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FSU product, potential Bucs target Derwin James ‘worth his weight in gold’

By Matt Baker
Florida State safety Derwin James is a potential Bucs target in the first round. [ MONICA HERNDON | Times ]

Like his Seminoles, Florida State safety Derwin James didn't quite live up to the hype last season.

As a redshirt sophomore, he totaled 84 tackles (four for a loss), two interceptions and a blocked kick but didn't dominate after coming back from a knee injury that sidelined him for almost all of 2016.

Even so, James is a potential top-10 pick who has been linked to the Bucs in some NFL mock drafts (although Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick is another option). Don't be surprised if he puts up some eye-popping numbers at this week's scouting combine, although NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said his tape is impressive on its own.

"He can cover wide receivers. He can cover tight ends. He can go down in the box and hit you…" Mayock said.

"When you can drop a safety down on a slot (receiver) and feel comfortable, that guy's worth his weight in gold. Today's NFL is a matchup league, and he's a matchup player. That's why his value's so high."