Brian Dawkins was the greatest safety in Eagles’ franchise history. He was a second-round pick out of Clemson. Big shoes to fill.
Philadelphia decided to go back to the well on Saturday afternoon when they chose Clemson safety K’Von Wallace in the fourth round (127th overall). The scouting report on the 22-year-old shares a few similarities to Dawkins, mainly in terms of his smallish size and aggressive nature. Wallace is slightly undersized at 5-foot-11 and 206 pounds but he can flat-out run in the open field. He clocked 4.53 seconds in the 40 at the NFL Scouting Combine, with a 38-inch vertical jump. He becomes the latest weapon in the Eagles’ new speed movement.
Wallace was a three-year starter at Clemson where he was part of two national championship teams, in 2016 and 2018. His blazing speed made him a valuable and willing blitzer who tallied two sacks in four years to go along with 178 total tackles.
Pro Football Focus had him ranked as the eighth-best safety on their final big board.
Wallace has ideal slot cornerback traits in today’s NFL. He’s physical, quick and instinctive. Don’t get too cute with him, just throw him in the slot and let him work. Draft Wallace. Put him in the slot. Profit. It’s really as easy as that.
Wallace Projects as Safety/Cornerback Hybrid
K’Von Wallace grew up in Highland Springs, VA where he played both wide receiver and defensive back in high school. He saw action in 59 games at Clemson, including 36 starts, and tied for the most games played in school history. He finished with 178 career tackles (5.5 for loss), 21 pass breakups, five interceptions, two sacks and two forced fumbles in 1,896 snaps.
His size makes him an interesting hybrid player who could see time at safety and cornerback. Maybe even linebacker. Cornerback is his preferred position.
“The confidence I have, the physicality, the way I use my hands, and the way I got out there and compete. That’s what cornerback is,” Wallace said in January, via Clemson 24/7. “The way you can compete and know that you’re going to get tried and targeted. I feel like that’s the most competitive position in the sport. When it comes to boxing, you’re all by yourself. I feel like that’s what a corner is. You win or I win. It’s up to that.”
Lance Zeirlein of NFL.com praised K’Von Wallace for his ability to disrupt plays and smash quarterbacks. So, yes, there is a little Brian Dawkins already in his game.
While he played some safety and a lot of big nickel in 2019, his biggest impact came when cutting it loose as a downhill blitzer, disrupting the run and smashing quarterbacks. Wallace plays with exceptional grit and tenacity. He unloads with everything he’s got on hit after hit. His hips may be too tight to hold up in man coverage and he lacks range as a high safety. He’s a potential backup safety capable of playing near the line and helping on special teams.
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