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What Does the NFL Think of Derwin James?


With the 2018 season officially in the books, we're taking a trip around the NFL to see what some noteworthy players, coaches and figures have to say about a few of the Bolts' biggest names.

We've already looked at Philip Rivers.

Next up, Derwin James.

Fox Commentator Joe Buck: "I got a text from Troy (Aikman), who was studying film and all it said was – he kind of gives me the heads up as he's watching a lot of the film as I'm getting ready to do what I do in these games. He said, 'Derwin James is a flat-out stud.' And he doesn't say that about really anybody. And so, he's watching film and looking at things that this kid is doing – kind of a hybrid player, more down near the line of scrimmage now than he was earlier in the year. He thinks he's fantastic."

Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden: "We wanted to take Derwin James. Everybody wanted Derwin James. ... Having been in the AFC West before, he just has that Rodney Harrison playing style that I love. He's an intimidating player, he is a physical presence. I think he's got range to play deep, he's got coverage ability. He can run through you, he can run around you, he can run right over you. He is a dynamite young player, and he'll be one of the building blocks in L.A. for a long time for the Chargers."

Former Charger and NBC Analyst Rodney Harrison: "He's been their best defensive player. What he's been able to do, come in here and have the impact (as a rookie), is really very difficult. I didn't start until my third season. He is a rookie doing all of this."

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick: "He's as good as anybody we've seen all year. Big, fast, athletic, very instinctive. He primarily plays around the line of scrimmage. Usually in a safety position but they play a lot of six and seven defensive backs, so sometimes he's in a linebacker-type position, but whether you want to call him a linebacker or a safety, he's down near the line of scrimmage…. His length, his strength, his speed and his instinctiveness – he has a good nose for the ball. He's around the ball a lot and physically, he's really hard to deal with. He's fast with great size and explosive power. The guy's a really good football player."

Browns QB Baker Mayfield: "I think he's a do-it-all safety and that's what the buzz was about him before the draft. He's just making all that come true now. He's doing everything on the field. He can blitz (and) he can get back there in coverage, it's impressive to see a rookie be able to do that for a defense."

Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin: "Derwin James is a top-notch safety. You're seeing his impact and the positive contributions his presence is bringing to them. Not only in terms of what he's able to do in the secondary – he had an interception I think a week ago – but the things he's able to do on and around the line of scrimmage. Whether it's in the run game, first, second down, whether it's in the blitz game, I think he's got 3.5, 4.0 sacks, or just the general disruption that his presence provides. He's often too big for perimeter people to block and deal with, and obviously, his athleticism is an asset to him against much bigger people."

Check out the top photos of Derwin James' dynamic rookie season with the Bolts.

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