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Dezmen Southward | Safety

Team: Wisconsin Badgers
Ht / Wt:  6'2' / 214

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Third-rounder S Dezmen Southward, the No. 68 overall pick, will play free safety, according to Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff.
Southward wasn't asked to do much covering for the Badgers during his first three years on campus ("My senior year is the first year that I did it," he said), so Atlanta is doing the right thing by assigning him center field duties. The club's brass knows Southward's strengths: The athletic, big-bodied safety (6-foot 1/4, 211 pounds, 4.38 forty, 42-inch vertical) is also smart (31 Wonderlic), ensuring that he'll fill allies, doll out punishment, and won't get fooled much. Dwight Lowery's days as a starter are numbered. "He is a guy who is big and fast (and has) really good natural agility and movement for a bigger safety," Dimitroff said. "He has had one of the best three-cone (drill) times, which is usually an indicator of body control and movement. He has cover skills and very good range. We think he has some real upside." May 11 - 5:16 PM

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Date:

Falcons selected Wisconsin S Dezmen Southward with the No. 68 overall pick in the NFL draft.

Southward (6-foot 1/4, 211) made 30 starts for the Badgers, recording 11.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, and four forced fumbles. He turned heads at Wisconsin's Pro Day, scorching a 4.38 forty with a 42-inch vertical and 10-foot-4 broad jump. Southward lacks ideal ball skills, but is a plus-sized safety with experience covering college slot receivers, smarts (31 Wonderlic), and can fill in the alley. Southward figures to open his career on special teams, but offers many starting-caliber straits. He'll push Dwight Lowery in training camp to start at free safety, across from SS William Moore.
May 9 - 10:03 PM

NFL Films' Greg Cosell believes Wisconsin S Dez Southward is a sleeper.

"I thought he was very very interesting on film," Cosell said on the "Ross Tucker Podcast." The analyst explained that he looks for four things when evaluating safety prospects: 1.) Tackling/defending the run, 2.) Can they play single-high safety?, 3.) Can they play Cover-2 concepts?, 4.) Can they play man-to-man? Cosell didn't state this, but it was implied that Southward displayed the ability to do all four. The Badgers' product has met with the Colts and Redskins, and been worked out privately by the Patriots.
Apr 24 - 7:33 PM

Wisconsin S Dez Southward had a pre-draft visit with the Colts, according to draft insider Tony Pauline.

Southward has also met with the Redskins, and been worked out privately by the Patriots. He struggles some when asked to cover one-on-one, but Southward keeps improving and has eliminated a lot of holes in his game. He's rangy, doesn't get caught out of position, and will close quickly. Southward was held out of the combine due to a neck injury. At his pro day, he ran a 4.38 second forty and had a 42-inch vertical leap.
Apr 23 - 8:40 PM

Wisconsin S Dez Southward visiting the Redskins earlier this week, according to Aaron Wilson.

Wilson adds Southward has worked out privately with the Patriots. The defensive back has played a variety of roles, but was held out of the Combine due to a neck injury. At his pro day, Southward ran his forty in 4.38 seconds and had a 42-inch vertical leap.
Apr 17 - 12:55 PM

Wisconsin S Dezmen Southward believes he answered all scouts' questions at his pro day.

"I think there were a lot of unanswered questions," Southward said. "'How fast is he? How explosive is he? Can he flip? Can he go up and get the ball?' I think a lot of those questions I was able to answer." Southward, who was barred from working at the combine due to a faulty diagnosis that suggested he had a fractured vertebrae, ran in the 4.37 range and recorded a 42-inch vertical at Wisconsin's pro day. Florida State's Terrence Brooks ran the fastest safety forty time at the combine with 4.42 seconds.
Mar 7 - 8:58 PM

Draft insider Tony Pauline reports Wisconsin S Dezmen Southward ran in the 4.37 range and recorded a 42-inch vertical at the school's pro day.

Southward did not compete at the NFL Combine after playing corner and safety at the Senior Bowl. NFL.com's Gil Brandt previously said Southward had a chance of being a top-100 selection. The safety class can be shuffled after the top three of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Jimmie Ward and Calvin Pryor.
Mar 5 - 1:19 PM

NFL.com's Gil Brandt believes Wisconsin DB Dezmen Southward could be a top 100 player.

Southward is a "good-looking player, looks like he can run in 4.4s," Brandt tweeted, adding a "sleeper" tag to the post. The Wisconsin Badger was forced to play a good amount of cornerback at the Senior Bowl due to a lack of numbers, but evaluators certainly want to see if he can match up with receivers at the line of scrimmage.
Feb 12 - 9:05 AM

Wisconsin senior S Dezmen Southward accepted an invitation to play in the East-West Shrine Game.

Southward (6-foot-2, 214 pounds) is big and fast. Lightly-recruited coming out of high school, Southward turned himself into a versatile defensive back who at times has been asked to cover slot receivers.
Thu, Dec 5, 2013 08:43:00 PM