Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama (HT: 6’1⅜; WT: 208 lbs.)
First Round: 21st Pick
NFL Comparison: Eric Berry, S, Kansas City Chiefs
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- Has the ability to recognize whether the play is a run or pass quickly, and then attacks the line of scrimmage or retreats into coverage, respectively. Starting the play in the right direction is definitely important for safeties, as even being out of position for a second can allow a big play for the offense.
- Very disciplined and effective in man coverage, with the ability to mirror slot receivers and tight ends well.
- Fluid hip movement and solid speed allows him to be put in one-on-one situations and be reliable in coverage. I'd expect to see him lined up all over the field because of his versatility.
- Good closing burst toward the ball; he flashed the ability to end up in the immediate area of the throw.
- Was at his best when he was responsible for deep safety on only one side of the field. Having half of the field to roam allows him to be in position to force a turnover or incompletion.
- Excellent tackler in space, boasting a tackling efficiency of 84 percent throughout the 2013 season, according to my count.
- He can deliver the big, highlight-reel hits but knows when to use proper tackling technique, and he rarely has tackles broken.
- Plays with discipline when attacking ball-carriers around the line of scrimmage; doesn’t over-pursue running lanes because of aggressiveness.
- Was able to start as a sophomore and junior at one of the deepest positions on Alabama’s talented defense.
- Good size and weight for either safety position or even cornerback.
- Faced top competition in practice and games, and he earned head coach Nick Saban's trust early in his career.
- Was often lined up as a deep, ranging safety while at Alabama, but lacked standout instincts when recognizing routes.
- Kept eyes on the quarterback while playing zone too long and was unable to anticipate receivers beating the cornerback, allowing too many chunk plays throughout 2013.
- Most interceptions will come off drops or tipped passes if he's used as a single high safety, as he doesn't recognize where throws are going quickly enough to beat receivers to the ball.
- Vulnerable to getting moved by quarterbacks to the opposite side of the field; he will need to improve his eye discipline in coverage.
- Not fast enough to overcome poor pursuit angles, with slightly above-average speed for the position.
- One of the highest-rated recruits in the 2011 class. Ranked the No. 1 safety, and seventh overall player.
- Nicknamed “HaHa” because his grandmother called him that as a child.
- Was suspended for two games for accepting loan money from an assistant coach in 2013.
Clinton-Dix has been a “can’t-miss” player at every level of football he’s been involved with, and his NFL projection is strong as well.
His best position in the big leagues might be at strong safety, where he can be closer to the line of scrimmage and play more man coverage, but he can have success in a Cover 2 scheme as a free safety as well. His athleticism and aggressive mindset will help him become an effective safety in the NFL.
Draft Projection: First Round
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