon was also the second-highest-graded cornerback in the nation too, behind only Toledo’s Quinyon Mitchell. He was fantastic all year and allowed just 16 receptions on 54 primary targets, for a grand total of just 180 yards and zero touchdowns. 

Strengths

  • Fantastic ball skills; creates turnovers and PDs with ease;
  • Fantastic athlete with a 4.38 40-time;
  • Good coverage skills; experienced in most schemes;
  • High football IQ leads to quick play recognition and decision making;
  • Has most fundamentals for a good corner like proper positioning.

Weaknesses

  • Below-average weight for a player of his size;
  • Lacks complete stamina, or “back-end” speed;
  • Slightly-less physically imposing because of smaller frame;
  • Good hands but can get handsy at times which leads to penalties.

NFL Comparison: Kendall Fuller

Teams With Need At Position: Las Vegas Raiders, Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons, Washington Commanders, Chicago Bears

Projection: First-Round Pick (Mid-Round)

Bottom Line on Devon Witherspoon

Witherspoon projects to be one of the best cornerback prospects that the NFL has seen in years. He will likely be in the top three corners drafted this year, and they could go in any given order. His experience and success in the Big Ten make him a high-valued target for many NFL teams. He has fantastic ball skills and is very athletic, and will also make receivers work really hard to bring in passes. He is an opposing quarterback’s nightmare, as he is known to lock down many of the conference’s and the nation’s best receivers.

There are some concerns about Witherspoon’s size and physicality but those are things that can be developed. He is very active and athletic, and can also get around the field to do whatever is asked of him. He has tremendous football IQ and helped take command of a very good Illinois defense. Witherspoon can fit in with most schemes in the NFL and has also proven to be durable and dependable throughout his career. He will almost certainly be a Top-15 pick and I highly doubt he stays on the board until the 20th pick, if that.

Main Photo: Matt Krohn – USA Today Sports