Darrell Luter Jr., CB, South Alabama | NFL Draft Scouting Report

A small-school prospect with lock-down attributes, what does South Alabama CB Darrell Luter Jr.'s scouting report suggest is his current NFL Draft projection?

The 2023 NFL Draft class features a stacked group of defensive players, especially at cornerback, where South Alabama CB Darrell Luter Jr. is making waves as he steadily moves up draft boards. While most of the conversation has been focused on the top names in the class, what does Luter’s scouting report suggest about his NFL Draft stock?

Darrell Luter Jr. NFL Draft Profile

  • Position: Cornerback
  • School: South Alabama
  • Year: Senior

Hailing from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Luter was an athlete in high school, playing three years of football, two years of basketball, and one year of track for Oak Grove High School. His college career took a slight detour as he played his first two seasons (2018-2019) at Pearl River Community College in Mississippi before transferring to South Alabama, where Luter played his final three collegiate seasons.

A three-star JUCO recruit, Luter was a second-team All-Mississippi Association of Community and Junior College selection and appeared in 11 games during his first season at South Alabama.

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Luter was statistically a lock-down corner, allowing just a 26.7% reception percentage on his 45 targets and posting four interceptions with six pass breakups. As a fourth-year junior, Luter also received an All-American Honorable Mention by Pro Football Network.

2022 wasn’t as busy of a season, but that was by design, as teams weren’t as keen to target Luter. He finished his senior season with seven pass breakups and just one interception. Still, he allowed only 33 of his 65 targets to be completed and ended his career with a 45.3% reception percentage when targeted with 17 pass breakups while only drawing six penalties.

One thing that immediately stands out about Luter is his length. He’s one of, if not, the longest cornerback in the class. Luter is a small-school prospect, but add in his 6’0″ and 190-pound frame that can run a 4.46 40 and has a 40.5″ vertical jump, and the traits are there of someone who could become a starting-level player in the NFL.

Tony Pauline’s Scouting Report for Darrell Luter Jr.

Strengths: Underrated cornerback who doesn’t back down from a challenge. Quick pedaling in reverse, fluid flipping his hips, and loses nothing in transition. Mixes it up with opponents throughout the route, stays on the receiver’s hip out of breaks, and has a nice move to the ball.

Disciplined with assignments in zone coverage and is very effective facing the action. Displays a burst to the ball out of his plant, effectively times pass breakups, and works to get a hand in and knock the ball away. Gives effort against the run, breaks down well, and wraps up ball handlers.

Weaknesses: Slow getting his head back around to track the pass in the air. Not always quick diagnosing the action.

Overall: Luter possesses next-level measurables and ball skills, and he was rarely challenged at the college level. He’s a Day 3 pick with enough ability to develop into a nickel back on Sundays.

Darrell Luter Jr. Combine Measurements and Results

  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 199 pounds
  • Arm Length: 32 3/8″
  • Hand Size: 10 3/8″
  • Bench Press: DNP
  • 40-Yard Dash: 4.46 seconds
  • Vertical Jump: 40.5″
  • Broad Jump: 10’3″

South Alabama CB Darrell Luter Jr.’s Current Draft Projection

The NFL is a passing-focused league, making cornerback not only one of the most challenging positions to play but one of the most important positions to have elite talent and depth on your roster.

2023 is absolutely loaded with talent and is a perfect year if your team needs a CB. Although names like Christian Gonzalez, Devon Witherspoon, Kelee Ringo, and Joey Porter Jr. dominate the conversations, I wouldn’t be surprised to see 12 or more cornerbacks go in the first two rounds alone.

With that said, I wouldn’t expect Luter to be among those names, but he could be a fantastic value. Currently, Luter is the No. 170 overall rank prospect on Tony Pauline’s Big Board and is the CB25 with a grade of 3.41, giving him a projected draft capital of somewhere in the fifth round.

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As seen in the past, draft capital doesn’t always equal what you see on the field. There were times where guys who go early bottom out and mid-round players shine. Just look at Tariq Woolen out of UTSA as an example, who went from a fifth-round draft pick to a Pro Bowl selection while sharing the interceptions lead in 2022 (six).

I’m not going to say Luter goes down the same path. It’s just an example of players who can outperform their draft capital. I’ve been impressed with Luter’s game and believe he can contribute early in his career. With a good blend of length and man/zone techniques, don’t expect Luter’s draft selection to be the last time you hear his name announced.

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