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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: S Divine Deablo

  • The Draft Network
  • January 9, 2021
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Divine Deablo came to Virginia Tech to play wide receiver but transitioned to safety after his freshman season—he went on to start for three seasons. While he enters the NFL with plenty of experience, he’s still a work in progress when it comes to processing and responding to play concepts as he has a tendency to slow play his reads and his trigger can be tardy. In addition, his functional athleticism doesn’t present enough recovery ability, which presents restrictions with the roles he can fill in the defensive back-seven. He does have some occasional flashes of physicality, but he does not consistently play up to his weight class to serve as an imposing presence in the secondary like his frame suggests he should. Deablo enters the NFL with high marks regarding his football character and is a proven special teams contributor. While he won’t be an option for every defense, for teams looking for a dime linebacker, a low safety, or one that wants to implement more three-safety sets, Deablo is an appealing option. His special teams ability will give him a chance to develop and earn a role. 

Ideal Role: Dime linebacker, special teams.

Scheme Fit: Zone heavy.


Written by Joe Marino 

Games watched: Wake Forest (2020), MIami (2020), Pittsburgh (2020), Clemson (2020) 

Best Game Studied: Clemson (2020) 

Worst Game Studied: Wake Forest (2020) 

Football IQ: A converted wide receiver, Deablo wound up starting for three seasons at safety for the Hokies and grew as a processor each season. With that said, he is guilty of tardy responses and isn’t much of a route anticipator in coverage. His best moments show up when he can freelance a bit and read the backfield. 

Tackling: Deablo has his moments as a tackler but more is expected from an oversized safety that frequently plays close to the box. He prefers the role of assisted tackler when and has lapses when it comes to being consistent with his technique. His hitting power and contact balance is underwhelming for his size. 

Versatility: Deablo played in a variety of spots at Virginia Tech, but he’s likely a box safety at the next level. He doesn’t have the athleticism needed to play in deeper zones or from the slot. His best role may come as a dime linebacker. 

Range: Deablo lacks the athleticism and anticipatory skills to impress with his range. He’s best in tight spaces but even then, he lacks quick twitch and assertiveness when competing through contact. He is limited when it comes to coverage range. 

Ball Skills: His ball production peaked in 2020, as he led the Hokies with four interceptions. His interception against Trevor Lawrence was a thing of beauty where he was able to leave his area, read the backfield, and make a play on the football. He has secure mitts to take away the football when the opportunity presents itself, but he isn’t often tight enough in coverage for him to be impactful disrupting at the catch point. 

Run Defending: Deablo shows an understanding of leverage and run fills, but he isn’t overly enthusiastic about aggressively leading the way when it comes to making stops. Most runs he will slow play and stay over top of the play. 

Functional Athleticism: Deablo doesn’t have the functional athleticism to match his timed measurements and it limits the roles he can fill at the next level. He would represent a liability in man coverage from the slot and lacks the speed needed to serve as a one-high safety. His lack of play speed is further hindered by inconsistent angles. He is best as a low safety with condensed coverage responsibilities.

Competitive Toughness: Deablo has the frame of an imposing presence but he doesn’t consistently play to his weight class. He leaves something to be desired when it comes to being physical, playing off contact, and finishing with intent. His pursuit effort is disappointing at times. 

Flexibility: Deablo is tightly-wound and lacks fluidity. His transitions are segmented and elongated. Changing directions and weaving through contact don’t come naturally to him. He’s too often flat-footed when fitting the run. 

Special Teams Ability: Deablo was featured on punt and kick coverage for five seasons at Virginia Tech. With that said, he will need to play with more vigor at the next level to make an impact on special teams.

Prospect Comparison: Jayron Kearse (2016 NFL Draft, Minnesota Vikings) 


TDN Consensus: 73.13/100

Joe Marino: 73.00/100

Kyle Crabbs: 76.50/100

Jordan Reid: 72.00/100

Drae Harris: 71.00/100

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