NFL Draft Prospect Profile: D.J. Swearinger, S South Carolina

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DJ Swearinger
South Carolina S D.J. Swearinger

Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: S D.J. Swearinger

Player Information:

D.J. Swearinger
5-10, 208 pounds
Hometown: Greenwood, SC

STATS

NFL Combine:

Vertical: 37 inches
40 time: 4.67
225-pound bench: 17 reps
Broad jump: 124 inches
3-cone drill: 6.7 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.11 seconds

News and Notes:

Hard-hitting three-year starter and captain of the South Carolina defense. … Played every position in the secondary while at South Carolina. … Totaled 80 tackles, two interceptions and seven pass breakups his senior season. … Blitzes off the edge. … Suspended for one game in 2012 after drilling a defenseless receiver. … Says he models his game after Ed Reed and Ray Lewis. … Gets a lot of praise for being a team leader. … Reputation as one of the hardest-hitting players in college football.

What they’re saying about him:

  • National Football Post: “The game is not too big for him and he should be able to translate immediately at the NFL level. Worst case scenario is he is a solid special teamer and adds quality depth to a defensive backfield. He could work his way to being a starter but don’t expect him to be a difference maker but more a strong piece to the puzzle that doesn’t make the big error. Overall Swearinger is a great pick up in the 4th round and should have a long NFL career for some team.”
  • DraftInsider.net: “Underrated safety with a complete game. Tough run defender that also displays outstanding ball skills. Size and speed may be questioned.”

Video:

Video Analysis:

  • Appears to have no fear about sticking his nose in the middle of the action and taking on offensive lineman and fullbacks that are almost twice his size.
  • He looks bigger than 5-10, 208 pounds to me…
  • Check out the play at about the 1:30 point of the video. Swearinger needs to get off that block from the WR and make a play.
  • Puruse the ball well and makes a good, solid tackle when he has to.
  • Attacks the ballcarrier violently. Fights and claws and does whatever is necessary to bring the ballcarrier down.
  • Looks capable in pass coverage. I’d rather not see him covering NFL WRs, but he should hold his own against TEs.
  • Didn’t see any plays on this clip that made my jaw drop over his range as a safety.

If drafted by the Packers:

Is Swearinger another version of Jerron McMillian? McMillian is more of a run-stopping safety and that’s what Swearinger appears to be. Both players are also about the same size.

If the Packers want more toughness on defense, Swearinger would help. He’s not afraid to attack ballcarriers, deliver a big hit on a WR, or torpedo himself into a pile of offensive linemen that are much bigger and stronger than he is.

The Packers have been searching for the next Nick Collins ever since Collins’ career came to an end. I don’t think Swearinger is the next Collins — his range appears to be nothing like Collins’ — but I see a productive NFL career for Swearinger.

He’s probably not a first-rounder, but if the Packers land Swearinger on the draft’s second day, I’d nod my head in agreement with the selection.

Swearinger is also an awesome last name and I would enjoy making Deadwood references on Twitter whenever Swearinger made a play.

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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  • ThomasMagnumPI

    I completely disagree with the assessment of his play at the 1:30 mark. He is playing outside contain on this play, while there is a gaping alley to his inside. There is little that he can do other than to hold his ground and try to string out the play in order to let his pursuit catch up.

    However, he does seem like a shoulder tackler, albeit a hitter, who might be bounce off too many ballcarriers. His range doesn’t look the best either. However, he is willing to stick his nose in there against the run and is willing to take on blockers, but he might need to put on a few pounds.

    • Adam Czech

      Against a WR? Nah, a good S can do more the just get pushed backward against a WR.

      • Scott

        You forget DJS spent time at the end of the season as corner because of injury against both the large SEC recievers and the fast clemson recievers at end of the saeason and held his own

  • Stroh

    3rd rd prospect. Eric Reid is my choice early or Phillip Thomas in 2nd

  • Stroh

    Swearinger, Cyprien both project as SS only, they don’t have range to play the deep middle. We already drafted Burnett as a SS and really he and Collins were more FS due to their range. Capers likes his safeties to be interchangable and have ball skills and range. Look at FS that can play w/ some physicality too. Reid and Phillip Thomas both fit the bill better than Cyprien and Swearinger. They would be ideal and more interchangable IMO.

    • Turophile

      WAAYY too slow for the Packers. Their guys at safety can comfortably run 4.4 40s and many have clocked 4.3’s on occasion. Ted likes speed at safety. Burnett is mostly a 4.4 guy, Richardson is as quick, maybe a hair faster. McMillian can run 4.35, that is burning fast for a safety. If you look at the article “Who’s on the way up”, you will read about Packers FA Nixon. He has run a 4.31 40….bonkers fast

      It is not easy to acquire guys with that kind of speed at Safety, so you know Ted covets it above many other requirements at the position.

      • Turophile

        Note, Nixon is a corner, not a safety.

      • Stroh

        Completely agree about speed being an important factor. It provides range and playmaking ability. Thompson does seem to draft young safeties that are fast. Collins sub 4.4, McMillan same, Burnett about 4.45.

  • Vijay Swearingen

    I’ve been targeting/ tracking this player for a long time. I agree with your assessment overall, though I think his confidence to step in and become a decent coverage, hard hitting safety is without question. I’d let him challenge for the SS spot in our defense, but if you look at Burnett’s insane tackling numbers, you have to wonder if Burnett would be better off playing the role of the physical striker and if we should be looking to get another “range” safety. You also have to wonder if they’re even considering grabbing a safety at all, most fans think they should, but they speak high praise about the kids they have and if/ when Richarson can make it back, they are fine numbers-wise. I think the fans see that we need a bit more defensive identity or leadership and a guy like Swearinger can provide that for you. He reminds me a lot of Bernard Pollard who we let slip away in Free Agency.

    Also, because I’m a Swearingen, I know what you mean by the Deadwood reference.

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