DESHON ELLIOTT | FS/SS | TEXAS
Height: 6007 | Weight: 210 | Arm: 32 1/4" | Hand: 10 1/2" | 40 Time: 4.62 | 10-Split: 1.59 | Bench: 15 | Broad: 121" | Vertical: 36"
DeShon Elliott started 13 out of 31 career games for the Longhorns at free safety before declaring after his First-Team All-American junior campaign. The Jim Thorpe Award Finalist led the Big 12 in interceptions in 2017 with 6 returning 2 for six points. As proficient as Elliott was as a playmaking ballhawk, he was equally as productive as a tackler, finishing with 63 stops (8.5 for loss) with only 2 missed tackles and 3 forced fumbles.
Elliott has good size for a coverage safety with a developed lower body, muscular physique and long extremities with big hands. Elliott is strong and explosive for his size and shows good hip fluidity and balance in his movements.
Elliott is a rare mental processor who marries his play recognition with outstanding closing speed to break on the ball to allow for true sideline-to-sideline range. Elliott is a turnover maven and uses his unreal instincts and terrific ball skills to reel in interceptions, and could have had one or two more if not for some easy concentration drops. In zone coverage, Elliott maintains patience in his positioning until the last possible second before making a decision on assignment pick-up, and does a terrific job of baiting QBs with his eyes. Elliott is loyal to his assignments in man coverage and stays disciplined to not play out of the scope of his duties. While Elliott is terrific in coverage, he is not a one-dimensional finesse safety. In run support, Elliott is very aggressive when attacking downfield and consistently makes plays behind the LOS. A punishing finisher, Elliott has worked hard to focus on attacking the football when tackling, and while he is aggressive in his plan, he is consistent in wrapping up and not allowing broken tackles. Elliott is a savvy blitzer who uses timing and anticipation to attack C gaps with speed and aggressively close on the QB.
Tom Herman stated in an interview that Elliott has gone a long way in maturing into a vocal leader for the Longhorns, sharing that Elliott was more concerned about being liked by his teammates than he was leading them, but he has done a total 180 in his junior season. An enormous fan of the Joker from the Batman series, Elliott hopes to have the last laugh as a day two selection, but will have to answer questions about skipping his bowl game on his team visits and interviews. DeShon Elliott compares in body type and play style to Kenny Vacarro and can play as a Free Safety in a Cover 3 Defense where he can rely on his range, instincts, and ball skills to patrol the middle third or be equally as effective as a Cover 2 SS due to his consistent tackling ability and discipline in the open field.
Overall Grade: 79
Athletic Ability: 5
Play Strength: 5
Play Speed: 6
Competitive Toughness: 5
Press Coverage: 4
Man Coverage: 4
Zone Coverage: 5
Make-Up Speed: 4
Player Comparison: Kenny Vaccaro
Projected Round: Round 3
For information on our grading criteria, click here.