Duke Dawson

Florida
CB

Prospect Info

College
Florida
Hometown
Class
Cross City, FL
Senior
Height
Weight
Arms
5' 11"
197 lbs
31 1/2”
Hands
9”

Prospect Grade

5.74
Chance to Become NFL Starter
How We Grade

2018 Draft Results

Drafted by
New England
Patriots
Round 2 ‧ Pick 24
40 Yard Dash
4.46
Seconds
 
Bench Press
15
Reps
 
Vertical Jump
--
INCHES
 
Broad Jump
--
INCHES
 
3 Cone Drill
--
Seconds
 
20 Yd Shuttle
--
Seconds
 
60 Yd Shuttle
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Seconds
 
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Even though Cross City, Florida is closer to Gainesville (51.6 miles) than Tallahassee (97.1 miles), Dawson and his father rooted for the Seminoles growing up. FSU, Alabama, and others couldn't match Florida's push for the first-team All-State defender, however, so rooting interests were set aside. Gators coaches got Dawson on the field right away, playing him in 11 games with one start at safety as a true freshman (14 tackles, interception). He played in every game as a reserve in 2015 (10 tackles, forced fumble) before starting seven games as a nickel back (24 tackles, 3.5 for loss, one interception, led the Gators with seven pass breakups)--waiting to turn to be a full-time starter after corners Jalen Tabor and Quincy Wilson depart for the NFL. Dawson got his chance in 2017, garnering first-team All-SEC honors by starting all 11 games, collecting 34 stops, two for loss, a team-high four interceptions and nine pass breakups. His strong, compact build makes him an excellent tackler and his hand-eye coordination allows him to knock away passes at the last second.
By Lance Zierlein
NFL Analyst
Draft Projection
Rounds 3-4
NFL Comparison
Brian Poole
Overview
Compact, strong slot corner who can beat up finesse receivers when he's allowed to crowd and disrupt the route release. Dawson can match and blanket underneath, but hip tightness shows up when he's forced to turn and run from a backpedal. Dawson can handle himself in man or zone coverage and is ready to work when run support calls. He has some length and speed limitations, but he has the instincts and cover talent to become a starting nickel cornerback.
Strengths
  • Impedes receiver release with patient, mirrored footwork
  • High connection rate when jamming from press
  • Rarely opens hips before receiver shows his release
  • Plays with choppy, fast feet and good acceleration when transitioning
  • Football intelligence and instincts are a plus
  • Digests route combinations
  • Feels breaks and shades early
  • Slant stopper
  • Attacks high side or trail side to ruin the catch point
  • Smothered Christian Kirk from Texas A&M
  • Allowed less than 40 percent completion rate in each of the last two seasons
  • Head swivels and eyes dart to search for route traffic from zone
  • Gritty and competitive in run support
  • Looks to step in and stick runners with force
Weaknesses
  • Considered an average athlete in scouting circles
  • Short strider with hips that are a little tight when opening
  • Has issues opening smoothly and staying mirrored with early route stems when playing off
  • Can get grabby
  • Needs to crowd and keep a hand on his opponent
  • Long speed is average
  • Gives up some separation to burners
  • Short arms stymie opportunities to challenge the catch downfield
  • Missed tackles arise from trying to hit over wrap as a tackler
Sources Tell Us

"Good football player. He just has a natural feel for the game no matter where they have lined him up. Florida has had better athletes for sure, but he's going to be an NFL contributor for sure." -- NFC team regional scout

News

Path to the Draft

Final quick-snap 2018 NFL Draft grades for all 32 teams

Best and most worrisome picks from the 2018 NFL Draft

Winners and losers from Round 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft

Winners and losers from Rounds 2, 3 of the 2018 NFL Draft

GRADE
9.00-10
Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99
Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99
Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49
Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99
Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49
Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99
Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49
NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19
Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00
50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99
Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74
Chance to be in an NFL training camp
NO GRADE
Likely needs time in developmental league