Bucannon turns Senior Bowl week into showcase

THE GAME ITSELF was beside the point. Sure, Washington State All-American safety Deone Bucannon posted three tackles for the North in its 20-10 loss to the South on Saturday in the Senior Bowl. But was of real note was the way Bucannon turned heads in the week of practices leading up to the game.

The hard-hitting Cougar drew praise from seemingly all corners of the country for his work this week. Here's a sampling of what they had to say ...

Jimmy Kempski. Philadelphia Inquirer:
Washington State S Deone Bucannon is jacked up. His muscles have muscles. He's probably the most muscular player at the Senior Bowl ...

Orlando Ledbetter, Atlanta Journal-Constituion:
... the Falcons came away from their week of Senior Bowl practice impressed with three safeties ... The Falcons had the opportunity to work with Washington State's Deone Bucannon and Baylor's Ahmad Dixon (and Vanderbilt's Stephenson High). After chatting with Bucannon, you can see why the Falcons are impressed with the bright young man. "I think my best skill is my knack for making plays," Bucannon said. "My football I.Q. is high and those are things that safeties need. I also feel that my instincts are also there as well. I feel like coaches only need to tell me something one time for me to understand it and process it. That helps me learn the defenses."
Ledbetter also noted that Falcons coaches lamented game rules prohibiting blitzes because they wanted to see Bucannon bring the lumber.

Eric Galko, The Sporting News
Washington State safety Deone Bucannon showed the best press technique and jam skills. He's a well-built, firm-handed player who can man up against slot receivers but also looked at home when checking his man at the line of scrimmage. Bucannon stays squared and low in his stance while delivering a strike, consistently latches onto the hip and directs the route with well-timed hand checks. He wasn't overly confident in his single high safety reads and looked more like a strong safety type, but it's worth remembering that these prospects are learning a new defensive scheme.

Turron Davenport, BayAreaNet.com
Deone Buccannon is the real deal. This is my top safety prospect at the Senior Bowl. He was very fluent in back pedal drills. He was said to be 195 lbs but weighed in at 216 lbs. This weight gain didn't cost him any speed. He is a well built athlete that fits the safety mold to a tee … He has already assumed a leadership role with this team as shown by how he was getting the secondary lined up. I spoke to him after practice. He said that he has no problem dropping down to cover in line tight ends and he loves to be physical against the run ...

Ernie Padaon, Boltbeat.com
During Senior Bowl practices, a Chargers scout was digging up some extra info on Washington State SS Deone Bucannon. Bucannon is one of the top strong safeties available in the draft and is projected to be taken in the 2nd round by CBS Sports. He measured in at 6-foot-1 and 216 pounds at the Senior Bowl with a 78 inch wing span. Bucannon is a physical safety and looks to make the big time hit. He likely would challenge for the starting job next to Eric Weddle if he were taken by the Chargers.

Tommy Lawlor, Philadelphia Eagles.com
Bucannon really looks the part. He's got a chiseled build and ideal size. He just isn't a great athlete and that hurts his value. Bucannon is a thumper that loves to attack downhill. He had a good hit or two this week. The Eagles have to be impressed by that part of his game. The question is about his cover skills. Put him in a small space and he's fine, but can he hold up against wide receivers in space? You could see he's a bit tight in the hips. He doesn't have great speed. I'm sure the Eagles are intrigued, but Bucannon does have his issues.

Trevor Woods, NinnersNation.com
Bucannon is considered to be the hardest hitter in college football this season by CBS Sports Bruce Feldman. He showed off his physicality this week, while also showing good range and footwork. His stock went up this week. If the 49ers are to replace Donte Whitner, they'd be wise to find someone who hits just as hard.

Ray Rivard, LombardiAve.com
...as a leader on the field for his college team, this is a player who could mature into the type of player … the darkhorse … who could mature into a superior player in the NFL. That's why I've taken the leap tonight and selected him with this mock draft. Whether Ted Thompson agrees with me come May, is to be determined.

Cougfan Top Stories