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2015 NFL DRAFT
player photo

Dwight Lowery, CB

Height: 5-11 | Weight: 201 | College: San Jose State
 
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Overview

A relative unknown when he arrived at San Jose State, following an outstanding career at Cabrillo College, Lowery made his mark as one of the top pass defenders in college football. A free safety at Cabrillo College, Lowery credits his experience at the position and special teams for his seamless adjustment to the cornerback position at the major college level. He became the first San Jose State player to earn All-American honors in consecutive seasons (2006-07).

At Soquel High School, Lowery was a two-time All-Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League pick as a defensive back, adding All-League accolades as a senior running back. He set school records with 23 rushing touchdowns and 25 total scores in 2003. That year, he set the county record with seven touchdowns vs. Sacred Heart of San Francisco High. In 20 games on defense, he intercepted a school-record 20 passes. Lowery also lettered in basketball. A three-year starter for the basketball team, he earned League Most Valuable Player honors as a junior. That year, he led his squad to the Central Coast Section Playoffs.

Lowery visited San Jose State, Purdue and Utah State during the recruiting period, but enrolled at Cabrillo College to improve his academic standing. As a freshman in 2003, he was named to the All-Nor Cal Combine Team, in addition to earning All-State and All-Coast Conference first-team honors. He led the junior college level with 237 yards gained on eight interceptions, returning two for scores. He averaged 30 yards on 10 kickoff returns, including one for a touchdown. He also scored on a blocked punt and a blocked field goal, adding 69 tackles (48 solos) with two fumble recoveries and six pass breakups.

In 2004, the free safety led the nation with 202 yards gained on five pass thefts through the first five games, but missed the rest of the season with a hand injury. He recorded 26 tackles (14 solos) and was named to the All-Nor Cal team, despite his injury.

Lowery arrived at San Jose State during fall camp with little fanfare, but quickly seized the left cornerback spot for new head coach Dick Tomey. He would go on to earn All-American and All-Western Conference honors, as he tied Idaho's Stanley Franks for the national lead with nine interceptions. He also deflected seven passes, delivered 48 tackles (23 solos) with three fumble recoveries and averaged 8.4 yards on five punt returns. The cornerback joined linebacker Dave Chaney (1971) as the only Spartans ever named to Playboy's prestigious All-American squad.

During the next-to-last scrimmage of '07 spring drills, Lowery collided with running back Cameron Island, and suffered a fractured jaw. He had to have his mouth wired shut for seven weeks to help the healing process, losing more than 10 pounds during that time. As a senior, he also gained punt-return duties, ranking 14th in the nation with 273 yards and a touchdown on 19 attempts (14.37-yard average). The All-Western Athletic Conference defender collected 44 tackles (30 solos) with seven pass deflections and also came up with four interceptions.

He was named to the American Football Coaches Association All-American squad, becoming the school's first to be honored in consecutive seasons. Only three others before Lowery -- end Lloyd Thomas (1938), halfback LeRoy Zimmerman (1939) and linebacker Dave Chaney (1971) -- were named to one of the five nationally recognized All-American teams by the NCAA. Thomas, Zimmerman and Chaney were named Associated Press first-team All-American players in their respective senior seasons.

"It's an accomplishment for Dwight, our program and the Western Athletic Conference. The great thing for Dwight is he chose to stay in school to get further along towards his (bachelor's) degree and hone his skills for the next level. Certainly receiving this honor and recognition is very gratifying to him," said San Jose State head coach Dick Tomey, AFCA second vice-president. "I'm really proud of him and the fact that he has been able to accomplish all of it in the framework of the team and trying to make our team better. And, I know he has a bright future in football."

"This is a tremendous honor. Right now, I'm at a loss for words," Lowery said when he first learned of the honor. "Last year, it (an All-American performance) wasn't expected. So, it was easy to do the things I did. When you come back the next year, it's expected of you now. The things I did last year, people expect that now and I expect that of myself. The challenge is something that drove me this year. Maybe, there's somebody questioning whether last year was a fluke, or I got lucky. I love that challenge and I feel there are always ways you can get better as a person and as a football player. That's something that I embraced this year."

At Cabrillo College, Lowery played 15 games at free safety. He holds the California Community College Football Conference career leader with 439 yards gained on 13 interceptions (33.8-yard average) and two touchdowns. He also scored on a blocked punt, a blocked field goal and a kickoff return, handling 10 kickoffs for 300 yards (30-yard average). He recorded 95 tackles (62 solos) with two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and six pass breakups while also carrying once for an 18-yard gain.

In 25 games at San Jose State, all starting assignments, Lowery was fourth in school history with 13 interceptions, gaining 147 yards in returns (11.3-yard avg) with a score. He added 315 yards and a touchdown on 24 punt returns (13.1-yard avg) and deflected 14 passes. He recovered three fumbles and posted 92 tackles (53 solos).

Analysis

Positives: Has a lean, but defined frame with adequate arm and shoulder muscle tone, small waist, good bubble, slender, but defined thighs and calves … Better cover man than a tackler, but will not shy away from contact … Has natural hands and very good timing on his leaps to get to the ball at its high point, also using his long reach effectively to get his hand up and over the receiver to deflect the pass … Shows good body control throughout his running stride and the hand-eye coordination to look the ball in over his outside shoulder … More quick than fast, but has the functional short-area burst to recover (can struggle to turn and drive on the ball when the receiver gets behind him; see 2007 Kansas State, Hawaii and Louisiana Tech games) … Has a keen knowledge of the playbook and is capable of making defensive calls in the secondary (coaches say he not only knows every assignment, but is the most "field smart" player on the team. Coach Tomey likens his awareness to that of the Ravens' Chris McAlister, who played for Tomey at Arizona) … Hard worker who puts in the extra hours training or in the film room to improve upon his weaknesses … Mature, quiet athlete with no known off-field issues … Has superb ball anticipation skills, especially when playing in zone, doing a good job of taking angles to close … Not the type that can get fooled on run action … Reacts with good urgency once he locates the ball and looks like a better fit at free safety than at corner, as he appears more comfortable keeping plays in front of him and anticipating throws in the zone than when going one-on-one with the receivers … Showed marked improvement in 2007, playing his responsibility first before flying to the ball (attacked the ball more often than staying on his man in 2006) … Closes quickly on plays in front of him, covering lots of ground in the short zone area (has good cover-2 skills, especially when in the loose third or in scheme coverage) … His vision lets him keep most of the action in front of him, as he easily locates the ball in flight, even with his back turned on the quarterback, as he is in good position to go up and get to the ball at its highest point … Keeps good body control combating for jump balls and seems to always be in the proper spot to break up or intercept the pass (27 passes defended in 25 games at SJSU and 46 passes defended in 40 games for his career) … Does a very good job of extending and catching the ball outside his frame, looking athletic in his leaps … His timing allows him to explode off the ground in attempts to reach the thrown ball, making good body adjustments to get to the off-target tosses.

Negatives: Lacks ideal strength and good overall muscle mass … Little tight in his hips, as he gathers some in transition and will take a false step when trying to change direction … Might be a better fit at free safety due to his excellent ball skills and compensate for his lack of man coverage skills … Played in the press technique most, but lacks good plant-and-drive agility on hard cuts, which allows receivers to separate from him after the catch (see 2007 Hawaii and Louisiana Tech games) … Too stiff in his hips to be fluid when changing direction and, while he is quick to close on plays in front of him, he lacks the second gear to recover when beaten … Needs to do a better job of playing off the receiver. When he gets his hands outside his frame in attempts to press, he can be beaten by the slot receivers working underneath (see 2007 Kansas State game) … Has adequate timed speed, but looks sluggish when he has to catch up to speedy receivers on deep routes (must develop a second gear) … Liability in run support, as he lacks the strength to face up to blockers … More of an ankle-biter than a wrap-up tackler, as he fails to stay in front of his man, preferring to take a side (bigger receivers have had great success playing off his hits) … Needs to do a better job of protecting himself in the open field, as he is very susceptible to the cut block … Must square up before delivering the tackle, as he tends to duck his head before contact, losing sight of his man (receivers get good separation when he does this working in space).

Compares To: RODERICK HOOD-Arizona … Like Hood, Lowery is more quick than fast, which will probably give him trouble handling NFL receivers on deep routes. He might be a better fit as a free safety or in nickel packages, as he has the natural hands, leaping ability and timing to get to the ball at its highest point. What he does best is pick off passes. What he does worst is tackle. He lacks the strength to put much force behind his shots and is a liability in run support. However, he has great ball awareness and is not the type who will be fooled by play action. He needs to bulk up some, but it will be his ball-reaction skills that earn him an NFL paycheck, not his strength or quickness. The best way to utilize him might be as a safety, however, which will let him attack the ball; his man coverage skills are lacking for a team to consider him a cornerback in a man scheme.

Career Notes

In stops at Cabrillo College and San Jose State, Lowery appeared in 40 games, recording 187 tackles (115 solos) with an assisted stop for a two-yard loss, five fumble recoveries and a forced fumble. He deflected 20 passes and intercepted 26 for 586 yards in returns (22.5-yard average) and three touchdowns. He gained 333 yards with two scores on 25 punt returns (13.3 avg) and 300 yards with a touchdown on 10 kickoff returns (30-yard avg), as he also scored on a blocked punt and blocked field goal, in addition to gaining 18 yards on one rushing attempt … His 439 yards gained on 13 interceptions at Cabrillo College set a California Community College Football Conferences record … His 237 yards gained on six interception returns in 2004 were the most in the National Junior College Athletics Association ranks since Vonkeith Spencer of Middle Georgia College set the NJCAA season-record with 274 yards gained on 14 picks in 1996 … Lowery's 13 interceptions at San Jose State rank fourth on the school's career list, behind the 14 by Ken Thomas (1979-82) and matched by both Sherman Cocroft (1982-83), and Gerald Jones (2002-03) … Set a SJSU record with at least one interception in four consecutive games in 2006 (vs. Washington, Stanford, Cal Poly and San Diego State) … Intercepted nine passes in 2006 for a school record, topping the previous mark of eight shared by Gerald Jones (2002), Don Peterson (1966) and Leroy Zimmerman (1939) … His three interceptions in the 2006 Cal Poly game tied the school record first set by Don Dambacher (vs. Mexico in 1949), and matched by Troy Jensen (vs. Louisiana Tech in 1993), Omarr Smith (vs. Hawaii in 1997), Gerald Jones (vs. Stanford in 2002) and Josh Powell (vs. Idaho in 2005) … Became the first Spartan to earn first-team All-American honors from two sources in the same season, as he was selected by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) in 2006 … Became the first player in school annals to be named All-American in consecutive seasons (AFCA) in 2007 … His 84-yard punt return vs. Hawaii in 2007 was the longest punt return by a Spartan since Jerry Colletto had a 91-yarder vs. Oregon in 1963.

2007 Season

All-American first-team selection by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) … All-Western Athletic Conference first-team choice … Quarterfinalist for the Lott Trophy, an award named after Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott that goes to the outstanding college defensive player of the year who has had the biggest IMPACT -- Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity -- on his team on and off the field. It represents the only college football trophy to give equal weight to personal character as well as athletic performance … Started all 12 games at left cornerback, ranking sixth on the team with 44 tackles (30 solos) … Deflected seven passes and ranked tied for second in the conference with four interceptions for 36 yards in returns, including a touchdown … Finished 14th in the nation and fifth in the WAC with 19 punt returns for 273 yards (14.4-yard average) and a touchdown … Had 60 passes targeted into his area, as the opposition caught 23 of those throws (38.33%) for a total of 404 yards (15.54 avg) and a pair of touchdowns, as he re-routed the receivers on 23 of those tosses … Delivered 11 third-down stops, including 10 vs. the pass and also posted a pair of fourth-down hits.

2007 Game Analysis

Arizona State … Lowery began the season with four solo tackles and a 17-yard punt return … Late in the third quarter, he jammed Kyle Williams at the line of scrimmage, preventing the receiver from getting to a third-and-10 throw from QB Rudy Carpenter, forcing ASU to settle for a 44-yard field goal on that 53-yard, nine-play series … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#6-Kyle Williams (5:10-185) … Pass Coverage Results-Had three passes targeted into his area, as the opposition caught two balls for 28 yards.

Kansas State … Picked off a pass and posted five tackles (four solos), but was tackled for a six-yard loss on a punt return at the start of the second quarter … His interception of a Josh Freeman pass at the SJSU 37 set up a 20-yard touchdown pass from Adam Tafralis to Jalal Beauchman with 5:46 left in the first half … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#27-Jordy Nelson (6:02-213) … Pass Coverage Results-Had seven passes targeted into his area, as the opposition caught four balls for 79 yards.

Stanford … Lowery was in on four tackles, including a pair of third-down stops and also had a seven-yard punt return … He reached around Mark Bradford to cause the receiver to drop a T.C. Ostrander pass and two plays later on third-and-6, the cornerback re-routed Bradford away from a pass from Ostrander at the Stanford 34, forcing the Cardinal to punt in the third quarter … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#4-Mark Bradford (6:02-210) … Pass Coverage Results-Had four passes targeted in his area; opposition caught one ball for 11 yards.

Utah State … Three solo tackles, two pass deflections and two punt returns for 10 yards … Deflected a Leon Jackson pass away from Otis Nelson at the SJSU 31 late in the second quarter and then tagged Kevin Robinson to deflect one throw and reroute the receiver on another with 2:34 left in the first half … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#6-Kevin Robinson (6:00-192) … Pass Coverage Results-Had six passes targeted into his area, as the opposition caught three balls for 26 yards.

Cal-Davis … Lowery managed just one assisted tackle, but he batted away a pass and picked off another, adding 58 yards on five punt returns … He intercepted Tim Plough's toss at the SJSU 40 for a 12-yarrd return in the second quarter and gained 46 yards to the UCD 15 on a third quarter punt return … Later in the third frame, he batted a pass thrown by Colin Kirkpatrick back to the quarterback near midfield … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#8-Bakari Grant (6:04-185) … Pass Coverage Results-Had four passes targeted into his area, as the opposition caught no balls.

Idaho … Limited to a pair of stops, including one that leveled tailback Deonte Jackson at the line of scrimmage for no gain on a second-and-8 run and on the next play, he jammed Peter Bjorvik to prevent QB Brian Nooy from completing a third-down throw … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#18-Eddie Williams (6:01-249) … Pass Coverage Results-Had one pass targeted into his area, as the opposition caught no passes.

Hawaii … Lowery was in for a full day's work vs. one of the most explosive passing attacks in college football. He registered a career-high 13 tackles (eight solo), including one third-down stop and another on fourth down. He returned an interception for a score and had another touchdown on two punt returns for 109 yards, scoring the team's first 14 points in an eventual 42-35 loss … Midway through the first quarter, he twice prevented Jason Rivers from getting to Colt Brennan passes, forcing Hawaii to punt, as Lowery returned that kick 25 yards … He was beaten by Ryan Grice-Mullen on Brennan's 16-yard touchdown pass to start the second quarter, but later in the quarter, he returned a punt 84 yards for a touchdown … That was followed by a 24-yard interception return for a score at the start of the second half … Lowery exacted some revenge for Grice-Mullen's scoring grab, as he prevented the receiver from getting to Brennan's fourth-and-13 throw at the start of the fourth quarter … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#1-Ryan Grice-Mullen (5:10-179) … Pass Coverage Results-Had 15 passes targeted into his area, as the opposition caught eight balls for 82 yards and a touchdown.

Fresno State … Lowery was held to one assisted tackle … He was also penalized for pass interference on a toss to Jason Crawley at the SJSU 37 five minutes into the second half … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#13-Jason Crawley (6:02-188) … Pass Coverage Results-Had one pass targeted into his area, as the opposition caught no balls.

Boise State … Lowery made one tackle in punt coverage and three solo tackles on defense … He stopped Jeremy Childs from getting to a third-and-9 Taylor Tharp pass midway through the first quarter, forcing BSU to punt … He later chased down Marty Tadman on a 48-yard punt return that was downed at the SJSU 16 in the third quarter … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#9-Jeremy Childs (6:00-196) … Pass Coverage Results-Had two passes targeted into his area, as the opposition caught one ball for five yards.

New Mexico State … Lowery added two solo tackles with an interception and a pass break-up, as he also totaled 50 yards on two punt returns … He chased down Jason Buries on an 11-yard run in the second quarter and later picked off a Chase Holbrook pass at the SJSU 27 to kill an eight-play, 41-yard series at the start of the second half … His third quarter 37-yard punt return set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Spartans QB Adam Tafralis … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#81-Kenneth Buckley (5:09-191) … Pass Coverage Results-Had five passes targeted into his area, as the opposition caught one ball for seven yards.

Louisiana Tech … The left cornerback was in on three solo tackles and had two punt returns for 16 yards … He was beaten by Phillip Livas on a third-and-20, 49-yard scoring strike from Zac Champion late in the first quarter. Livas also grabbed a 50-yard seam pass after getting behind Lowery, setting up a Tech 20-yard field goal in the second quarter … Livas also snared a 27-yarder away from the cornerback with 1:55 left in the first half … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#6-Phillip Livas (5:08-170) … Pass Coverage Results-Had five passes targeted into his area, as the opposition caught four balls for 140 yards and a touchdown.

Nevada … Lowery closed out his career with three tackles (two solos), three deflected passes and 12 yards on three punt returns … He batted away Colin Kaepernick's third-and-10 toss to Kyle Sammons early in the first quarter, forcing Nevada to punt … At the start of the second half, he stopped Kaepernick on a third-and-3 bootleg that netted 18 yards to the SJSU 41 … In the fourth quarter, he jammed Sampson on consecutive plays, preventing the receiver from getting to those incomplete throws … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#5-Kyle Sammons (5:11-197) … Pass Coverage Results-Had seven passes targeted into his area, as the opposition caught two balls for 26 yards.

2006 Season

Lowery became the first player in school history to earn two first-team All-American honors in the same season, as he was chosen to the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) All-America teams, adding third-team accolades from the Associated Press … All-Western Athletic Conference first-team pick … Started all 13 games at left cornerback, finishing seventh on the team with 48 tackles (23 solos), as he assisted on a stop for a two-yard loss and recovered three fumbles while deflecting seven passes … Gained 42 yards on five punt returns (8.4-yard average) … Tied with Stanley Franks of Idaho for the most interceptions in the Division 1-A ranks, picking off a school season-record nine passes for 111 yards (12.3 avg) in returns, breaking the record of eight interceptions that were first set by Leroy Zimmerman in 1939 and matched by both Don Peterson (1966) and Gerald Jones (2002) … Became the third Spartan to intercept a pass in four consecutive games (first to do so in his first four games in a San Jose State uniform), matching a feat accomplished by safeties Sherman Cocroft (1982) and Gerald Jones (2002) … Was the sixth player in school history to pick off three passes in the same game -- vs. Cal Poly on Sept. 23.

2006 Game Analysis

Washington … Lowery began his San Jose State career by picking off an Isaiah Stanback pass in the season opener.

Stanford … Intercepted a Trent Edwards toss and had three stops with a pass breakup while also gaining 19 yards on two punt returns.

Cal Poly … Lowery tied a school game-record with three interceptions for 42 yards in returns, including a 33-yarder, as he also collected four tackles and a pass deflection.

San Diego State … The Spartan did not produce any tackles, but he did pick off a pair of passes, one each from QBs Kevin Craft and Darren Mougey.

Utah State … Followed with a season-high 11 tackles (five solo).

Nevada … Registered three solo tackles and returned an intercepted Travis Moore pass 37 yards.

New Mexico State … Posted five tackles (two solo), assisting on a stop for a two-yard loss.

Idaho State … Produced another five tackles (three solo) with a pass deflection.

Fresno State … Returned an interception 32 yards and delivered six tackles (two solos).

New Mexico (New Mexico Bowl) … Closed out his first season with the Spartans by making three tackles (two assists) and batting away a pass.

Injury Report

2005: Missed the last five games of the Cabrillo College season with a hand injury.

2007: Suffered a fractured jaw when he collided with running back Cameron Island in the team's next-to-last scrimmage of the 2007 spring camp. Had his mouth wired shut for seven weeks, losing over 10 pounds in that time.

Agility Tests

Campus: 4.55 in the 40-yard dash … Bench presses 185 pounds 17 times … 34-inch vertical jump … 32 1/8-inch arm length … 9 1/8-inch hands.

Junior College

Two-year starter at free safety at Cabrillo College, wearing jersey No. 2 while competing in 15 games from 2004-05 for head coach Steve Cox … Suffered a hand injury that limited him to just five games as a sophomore … 2005 Season-Despite playing in just five games, he earned All-Nor Cal Combine Team honors, as he led the California junior college ranks with 202 yards gained on five interceptions … Recorded 26 tackles (14 solos) … 2004 Season-Started all 10 games, earning All-California Community College Football Conference, All-Coast Conference and All-State first-team honors … Led the NJCAA with 237 yards gained on eight interceptions, returning two of those thefts for touchdowns …

Averaged 30.0 yards on ten kickoff returns, including one for a score and also had a touchdown on a blocked 18-yard punt return and added another score when he recovered a blocked field goal … Also carried once for 18 yards.

High School

Attended Soquel (Santa Cruz, Cal.) High School, playing football for head coach Ron Meyers … Two-time All-Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League pick as a defensive back, adding All-League accolades as a running back during his senior campaign … Set school season-records with 23 touchdowns on the ground and 25 total scores in 2003 … That year, he set the county game-record with seven touchdowns vs. Sacred Heart of San Francisco High … In 20 games on defense, he set another school record by intercepting 20 passes … Also lettered in basketball … A three-year starter for the hoops team, he earned League Most Valuable Player honors as a junior, leading his squad to the Central Coast Section Playoffs.

Personal

Psychology major … Born 1/23/86 in Santa Cruz, California.

 
 

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