Derwin James went to the NFL combine as one of the more highly touted defensive backs in years, and he is living up to the hype.
The former Florida State safety showed elite athleticism while in Tallahassee and has put it on display in Indianapolis. James posted a 40-inch vertical leap and an 11-foot broad jump Monday before running an unofficial 4.48 40-yard dash in both of his attempts — despite a pair of underwhelming get-offs.
#FSU DB Derwin James, at 215 lbs, posts a 40-inch vertical to go with an 11-foot broad jump. Super Freaky.. just as he'd been touted to be for years.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) March 5, 2018
Derwin James 40-yard dash: 4.48 🔥 pic.twitter.com/HWG378KAoU
— Cameron DaSilva (@camdasilva) March 5, 2018
James is expected to be a first-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft and is projected as an instant NFL starter by NFL.com, which gives him a prospect grade of 6.44.
That projection should come as no surprise to anybody who watched James at Florida State. Last season he posted 84 tackles, 5 1/2 for loss, 1 sack, 2 interceptions — one for a touchdown — and 11 pass deflections. James was Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded Seminoles player.
Tough to beat Derwin James as the highest-graded player in Tallahassee from 2017 pic.twitter.com/O1pDDYOhL1
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 5, 2018
James is next in line to follow what has been a great run of successful defensive backs from Florida State. Jalen Ramsey and Xavier Rhodes have become two of the best shutdown cornerbacks in the league, and LaMarcus Joyner, Ronald Darby, P.J. Williams and Marquez White are poised to be starters in 2018.