The Las Vegas Raiders continued their haul of new talent in the 2021 NFL Draft by selecting Divine Deablo at No. 80 in round three. He is a hybrid linebacker/safety.
Having been a member of the Virginia Tech Hokies for five years, Deablo enters the draft on the older side at 23 years old.
He’s coming off his best season as a starter at the same time, leading the ACC in interceptions with four in 2020.
Deablo is big for a safety at 6-3 and 226 pounds, and that size gives him the ability to really bring the punishment on his tackles.
What’s impressive for someone with that size is that Deablo has great balance in space and usually never gets lost.
Deablo's play-processing speed has been lauded, as he’s a player who demonstrates great instincts and is assignment sound.
He also has experience playing in multiple positions on the backend, having played deep safety, in the box and in the slot as well.
Despite that, his size has made evaluators think that he’s more of a tweener than versatile, meaning he might not have one great fit at the NFL level.
Deablo doesn’t have great recovery speed, and even though he’s played in the slot in college, his stop/start speed isn’t thought to be good enough to have him be there much in the future.
Last season was also the first year in his college career that he put up above-average production, giving teams pause to wonder if it might have been a fluke.
Regardless, Deablo still showed the ability to make great reads in coverage, and his size should serve him well in being around the line of scrimmage more.
A change to linebacker might even be in store for him in the future, but in any case, Deablo has the instincts to be a plus player.
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