Atlanta Falcons 2016 Draft Scouting Report: S KJ Dillon
Free Agency was phase one of the offseason for the Atlanta Falcons. As you know by now, the team set out for particular players to fill some of the voids (defensive end, linebacker, wide receiver, safety). Even with the additions made, strong safety is still a need at this point.
While the team may target the front seven in the first two rounds of the draft, round three may be a target area for Atlanta to set their focus on a thumper in the secondary. One player to closely monitor is West Virginia’s KJ Dillon. One half of the hard-hitting safety tandem for the Mountaineers in recent seasons, Dillon along with free safety Karl Joseph have risen up draft boards.
Let’s take a look at what Dillon can provide to the Falcons if selected.
Safety KJ Dillon
Weight: 210 lbs
Strengths: Dillon provides the exact same outlook as his backfield mate, free safety Karl Joseph, which is a physical safety. Dillon has NFL size at 6’0, 210 pounds with 31 5/8″ arm length and 9 5/8″ hands.
Dillon has back-to-back seasons (2014 & 2015) of at least 54 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, and six pass deflections, also impressive is Dillon having 20 pass deflections in the past three seasons.
In West Virginia’s 3-3-5 defense, Dillon was often assigned as the ‘Spur’ of the defense, which is a hybrid strong safety/linebacker position. His best attributes are his ability to read and attack as well as possessing good athleticism. Dillon ran an official time of 4.53 at the NFL Combine as well as a 10 foot broad jump.
Dillon provides versatility as he is reliable in both run support and pass defense. When Dillon brings the lumber for a hit, you feel it. Dillon also provides good energy, effort, and hustle. Always motivated to play regardless of opponent.
Weaknesses: The small components of Dillon’s game are his clear weaknesses. Mechanical issues such as his backpedal and overall tackling ability needs upgrading. Not saying he is a bad or unreliable one, it’s simply that at times he tends to be a “drag down” type tackler. Dillon also must learn to navigate through traffic amongst blockers. Dillon has enough straight line speed however at the safety position, Dillon could tighten up his pursuit angles to mask his good but not elite speed.
Bottom line: Dillon is not a finished product at all. He has enough traits and attributes to warrant a look in the 2nd or 3rd round. If you pair the Blogging Dirty scouting reports made on Karl Joseph and this one on Dillon, they are quite similar.
Both safeties have enough versatility to provide services in both safeties although it’s clear that Joseph is a free safety and Dillon is a strong safety. With Dan Quinn’s defensive scheme in place, it is a versatility-heavy scheme, which is one of his attributes.
The physicality that former strong safety William Moore provided won’t be missed with a safety such as Dillon in place. By now, most of you know how much of a fan I am of Florida strong safety Keanu Neal. If Atlanta misses the opportunity to grab Neal, Dillon is a great Plan B option at strong safety.
Next: Five first-round options for Falcons post-free agency
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