Why I love starting my draft focus with the Scott Wright conversation (to hear the entire conversation, scroll down or CLICK HERE) is he tends to send me down some paths I otherwise would have ignored.
About midway through our chat I asked Scott a question he hadn’t been asked in his rounds of interviews. I wanted him to give me “an Emery reach” – a player with remarkable physical tools, at a Bears need position, who’d be considered a value 10-15 picks later. He paused, thought a bit and gave me Washington State safety Deone Buccanon.
Here is a well-written scouting report Ricky Henne at Chargers.com:
The closer we inch toward the NFL Draft, the more we hear about potential sleepers. Evaluating the skillset of Deone Bucannon, it’s easy to see why his name in particular has emerged as a big time sleeper quickly rising up draft boards.
A three-time team captain over his four years at Washington State, the safety ranks among the school’s all-time leaders with 384 tackles and 15 interceptions. He is fresh off his best season to date in which he notched a career-high 114 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, six interceptions and three forced fumbles. Bucannon’s 78 solo tackles were the 11th most in the country, and he is also a noted special teams contributor, leading the Cougars with seven tackles in the kicking game. As a result the safety was named a First Team All American in 2013.
While he has gained major buzz of late, Bucannon made a name for himself back in February at the Scouting Combine, finishing in the top three for safeties in almost every major category. He ranked second in the broad jump (125.0 inches) and third in the 40-yard dash (4.49), bench press (19 reps), and vertical jump (36.5).
Strong against both the pass and run, Bucannon is equal part ball hawk and heat seeking missile. At 6-1, 211-pounds he boasts the ideal build for a safety and uses his physique to his advantage. He is a natural playmaker with the ball in the air and is incredibly willing to mix it up in the run game as a jarring force in the box.
While he is a heavy hitter, analysts note he needs to do a better job of being a surefire tackler. Overall, Bucannon possesses an intriguing skillset which is why he is a fast riser leading up to May 8.
40-yard Dash: 4.49
Bench Press: 19 reps
Vertical Jump: 36.5 inches
Broad Jump: 125.0 inches
Is Buccanon actually in play for the fourteenth pick of the first round? No. But his presence on the board may allow Emery to slide back in the first round or deeper, miss on Ha-Ha and Pryor, and still draft a starting safety.
Other opinions? WalterFootball values Buccanon as a third round selection.