Jan 25, 2014; Mobile, AL, USA; South squad wide receiver Mike Davis of Texas (1) is tackled by North squad safety Deone Bucannon of Washington State (20) during the first half of a game at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Every year NFL coaches flock to the Senior Bowl on Pro Bowl weekend in the hopes of discovering gold in a river of talent. This is often a chance to confirm or deny in person what their scouts have been saying for half a decade, and Deone Bucannon took the opportunity to shine. Ranked the #102 Safety in the nation coming out of High School by Scout.com in 2010, he has climbed his way to the current #1 SS prospect in the 2014 Draft.
Buccanon turned heads last week, making impressions throughout the nation. The three tackles he tallied during the game do not begin to illustrate his impact, in fact the game itself is not the showcase for these players. In practice Bucannon lived up to his hype as the pound for pound hardest hitter in the draft, turning heads for teams searching for their version of the Legion of Boom.
The large complaint on Bucannon is likely bestowed upon him by those who have not really seen him play, and that is his lack of raw athleticism and that he can not play in the open field. To his critics: Bucannon has the football knowledge and study habits to continue his habit of timely arrival to wherever the ball is delivered by the offense, which is hardly coincidental. Additionally, while he may not have Olympic level speed, but if that is your measure of a Safety, you are fishing with the wrong line.
Writers around the country noted that #20 is in phenomenal shape, many were fantasizing about how he could improve the quality of their teams. Most disconcerting was Trevor Woods of ninersnation.com who felt that Buccanon could be a fine replacement for Whitner. Buccanon grew up just NE of the Bay, so we can only hope that he is a Raiders fan, but the idea of having to root against him on the next level seems tragic for this Hawk fan.
Either way, Buccanon made an impact last week, and his draft stock is on the rise. He has more than three months to continue to impress his abilities upon the NFL via combine and pro day workouts. Playing in our little corner of the nation, his legend has yet to completely manifest, and those who have ignored #20 these past years, are quickly becoming aware of their heinous error.