Daytawion Lowe, S, Oklahoma State (HT: 5’11½”; WT: 196 lbs)
- Good size and frame for a free safety, standing nearly six feet with room to add muscle in an NFL conditioning program. The NFL prefers safeties over six feet and 200 pounds, and he’s right at that line.
- He has a good backpedal, showing off a low center of gravity and fairly quick feet.
- Starts plays by quickly recognizing whether it is a pass or a run, allowing him to retreat into coverage or get into position to fill his gap.
- As soon as he’s in the NFL, he’ll be one of the fastest in the league. He has the ability to chase down ball-carriers even when he’s 10 yards behind in pursuit. That type of speed helps overcome the mistakes he might make or that his teammates make.
- He has experience as a deep, single high safety and as a safety responsible for half of the field. He played best when covering half of the field, which many NFL defenses have their safeties play.
- Strong, active hands that knock the ball out of receivers’ hands. One of his best moments in 2013 was when he broke up a sure-touchdown catch by Texas Tech star tight end Jace Amaro in the end zone.
- Hip fluidity is average for the position, but he’s able to come down from safety to play man coverage with slot receivers occasionally. He mirrors well with his feet and is very efficient in his movement.
- He does a lot of things effectively and doesn’t put the defense in a bad position to get beat for a big play.
- Has an aggressive mindset and he’s pesky in coverage. Even when he’s beaten, he makes the receiver work hard.
- Excellent tackler in space, boasting a tackling efficiency of 87 percent. He can lay the big hit once in awhile, but he makes solid tackles that translate well to the NFL more often than not.
- Great production and experience in the pass-happy Big 12 conference. For three seasons, Lowe was a key member of the Cowboys defense, which was known for creating many turnovers.
- His floor as a player is fairly high, as he isn’t totally reliant on just his athletic ability. His feel for the game is good, and he has room to improve many aspects of his game.
- Cannot be relied upon to play man coverage with tight ends consistently at this point because he is too grabby when he’s at a disadvantage. He draws holding calls too often. He will have to learn to look back for the ball and play for the ball to avoid the penalties.
- His lack of lateral explosion was exposed against Oklahoma wide receiver Jalen Saunders, who is devastatingly quick and fast. Although Lowe doesn’t need to be a top-notch athlete to succeed, his technique will need to compensate for his very average explosion.
- Pure cornerback skills are really lacking, as he relies mostly on raw athletic ability. To be an asset to the defense in the slot, he will need some time to develop better footwork and recognition skills.
- He’s not the typical playmaker at safety; instead more of a traditional safety that prevents big plays and holds up well during individual situations. For some teams, that might be a negative.
- 2013 Second Team All-Big 12
- Led Oklahoma State defense in total tackles in 2012 and 2011
- Graduating with a degree in sociology
- Former 4-star recruit coming out of high school
- Was not invited to the 2014 NFL Combine
Projecting Lowe into the NFL, he’s an average player with moderate upside to develop into a decent starter. Lowe is a good athlete with very good straight-line speed and good instincts. In a situation that doesn’t ask him to be a turnover enforcer, he could be a solid contributor for a long time.
Draft Projection: Fifth Round