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Southward Draft Profile


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OVERVIEW

His stepfather, Eli Rasheed, played football at Indiana and is currently the defensive line coach at Toledo. Didn't start playing football until his senior year, when he started at defensive back for national champion St. Thomas Aquinas in Florida. Also lettered in basketball and track. Redshirted in 2009 before playing in all 13 games as a reserve in 2010, making eight tackles, no pass breakups and no interceptions. Saw action in 13 games (three starts at strong safety) in 2011 and logged 35 tackles, two pass breakups and no interceptions with two forced fumbles. Did not play against Illinois (coach's decision). Moved into the starting lineup at free safety in 2012 and produced 69 tackles, four pass breakups and one interception with eight tackles for loss and one forced fumble in 14 games. Had a career-high 12 tackles in the Big Ten Championship game vs. Nebraska. Filled in on the track team in the spring of 2013 after some sprinters were injured, running the 100 meters and the 4x100 relay. Moved to strong safety for the 2013 campaign and recorded 40 tackles, five pass breakups and one interception with 3.5 tackles for loss and one forced fumble in 13 starts. Was medically excluded at the combine because wrist and spine injuries.

ANALYSIS

STRENGTHS Excellent size. Good straight-line speed. Bends his knees and pedals softly. Reacts well to plays in front of him. Played a hybrid safety role at UW, including defending slot receivers (even played CB in a pinch against BYU). Special-teams experience. Recorded a 4.38-second 40 time, a 42-inch vertical jump and 6.50-second three-cone time at his pro day workout.

WEAKNESSES Short arms. Average hip flexibility and range. Still developing positional instincts and diagnostic skills. Man-coverage limitations. Dull transitional quickness and closing burst. Liability in man-off coverage. Ordinary production on the ball -- not a playmaker. Marginal feel and awareness. Does not punish or intimidate. Reliability should be looked into.

DRAFT PROJECTION Rounds 4-5

BOTTOM LINE Southward, who played only one year of high school football, is a size-speed prospect still learning positional nuances. Could get his foot in the door on special teams and buy some time to develop as a reserve. Strong pro day performance could elevate his draft standing and invite a team to gamble on his upside as a press cover man and special teams performer.

-Nolan Nawrocki

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OVERVIEW

His stepfather, Eli Rasheed, played football at Indiana and is currently the defensive line coach at Toledo. Didn't start playing football until his senior year, when he started at defensive back for national champion St. Thomas Aquinas in Florida. Also lettered in basketball and track. Redshirted in 2009 before playing in all 13 games as a reserve in 2010, making eight tackles, no pass breakups and no interceptions. Saw action in 13 games (three starts at strong safety) in 2011 and logged 35 tackles, two pass breakups and no interceptions with two forced fumbles. Did not play against Illinois (coach's decision). Moved into the starting lineup at free safety in 2012 and produced 69 tackles, four pass breakups and one interception with eight tackles for loss and one forced fumble in 14 games. Had a career-high 12 tackles in the Big Ten Championship game vs. Nebraska. Filled in on the track team in the spring of 2013 after some sprinters were injured, running the 100 meters and the 4x100 relay. Moved to strong safety for the 2013 campaign and recorded 40 tackles, five pass breakups and one interception with 3.5 tackles for loss and one forced fumble in 13 starts. Was medically excluded at the combine because wrist and spine injuries.

ANALYSIS

STRENGTHS Excellent size. Good straight-line speed. Bends his knees and pedals softly. Reacts well to plays in front of him. Played a hybrid safety role at UW, including defending slot receivers (even played CB in a pinch against BYU). Special-teams experience. Recorded a 4.38-second 40 time, a 42-inch vertical jump and 6.50-second three-cone time at his pro day workout.

WEAKNESSES Short arms. Average hip flexibility and range. Still developing positional instincts and diagnostic skills. Man-coverage limitations. Dull transitional quickness and closing burst. Liability in man-off coverage. Ordinary production on the ball -- not a playmaker. Marginal feel and awareness. Does not punish or intimidate. Reliability should be looked into.

DRAFT PROJECTION Rounds 4-5

BOTTOM LINE Southward, who played only one year of high school football, is a size-speed prospect still learning positional nuances. Could get his foot in the door on special teams and buy some time to develop as a reserve. Strong pro day performance could elevate his draft standing and invite a team to gamble on his upside as a press cover man and special teams performer.

-Nolan Nawrocki

LOL. Nawrocki is pretty widely known as a moron.
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I don't get it could have been available in the 4th seems like we picked him a round too early probably should have taken one more pass rusher instead

I don't get it could have been available in the 4th seems like we picked him a round too early probably should have taken one more pass rusher instead

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Height: 6-0. Weight: 211.

Projected 40 Time: 4.55.

Projected Round (2014): 3-5.

5/5/14: Southward finished 2013 with 40 tackles, five passes broken up and an interception. He played well late in the season and at the Senior Bowl to help his draft stock. Southward didn't run at the Combine, but he has some straight-line speed.

8/18/13: Southward was an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection in 2012. He totaled 69 tackles with eight tackles for a loss, two interceptions and five passes broken up. It was Southward's first full season as a starter and he could be better in 2013. Southward recorded a total of 43 tackles as a backup during his sophomore and freshman seasons.

Personal: An agricultural business major. Son of Caprice Southward and Eli Rasheed. His stepfather, Eli, is the defensive line coach at Toledo.

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05/06/2014 - Five players who should be on the Buffalo Bills' draft radar...S Dezmen Southward, Wisconsin: Whaley said that the Bills were looking to promote from within to replace star free safety Jarius Byrd, who was lost to New Orleans in free agency. Whaley specifically mentioned youngsters Jonathan Meeks, Da'Norris Searcy and Duke Williams as possibilities to start alongside Aaron Williams, who was rewarded with a contract extension during the off-season. Should the athletic, instinctive and durable Southward remain on the board in the fourth round, however, the Bills might have to consider him. Like Williams, Southward is a versatile athlete who could develop into a standout with some technical refinement. He showed unique coverage skills while with the Badgers, showing not only the range to play the deep middle but also the agility and competiveness to occasionally drop down and handle slot duties. Some scouts see him as a potential press-corner conversion. He only played one year of high school football but showed steady improvement during his time in Madison and therefore his best football may be ahead of him. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

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