Last season, as the Cincinnati Bearcats were making their way towards the College Football Playoff, linebacker Deshawn Pace had a breakout season, racking up 95 total tackles and four interceptions. While the 2022 season wasn’t as successful for the Bearcats, it was still more of the same for Pace. In this 2023 NFL Draft scouting report, we’ll breakdown what makes Deshawn Pace so special, as well as a predicted 40 time, injury history, and predict his NFL future.
Deshawn Pace 40 Time
I have Cincinnati LB Deshawn Pace poised to run a 4.66 40 time at the 2023 NFL Combine, should be declare. This predicted time would be solid when compared to the league average for the outside linebacker position. On game film, his acceleration and speed come out when he’s asked to drop into coverage. Additionally, Pace displays his quickness as a pass rusher off the edge. He’s able to penetrate the pocket and force the quarterback to hurry his throw.
Deshawn Pace Injury History
Cincinnati LB Deshawn Pace has been able to remain injury-free for much of his collegiate career. As a result, should he declare for the 2023 NFL Draft, he’s likely to receive a clean medical report during the 2023 NFL Combine in Indianapolis.
Deshawn Pace Scouting Report
- Can Diagnose And Attack From A Good Distance
- Able To Hold His Own In Zone And Man Coverage Downfield
- Takes Good Angles Towards The Ball To Leverage The Top
- Must Improve His Open-Field Tackling Ability
- Ability To Locate And Track Ball In Coverage Is Inconsistent
- Struggles To Shed Blocks At The Second Level
Deshawn Pace is a two-year contributor at linebacker for the Cincinnati Bearcats. Played in just three games in 2020, his freshman season, but had a breakout year last season. His brother, Ivan Pace Jr, joined the Bearcats this season to play alongside Deshawn. Possesses solid height and adequate weight for the linebacker position in the NFL. His predicted 40 time of 4.66 is solid for the position as well.
Deshawn Pace displays a solid ability to set the edge and leverage the ball carrier back inside on designed runs outside. Shows a solid ability to drop into coverage while reading the quarterback’s eyes and breaking on the ball quickly. He’s got a good ability to read and attack RPO’s quickly from a short and intermediate distance. When he’s not directly involved in the play, he does a solid job of getting over the top of runs inside and outside. Has solid speed and quickness off the edge to be successful in pass rush situations. Finally, he displays a solid ability to mirror players in man coverage over short and intermediate routes.
However, Deshawn Pace struggles to wrap up ball carriers at the point of attack. While he’s able to get there, his Achilles’ heel is being able to keep the ball carrier in front of him in the open field. He has a marginal ability to shed blocks at the second level. He’s able to mirror players well, but does struggle to remain in tight coverage on routes across the field. He’s inconsistent in his ability to locate and defend the ball when in man coverage. Adequate ability to elevate and attempt to get a hand on the ball on short and intermediate passes to the second level.
Deshawn Pace NFL Draft Projection
I currently have a late day-three grade on Cincinnati LB Deshawn Pace. He has the tools and abilities to be successful in the NFL. Unfortunately, his inconsistency is likely to scare some away. If he were to declare for the 2023 NFL Draft at this point, I believe that he’d be likely to begin his career on the practice squad as a depth player. However, if an NFL coaching staff can fix some of the technique issues, then he could turn into a solid backup or even late-season starter.
There are plenty of teams with needs at linebacker this offseason, including both the New York Jets and New York Giants. The Giants have four picks in the seventh round of the 2023 NFL Draft, which they could use to add depth on the active roster or practice squad.