Donte Whitner   S   Ohio St

Strengths

Donte is one of the better tacklers in this draft.  He is a head up, wrap up, squeeze and drive tackler.  He has really good speed, size and shows an excellent burst to the ball.  He has good hands to go for the interception and shows impressive overall instincts for his position. 

 

Needs to Improve

Donte is listed at 205 lbs, but he doesnít look like he's that big.  He must get stronger in the lower body so that he can finish his tackles better.  He has trouble with the drive portion of his tackling techniques.  Donte is tight in the hips and has to work more on his cover skills for the next level. 

 

Talent Board Round   1

If you want a safety set to go for a two-deep zone coverage defense, donít think twice about drafting Donte.  That is the system that he can handle right away and impact for you.  He has good athleticism and I believe that after a few years, he will develop into a decent cover safety.  He was made for the two-deep zone defenses that you see right now and if you're smart, you will draft him and worry about the other things later.  He shows some leadership skills, but because he was in the Ohio St defense, I would suspect there were a lot of leaders, so you might find out that he has more to show in this area than you think.  Donte has to get stronger, but he looks on film to be a tough kid and there are some games that he played in where he was one of the best players on the field.  That is not easy when you have two potential 1st round picks playing with you.  This kid will be able to come in and help a team right away and just might start for the team that picks him despite the fact that he is a junior and coming out early.  Now, what more could you ask for in a draft pick than a ready-made two-deep zone safety that can tackle and intercept the ball?  Heís not perfect, but he is ready-made.  Donte (Ready-Made) Whitner!
by Drew Boylhart

THR

February 2006