NFL Hot Press: Scouts Ponder NFL Position for Cooper DeJean

Scouts Ponder NFL Position for Cooper DeJean

Updated Aug. 15, 2023
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

Last year, the Iowa Hawkeyes had two favorite players of many in the scouting community with linebacker Jack Campbell and tight end Sam LaPorta. Both of them were top-35 picks by the Detroit Lions in the 2023 NFL Draft; Riley Moss, another Hawkeyes teammate, was taken by the Broncos on Day 2. Elsewhere on the Iowa squad, defensive back Cooper DeJean had an impressive 2022. He had a monster season in which he collected 75 tackles, five interceptions, 13 passes broken up and three touchdowns. DeJean has gotten a lot of preseason hype as a potential first-round pick for the 2024 NFL Draft, but there is some debate about his future position at the next level accorind to multiple team sources who have watched DeJean in training camp and studied his tape over the summer.

“He’s super instinctive, is all over the field, and makes a ton of plays on the ball. He’s an impressive player,” said an AFC director of player personnel. “They say that he is a workout warrior also and will run in the 4.3s. From watching his tape over the summer, to me, he looked like he lacked a little juice to be an outside corner in the NFL. I think he would be best as a slot corner and safety. In a system like the Bills’, he could play outside, but for most teams, I think he would be at his best as a safety that can move to nickel in sub.”

DeJean is listed at 6-foot-1, 207 pounds, which gives him versatile size for the NFL. He has the stature to play outside corner, nickel, or safety, so his future position projection could vary from team to team in the months to come. Regardless of the debate, if DeJean stays consistent with his 2022 production, he should have plenty of franchises considering him in the early rounds of the 2024 NFL Draft.