Dwight Lowery # DB
Height: 5-11 Weight: 212 Age: 30
Born: 1/23/1986 Santa Cruz , CA
College: San Jose State
Experience: 9th season
High School: Soquel HS [CA]
Positives: Has a lean, but defined frame with adequate arm and shoulder muscle tone, small waist, good bubble, slender, but defined thighs and calves...Better cover man than a tackler, but will not shy away from contact...Has natural hands and very good timing on his leaps to get to the ball at its high point, also using his long reach effectively to get his hand up and over the receiver to deflect the pass...Shows good body control throughout his running stride and the hand-eye coordination to look the ball in over his outside shoulder...More quick than fast, but has the functional short-area burst to recover (can struggle to turn and drive on the ball when the receiver gets behind him; see 2007 Kansas State, Hawaii and Louisiana Tech games)...Has a keen knowledge of the playbook and is capable of making defensive calls in the secondary (coaches say he not only knows every assignment, but is the most "field smart" player on the team. Coach Tomey likens his awareness to that of the Ravens' Chris McAlister, who played for Tomey at Arizona)...Hard worker who puts in the extra hours training or in the film room to improve upon his weaknesses...Mature, quiet athlete with no known off-field issues...Has superb ball anticipation skills, especially when playing in zone, doing a good job of taking angles to close...Not the type that can get fooled on run action...Reacts with good urgency once he locates the ball and looks like a better fit at free safety than at corner, as he appears more comfortable keeping plays in front of him and anticipating throws in the zone than when going one-on-one with the receivers...Showed marked improvement in 2007, playing his responsibility first before flying to the ball (attacked the ball more often than staying on his man in 2006)...Closes quickly on plays in front of him, covering lots of ground in the short zone area (has good cover-2 skills, especially when in the loose third or in scheme coverage)...His vision lets him keep most of the action in front of him, as he easily locates the ball in flight, even with his back turned on the quarterback, as he is in good position to go up and get to the ball at its highest point...Keeps good body control combating for jump balls and seems to always be in the proper spot to break up or intercept the pass (27 passes defended in 25 games at SJSU and 46 passes defended in 40 games for his career)...Does a very good job of extending and catching the ball outside his frame, looking athletic in his leaps...His timing allows him to explode off the ground in attempts to reach the thrown ball, making good body adjustments to get to the off-target tosses. Negatives: Lacks ideal strength and good overall muscle mass...Little tight in his hips, as he gathers some in transition and will take a false step when trying to change direction...Might be a better fit at free safety due to his excellent ball skills and compensate for his lack of man coverage skills...Played in the press technique most, but lacks good plant-and-drive agility on hard cuts, which allows receivers to separate from him after the catch (see 2007 Hawaii and Louisiana Tech games)...Too stiff in his hips to be fluid when changing direction and, while he is quick to close on plays in front of him, he lacks the second gear to recover when beaten...Needs to do a better job of playing off the receiver. When he gets his hands outside his frame in attempts to press, he can be beaten by the slot receivers working underneath (see 2007 Kansas State game)...Has adequate timed speed, but looks sluggish when he has to catch up to speedy receivers on deep routes (must develop a second gear)...Liability in run support, as he lacks the strength to face up to blockers...More of an ankle-biter than a wrap-up tackler, as he fails to stay in front of his man, preferring to take a side (bigger receivers have had great success playing off his hits)...Needs to do a better job of protecting himself in the open field, as he is very susceptible to the cut block...Must square up before delivering the tackle, as he tends to duck his head before contact, losing sight of his man (receivers get good separation when he does this working in space). Compares To: RODERICK HOOD-Arizona...Like Hood, Lowery is more quick than fast, which will probably give him trouble handling NFL receivers on deep routes. He might be a better fit as a free safety or in nickel packages, as he has the natural hands, leaping ability and timing to get to the ball at its highest point. What he does best is pick off passes. What he does worst is tackle. He lacks the strength to put much force behind his shots and is a liability in run support. However, he has great ball awareness and is not the type who will be fooled by play action. He needs to bulk up some, but it will be his ball-reaction skills that earn him an NFL paycheck, not his strength or quickness. The best way to utilize him might be as a safety, however, which will let him attack the ball; his man coverage skills are lacking for a team to consider him a cornerback in a man scheme.