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With the injury to the former “honey badger” and what seems like the mess at linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals, many fantasy football  IDP owners are clamoring about safety Deone Bucannon.  He is a little underrated compared to the likesbucky of fellow 2014 rookie safeties Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor, but Bucannon has a good combination of their skills which makes him able to play both the free and string safety spots (I think he will be a better strong safety though).  I re-watched four of his 2013 collegian games against Stanford, California, USC, and Arizona State to get a better understanding of the skill set he brings to the NFL and how well he will find into the Cardinal team.

If there is any sort of weakness to his game and him being on your dynasty team, I would say it is his over aggressiveness.  When Bucannon is playing the run, he sometimes takes bad angles and completely whiffs on contacting the player.  At times in coverage, the young safety will read a quarterback’s eyes and try to jump the route.  This is a great thing when he guesses right; however, when Bucannon goes the other way, touchdowns get scored.  I would also like to see him throw his shoulder less on tackles as he could make contact with the helmet causing a few penalty flags to be thrown.

The safety covers the slot well with his quickness and physicality, usually throwing receivers off-balance to disrupt the route and timing.  Bucannon possesses good vision, gets to ball at it’s the highest point like a receiver, tracks the pigskin in the air, and has solid hands to make interceptions.  He closes quickly and can snap his hips hard to inflict pain when he is making the tackle.  By getting his arm in between the receiver’s two hands, the safety regularly knocks the ball away or maneuvers him in a better position to cause the turnover.

Bucannon got used regularly on special teams as a gunner on the punt and kickoff teams.  This ability to cut thru walls of blockers to get to the ball carrier quickly helps him on designed blitzes too.  His motor is always running which makes him even more dangerous because the safety changes directions so quickly.  He is effective stopping the run and is usually a very solid tackler.  Once Pryor and Clinton-Dix are off the board, you can still grab a surefire fantasy DB2 who could be a DB1 in the near future in Bucannon.


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