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Cooper DeJean 2024 NFL Draft Profile

Cooper Dejean is a 6’0 203 pound zone corner/versatile safety that can cause havoc on an offense in multiple ways.

Cooper DeJean NFL Draft Overview

Position: Cornerback
School: Iowa Hawkeyes
Height:  6’0 1/2″
Weight:  203 lbs
Age: 21 years old
Arm: 31 1/8″
Hand: 9 5/8″

More 2024 NFL Draft Profiles

Could it be? Have my eyes deceived me? No, they haven’t; it’s here! A white corner is here! It’s been a while, but the Iowa product is here to break the stereotype and dominate. The athletic cornerback was a four-star recruit out of Iowa and committed to his hometown Hawkeyes. Cooper Dejean became a full-time starter in his last two seasons at Iowa and amassed 116 tackles and seven interceptions. He received first-team All-Big Ten in 2022 and, in 2023, earned all-American honors despite the injury. Dejean is fast, physical, and has good ball skills. However, is he a first-round pick? Let’s dig into the film!

2024 NFL Draft: Cooper DeJean Scouting Report 

 Dejean’s Strengths

  • Elite linear athletes have explosive speed when running. The prototype was built in the lab with a football height and weight speed combination.
  • He is the best zone corner in the draft, bar none. Feast on QB’s eyes and make them pay with plays on the football. Very football intelligent with recognition of routes taking away passes before Quarteback sees an open wide receiver.
  • That was a very good backpedal and explosive burst to make plays on the ball in off-coverage.
  • Great ball skills and is a big-time playmaker. Seven career interceptions, three went for touchdowns!
  • Plays extra physical versus the run. Eliminates threats in the quick game and screen game. Not afraid to blow up blockers to open up other teammates.
  • He has a lot of experience in what he will be great at in the NFL. Iowa plays a lot of zone, so he’s a seamless fit with zone scheme-coached defenses or defenses who mix coverages.
  • Versatility and safety are a plus for playing outside the corner and inside the slot.

Dejean’s Weakness 

  • Below-average hip fluidity is exposed versus great route runners and short, shifty wide receivers. Will get eaten alive in man coverage at the NFL level on the outside versus the best wide receivers.
  • He can get too careless with his eyes and keep them too locked in on the quarterback. This leads to grabs and easy wins for opposing wide receivers that the NFL will much better take advantage of.
  • Faced below-average competition in 2023. In 2022 vs Ohio State with NFL top flight Quarterback and wide receivers, he was BBQ chicken.
  • He cannot be your number-one corner.
  • Strictly a zone corner makes him dependent on the scheme.
  • He has trouble locating the ball when he’s in chase mode, and his back is turned against the quarterback.

Projection: Early Second Round Pick

NFL Comparison: Eddie Jackson

Best Fits: San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints, Chicago Bears, and the Indianapolis Colts.

Bottom Line

Cooper Dejean is a versatile prospect who should get an opportunity to be a cornerback first before changing positions to safety. He has good size, speed, ball skills, and football IQ to thrive as an outside corner in a heavy zone/ disguise defense. My NFL comparison was versatile safety, Eddie Jackson. Dejean best position is safety, and if all else feels, being a darn good safety nickel is good.
Main Photo: Lily Smith/The Register-USA TODAY NETWORK


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