Raiders Scouting: Devon Witherspoon

Raiders Scouting Report: Devon Witherspoon, An Instinctive Corner With High Football IQ

After a disappointing year for Patrick Graham’s defense in Las Vegas, it’s worth discussing which defensive prospect would be a good fit with the seventh overall selection. After the Las Vegas Raiders’ corners gave up more than 2,000 yards as a group (per Pro Football Focus), upgrading would do wonders for this team. Let’s discuss if defensive back Devon Witherspoon would find a good landing spot with the Silver and Black.

Raiders Scouting: Devon Witherspoon’s Profile

  • Size – 6’0″, 180 lbs.
  • Class – JR
  • School – Illinois
  • Draft Value – 1st RD

Strengths

Devon Witherspoon is the optimization of a corner who wins with a high IQ and instincts. While lacking a reasonable frame, he is more than physically adequate in all aspects of the game. Playing in phase, very few other players remain as calm and composed as he does. He exudes the confidence and energy that are needed for the position. Furthermore, he proved to be a consistent shutdown corner in press coverage. He gave up only one catch in press coverage throughout his final year at Illinois, per PFF. Whether in off-coverage or press coverage, he will find a way to thrive. He also makes his name known in run defense, as he has a knack for making big hits. Finally, Witherspoon will click and close rapidly and has impeccable timing on the receiver’s breaks.

Weaknesses

His press ability may not exactly translate to the pros unless he gains a little bit of weight. At only 6’0″ and 180 pounds, he could be easily outmatched by larger, more physical receivers. He also lacks the recovery speed and length you look for when drafting a corner. Moreover, he tends to get too aggressive and predict routes before they happen. This will lead to some ugly coverage whiffs in the pros.

Will he fit the Raider’s scheme and be a good selection at No. 7?

Witherspoon is a scheme-versatile player, and his best trait, press-man ability, will be highly coveted in this Las Vegas defense. The Raiders ran man coverage close to 40% last season, which is on the high end for the NFL. Given he’s an easy scheme fit and one of the best day-one players this year, he is worth a lot of consideration for the seventh overall pick.

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*Top Photo: 247 Sports

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