There were several heralded defenders at the Senior Bowl with Ole Miss’ Cody Prewitt being one of the standout defensive backs. I viewed both games available on draftbreakdown.com, Boise State and Vanderbilt, along with the week of practices in Mobile as well as the game itself to get a good feel of the safety’s skill set. I know in most dynasty leagues defensive backs seem to be after thoughts, but I would keep an eye on this senior.
S Cody Prewitt, Ole Miss 6’ 2” 217 lbs.
Cons: The defensive back sometimes plays a bit too aggressive by establishing contact before the ball arrives, most of the time he guesses correctly, but he straddles the line a lot. He also plays more of a head hunter role, trying to make tackles too high. This type of tackling leads to more attention from the officials; that is the last thing a defender or his potential team wants. Prewitt occasionally looks immersed in thought when he should be reacting to the play around him.
Pros: Prewitt is a big, athletic and physical defender. He matches up well against tight ends and receivers alike. The safety can flip his hips like a corner back while doing a good job getting in between the ball and the offensive player. There were more than a few times he seemed to really enjoy separating the ball from the receiver’s hands either with an arm rip or a flying shoulder smash.
By reading the quarterback’s eyes, Prewitt can drift over to where the ball is heading before most other defenders. The defensive back sees the entire field well, takes good angles to get to the ball carrier quickly, and is a good wrap up tackler. He also has the long speed to track down an offensive player 20 yards down the field to save a touchdown.
By tracking the ball well in the air, it allows him to jump routes stealing the ball with his soft hands. Prewitt has the speed and agility that make him dangerous on interception and fumble returns. The safety is an effective run stuffer when he walks up to the line in short yardage situations. He is a good gunner on special teams, and is excellent at making open field tackles.
Overall thoughts: I really like Prewitt’s athleticism and ball hawking ability. At the next level those can make you a defensive threat every time the ball is in the air or a huge liability in coverage. He reminds me a lot of Packers free safety Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix who is a hard hitter and is usually quite good in coverage. However, the safety could be more of an athlete than a defender like the Bengals Taylor Mays.
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