Florida S Trey Dean III had a tumultuous college football career, but as a 2023 NFL Draft prospect, his scouting report points to untapped upside. How does Dean project in the 2023 NFL Draft class, and what is his ideal role in the NFL?
Trey Dean III NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Safety
- School: Florida
- Current Year: Redshirt Senior
- Height/Weight: 6’3″, 207 pounds
Ask five different people about Dean as an NFL draft prospect, and you very well could get five answers. One of the more polarizing players in the 2023 NFL Draft, Dean’s case is one that pits production against projection.
That’s not to say Dean wasn’t productive in college. He was — from Day 1, in fact. As a four-star true freshman in 2018, Dean filled in for Marco Wilson at cornerback and emerged as a potential star in the making, picking up a pick and five pass deflections in his limited action.
Dean’s bright start didn’t catapult him to success right away, however. He retreated back into a reserve role, before once again joining the starting lineup as a safety.
2021 was another strong statistical year for Dean, who put up 88 tackles, four tackles for loss, a sack, a pick, and eight deflections. But for every standout play, a coverage bust or faulty angle haunted him.
Dean didn’t iron out all of his inconsistencies in 2022, but some things started to click down the stretch. And now, after another productive year, the redshirt senior and Shrine Bowl commit is off to the 2023 NFL Draft — where he’ll hope to hear his name called.
Trey Dean III Scouting Report
- Elite size-athleticism prospect with the length and mobility to cover TEs and WRs.
- Explosive, long-striding athlete who can quickly match speeds and undercut routes.
- Has incredibly fluid hips and can reduce his tracking angle while keeping his speed.
- Has the flexibility and bend to make sharp direction changes without delay.
- Flashes excellent off-man technique in the slot and can match with fast feet.
- Can quickly snap into phase at stems and shadow receivers across the middle.
- Displays patience and discipline with form, and can tempo feet to mirror movements.
- Flashes great range overtop and has the long-strider speed to seal at the boundary.
- Brings searing physicality downhill and can dish out big hits in run support.
- Has the length, coordination, and contortion ability to make plays at the catch point.
Areas for Improvement
- Can be a source of miscommunications pre-snap, sometimes leading to coverage busts.
- Must have a better understanding of when to take and pass off wideouts in zone.
- Sometimes hesitates when reading QB eyes in coverage, leading to response delays.
- Occasionally bites on inside-outside fakes in off-man and can be left lurching.
- Can be too reliant on physicality at times, sometimes grabbing at stems.
- Can improve take-on technique against blocks by better applying length inside torso.
- Sometimes freezes ahead of blocks and occasionally shies away from direct contact.
- Initial pursuit angles in run support can be very inconsistent.
- At times, can be late to get his head around and track the ball downfield.
Florida S Trey Dean III Current Draft Projection
As a pure talent, Dean grades out as a fringe Day 2 prospect. The 2023 NFL Draft process and team interviews will be very big for Dean, and teams will have to be willing to invest in his development. But among the 2023 NFL Draft’s defensive backs, Dean’s one of the more naturally gifted players.
Interviews and further development will be the difference between Dean making the top 100 and sliding further down the board. On tape, communication and processing can be an issue for the Florida safety, who more than once contributed to coverage busts when reading plays and managing space.
Despite all that, Dean has high-level raw talent. In the right role at the NFL level, he could be a very valuable player. He’s a versatile DB with a lot of experience across the secondary, but his best fit might be in a hybrid slot role. There, he can erase tight ends and blanket receivers with his athleticism, length, and man coverage technique, and attack downhill in run support with his size and physicality.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
Dean’s previous experience as a cornerback shows up with his technique, but he also legitimately has the athleticism to be a nightmare in coverage. Not only is Dean explosive out of his breaks, but he’s incredibly fluid and agile for his size, and he has the foot speed to contend with much smaller wideouts.
He’ll need the right role and the proper development. But as a fringe Day 2 prospect, or an early-to-mid Day 3 value addition, Dean has the potential to exceed his draft billing down the line and become a defensive standout in the proper situation. And on Day 1, his experience at multiple spots makes him a quality depth player.
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