- AProjectionRound 1
- YearRedshirt Sophomore
- Hand9 ½
Strong Points: Excellent safety size and has the frame to carry 220-plus pounds. Smooth athlete who has loose hips, easy change of direction and can run. Used in a variety of ways -- can play in the box and deep. Has also played over slot receivers. Good in coverage and can play man or zone. Shows good mirror skills in man. Plays the run well, can take on and shed blocks and is a consistent tackler. Has range to the sideline from the center of the field. Might be able to play corner.
Weak Points: Dropped some potential interceptions (only 3 career picks). Injured his knee in Game Two of the 2016 season and missed the rest of the year. Flashes some big hits but certainly not a blow-up hitter in 2017. Does not always take good pursuit angles. Did not play in Florida State's bowl game. In 2017, he played the opening game (Alabama) at about 220 pounds, then dropped weight to play faster.
The Way We See It: A third-year sophomore, James started as a true freshman and had a very productive year. Injured his knee during Game Two of the 2016 season and missed the rest of the year. Starter in 2017. I did not seem the same aggressiveness in 2017 that I saw from James in 2015. Still, he is a talented player who looks to be best at strong safety. After watching him in person at the All-Star Football Challenge, he has much better hands and ball skills than I originally thought. Based on the flashes and 2015 play, I think that there is still a lot of upside in his play. After missing most of 2016, he might have been playing not to get hurt in 2017. Interviews and workouts will be important, but there is no question James is a top talent. With his cover skills, he can play safety and possibly corner.