The Houston Texans have finally drafted defense! Specifically, they've bolstered the rather thin group of safeties with West Virginia's K.J. Dillon. The former Mountaineer joins the team via the 5th round, following in the small footsteps of former Texans safety and current Super Bowl champ Shiloh Keo. Sigh.
|Height||6' 0"||Weight||210 lbs|
|All-Star||Senior Bowl||40 Time||4.53|
When it comes to analyzing Dillon's film, there's a little too much nuance to jump into right now, so we'll turn to pre-draft scouting reports to get a picture of what he can do for the Texans.
Strengths - Angular with good overall length. Makes attacking the catch point a priority. Has had 20 passes defensed and five interceptions over the last two seasons. Shows an ability to play high or low. Reads his keys and fires downhill to support. Good athleticism. Shows some man cover ability from the slot. Responsive to receivers who try and cross his face in zone. Plays with reactive athleticism and burst to click and close on throws. Involved tackler from near the box.
Weaknesses - His "turn and run" speed takes time to ramp up from man coverage. Mechanical and stiff in his backpedal. Holds when he thinks hes beaten. Catch and drag tackler around the box with limited high-impact production as tackler. Doesn't run through his tackles and can be taken for a ride by running backs. Too many missed tackles when coming downhill without enough body control.
USA TODAY's Draftwire: (lots of video here)
KJ Dillon is an athletic, rangy safety who can line up in man coverage and take slot receivers completely out of the play with both his hand strength and footwork, but he is an impatient player in all facets of the game that is caught playing the game a bit too fast at times. For every splash play he has with his interceptions and big hits behind the LOS, he also has serious head scratchers that mitigate those highlights with his mental lapses in both coverage and run support.
With that being said, he has an extremely high ceiling that can be reached with his athleticism, playmaking ability, cover skills, and physicality, but he also has an extremely low floor if he is unable to improve on his technique and cut down the mental lapses he has in both coverage and run stopping.
Sounds a bit like 2014's Mr. Irrelevant, Lonnie Ballentine. Physical upside with sketchy technique. Sounds like perfect special teams fodder with hopes that he'll develop. What say you, Texans fans? Do you envision a strong future for Dillon with the Texans? Or will he bounce around the bottom of the depth chart before being unceremoniously released? Sound off down below!