NFL Draft Profile: Devon Witherspoon

As the NFL's annual free agency frenzy comes to a close, it's time for teams to look forward to the year's best and last chance to improve their rosters: the NFL Draft. As April 27th approaches, we'll look at the prospects most likely to transform a franchise's fortunes.

The Player: Devon Witherspoon, Cornerback

Devon Witherspoon was the rare four-year starter at cornerback for Illinois. Over 41 appearances, he compiled five interceptions, 25 passes defended, and 157 total tackles. A competitive, fiery leader in the secondary, Witherspoon isn't afraid to mix it up and talk smack. An All-American in 2022, Witherspoon has a chance to be the first cornerback taken in the draft.

The Tools:

At 5'11.5" and 181 lbs, Witherspoon has adequate size for an outside corner, but he may need to put on weight to avoid being overpowered by big-bodied WR1s. He declined to test at the combine and his pro day, which would generally indicate he has something to hide regarding his athleticism, but he demonstrated closing speed and tenacity in college. He understands his work isn't done when a pass doesn't go his way; he does an excellent job of seeking contact on ball carriers after completions.

The Verdict:

Witherspoon has the aggressiveness and swagger of a Jalen Ramsey or Sauce Gardner, and it carried him a long way in college. Without knowing more about his measurables, it's difficult to know how he'll manage the jump in competition, but his fearlessness and desire to be great jump off the tape. Teams looking to play with attitude and aggressiveness should happily gobble him up in the middle of the first round.

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