Chess Piece Lukas Denis

With defensive coordinators looking for versatile chess pieces that they can use in a variety of ways, Lukas Denis is going to be a hot commodity with NFL teams which could lead to him going early in the 2019 NFL Draft. Here we take a look at where Denis could fit, how he could be used and some concerns about him.

Why is Lukas Denis so Intriguing

With the safety position becoming more and more important having prospects that can do multiple things is rare to find. Too often we see guys who are strictly box safeties or you have straight cover guys who cannot help in the run game. Denis can do both. In coverage Denis shows the quickness and change of direction ability to match up with quick slot receivers while also having the range to sit back in single high and react to the ball in the air. Against the run Denis isn’t afraid of contact and is willing to fly up and navigate through traffic to lay hits and wrap up.

 

How Could Lukas Denis be used

Because Denis has the ability to play both corner back and safety teams will have options in how they use him. Some teams could view Denis as a slot corner and just use him to match up with the small quick receivers utilizing his explosiveness. With Denis’ range he could be used as a safety to roam as a single high or two high safety. But a creative defensive coordinator could use Denis similar to how Tyrann Mathieu had been used in Arizona where he is a safety but is utilized as a slot corner at times. This way you can hide your coverages a lot better and fully utilize the unique skill set that Denis has.

 

Concerns about Lukas Denis

Even though Denis has range, toughness and explosiveness there is likely going to be some concerns about his size. Listed at 5’11 185lbs that is smaller than teams wants as they prefer their safeties to be over 6’0 tall and 200lbs. NFL teams may have concerns about him matching up with tight ends and even though he’s shown to make tackles in traffic they may have that concern moving into the NFL. If a team has this concern they may view him as a slot corner only. That being said, Tyrann Mathieu is 5’9 186lbs and his size isn’t a concern.

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