Devon Witherspoon Scouting Report and NFL Draft Profile

 Devon Witherspoon Scouting Report and Draft Profile

2023 NFL Draft Measurables

Devon Witherspoon 40-Yard Dash Time – 4.39

6’1″ / 180 lbs.



Devon Witherspoon NFL Draft Profile

Coming out of high school, Devon Witherspoon was an unranked cornerback prospect out of Pine Forest High School in Pensacola, FL. Although he did not have a ranking on any recruiting website, that did not stop him from getting recognized. According to 247sports, Witherspoon drew interest from 18 schools but only received 10 offers. Out of those 10 offers, only one of those schools was of power five prestige. That school is the school that he eventually enrolled in, the University of Illinois.

Upon arrival at Illinois, Witherspoon immediately had a role in the starting lineup. In 2019, he started his playing career off with a total of 33 total tackles and 2 passes defensed. The following season, he had significantly better stats given the fact he only played 7 games due to COVID restrictions. In this season he had 33 total tackles, 1 forced fumble, 3 fumble recoveries, and 2 interceptions. Although this season was the one that put him on the map, he has kept improving. During the 2021 season, he had 52 total tackles, 1 sack, and 9 passes defensed. Finally, so far this season, Devon Witherspoon has been the best coverage corner in the nation. During this season, he has racked up 21 solo tackles, 1 interception, and 11 passes defensed.


Devon Witherspoon Strengths


Man Coverage

Devon Witherspoon has been one of the best man coverage corners in the nation for the entirety of the 2022 season. When watching his film, I was very impressed with his ability to play in soft man coverage. He has very flexible hips and low center of gravity which allows him to change direction quickly. This allows him to play the receiver under him and bait the quarterback to throw the ball in his direction. Then he uses his low center of gravity to sink his hips and explode forward allowing him to jump the route. His 6’3” wingspan does the rest by either deflecting the ball away or even intercepting it for a turnover.



As I mentioned earlier, Devon Witherspoon is the best cover corner in the nation. This would not be possible if it wasn’t for his elite athleticism. Witherspoon has great sprint speed and acceleration when running in a forward direction. He also has great foot speed and hip mobility when backpedaling off the snap. This allows him to get in a good position while reading the opposing receiver. Then he does a good job of sinking his hips and exploding in another direction. Having this kind of explosiveness and hip mobility allows him to be effective in coverage and in the run game.

When watching him in coverage, I kept realizing how good his balance is when he is changing direction. Corners sometimes lose their balance when a receiver is making a break in their route and right before jumping for the ball. When watching Witherspoon, I did not find this to be the case very often.

His body metrics are also what make his athleticism one of the best in the country. As I mentioned earlier under his Draft Measurements, Witherspoon measures at 6’1” in height and weighs around 180 lbs. According to NFLDraftBuzz, he has a wingspan of 6’3” and an arm length of just over 31.5 inches long. This allows him to be very annoying at the catch point when the ball is coming his way. His long arms allow him to disrupt the pass even if he does not have leverage on the receiver.



When watching Devon Witherspoon’s film, I was impressed with how consistent he has been throughout his college career. As I mentioned in his Draft Profile, Witherspoon’s stats have been consistent throughout the past 4 years. I should note that although he has been consistent, his stats and effectiveness have been on the rise since his first season. He is not only consistent on paper, but he is consistent with how he plays on the field as well. As I mentioned earlier, Witherspoon always plays to his strength and rarely allows the receiver to exploit his weaknesses. He does this by gaining leverage early off the snap, forcing the receiver to change their game plan.



As I mentioned earlier, Witherspoon is a little thinner than a normal corner of his size. But that doesn’t stop him from being one of the hardest hitters in the nation. There was one hit earlier in the season against Indiana that really opened my eyes to how aggressively he plays. Witherspoon is also a very good tackler mechanically as well. When making a tackle, he does a good job of wrapping his arms around the ball carrier and driving them down to the ground.


Football IQ

Witherspoon is a very natural and instinctual player every time he steps on the field. He does a good job of reading what the receiver is going to do when they break in their route. But, when the receiver breaks in the route, his eyes immediately go to the quarterback. With his hip glued to the receiver and his eyes on the quarterback, the ball is rarely thrown in his direction. If the ball is thrown in his direction, he is very good at jumping the route at the perfect time.


Devon Witherspoon Weaknesses



As I have mentioned many times throughout this article, Witherspoon is a little underweight. This of course directly correlates to his lack of strength on the field. Although he is one of the best man coverage corners in the nation, he is adequate when in press coverage. At the line of scrimmage, a corner needs to be able to jam the receiver. When jamming the receiver, you want to hit them in the sternum which forces them on their heels. Although Witherspoon has the arm length to do so, he lacks the strength to really affect them.


Block Shedding

The biggest reason why Witherspoon isn’t my favorite corner in this draft is because of his lack of ability to shed blocks. This directly correlates to his lack of strength that I mentioned earlier as well. When an opposing player can get their hands on his breastplate, he struggles to break free. This is primarily the case when stopping the run in the open field and when he is rushing the passer. When he is rushing the passer, he is often blocked by either an offensive lineman or a tight end. Since he is being blocked by someone who is bigger than him, he is outmatched in size and strength. This completely removes him from the play and creates a hole in the defense. When defending against a screen pass, he does a good job of getting around defenders before they get to him.


Devon Witherspoon 2023 NFL Draft Stock

His draft stock at the moment is sitting between the second and third round. If he continues to improve his game throughout the season, he could be a first round talent.


Final Thoughts on Devon Witherspoon

Overall, I think that Devon Witherspoon is a very polished prospect and has a bright future in the NFL. He has tremendous athleticism which allows him to be one of the best cover corners in the nation. He is also a very intelligent and instinctual player who does a good job of reading opposing players. This allows him to be one step ahead of the offense and force them to make mistakes. The only big criticism that I have is that he should put on about 10 lbs. of muscle.


Player Comparison

When watching film for the Devon Witherspoon scouting report, he showed lots of similarities to a Roger McCreary. Both of these players are very good in man coverage, have tremendous athleticism and are very competitive.


Devon Witherspoon Scouting Report Analyst – Matthew Lewis