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S Dane Belton selected by Giants @ 1.114


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STRENGTHS: Patient, composed athlete in his drops … balances his eyes between the quarterback and routes to get a head start on jumping the ball path … takes calculated risks, coming off his coverage to overlap and make a play in another area … shows soft hands a natural sense of timing to finish interceptions (second in the Big Ten with five interceptions in 2021) … trusts his angles to maintain proper spatial relationships in zone … comfortable turning and matching the physicality of tight ends in man … avoids penalties (zero in 2021, two in his career) … his tackling improved as he started to trust his break down and finish techniques.

WEAKNESSES: Average frame/length and needs to continue adding bulk and defining his body … has adequate speed but doesn’t move like a 4.43 athlete, especially in man coverage vs. slot receivers … movements show hints of tightness, and lacks explosiveness out of his pedal … his effectiveness drops the farther he travels from the line of scrimmage … inconsistent timing as a take-on player and struggles to avoid blockers … he will create off-balanced angles for himself in the run game … doesn’t consistently bring his lower body as a tackler … below-average experience on special teams coverages … zero interception yards in 2021.

SUMMARY: A three-year starter at Iowa, Belton played the “Cash” position in defensive coordinator Phil Parker’s scheme, lining up as a hybrid strong safety and outside linebacker. He was a First Team All-Big Ten performer in 2021 and was one of only seven Power 5 defenders with at least five interceptions last season. Belton plays with heady reaction skills, and his eyes lead him to the catch point where he can make plays on the ball naturally. However, he lacks sudden twitch in his movements and lacks consistency down the field. Overall, Belton doesn’t play as explosively as his testing numbers might suggest, but he floats naturally with the instincts and ball skills for underneath zones. He projects best as a down nickel safety in the NFL, although he needs to develop his strength and be more consistent vs. the run to see steady playing time.

GRADE: 5th-6th Round


This scouting report was in the thread of mine that I just bumped, but I'll just copy paste it here too.

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