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2015 NFL DRAFT
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DaJuan Morgan, FS

Height: 6-0 | Weight: 205 | College: North Carolina State
 
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Overview

DaJuan Morgan seems to be following the same path to the National Football League as former Wolfpack standout, and present Arizona Cardinal All-Pro safety Adrian Wilson. Both were standouts on special teams earlier in their college careers before seeing time at safety. Morgan, a junior, hopes that his professional career can as rewarding as Wilson's.

Morgan nearly saw his college career end before it began. He missed his entire senior season in high school after he dislocated his hip in a car accident. When he arrived at North Carolina State as a split end in 2004, he appeared in two games before the coaching staff shut him down due to continued problems with his hip.

The extra year away from the game proved to be the best medicine for what ailed Morgan. He returned to the playing field in 2005, but made his mark as the leader of the squad's special-teams unit. He used his excellent leaping ability to go on to block two punts during his career.

Prior to sitting out his senior campaign at Suncoast High School, Morgan earned All-Region honors at wide receiver and was the team MVP as a junior. He totaled 2,760 receiving yards and 27 touchdowns for his career, and passed for 1,100 yards and 13 scores, adding 600 yards and seven touchdowns rushing.

As a defensive back, Morgan recorded 67 tackles with two sacks and three interceptions. He returned five kicks for touchdowns as a sophomore. He also ran track all four seasons and played baseball two seasons. He won the Class 2-A state title in the 400 meters his senior season and was second in his sophomore campaign.

Morgan rejected scholarship offers from Ohio State, Oklahoma and Florida to enroll at North Carolina State in 2004. He appeared in the Richmond game at split end, catching one pass for six yards and competed on special teams vs. Ohio State before his hip soreness kept him on the sidelines for the rest of the schedule. To help improve his recovery, the coaching staff allowed him to compete on the school's track and field team after the 2004 gridiron season.

Morgan appeared in 12 games as a reserve at both free safety and rover in 2005. He led the team's substitutes with 46 tackles (33 solo), including 2.5 stops for losses and a pressure. He had switched jersey numbers prior to the season from No. 34 to No. 7. He had a pair of pass deflections and an interception, adding 43 yards on two carries and had a blocked punt for a 12-yard return.

As a redshirt sophomore, Morgan ranked fourth on the team with 82 tackles (53 solo), including one for a loss, despite starting just one game at free safety. He was credited with two pressures, a forced fumble and seven pass breakups. He also recovered a blocked punt and had two interceptions.

Morgan received All-Atlantic Coast Conference second-team honors in 2007. He started 11 of 12 games, coming off the bench vs. Boston College, as he lined up strong safety in five games and spent the rest of the year at free safety. He posted a team-high 97 tackles (73 solo) with two stops behind the line of scrimmage. He broke up six passes and intercepted three others, playing alongside his brother, DeAndre, who started for the Wolfpack at cornerback.

Analysis

Positives: Has a lean frame with good body structure, long limbs, solid thighs and calves and room to carry at least another 15 pounds of bulk … Versatile athlete who has experience at rover, free and strong safety … Has adequate quickness and balance closing on plays in front of him … Long strider who might be slow-footed coming out of his backpedal, but does a good job of keeping the action in front of him … When he gets physical on the field, he has the ability to dominate (when he gets soft, he plays poorly) … Lacks consistency, but flies to the ball and sacrifices his body when he sees the play develop … Handles the switch-off well in the zone, but is prone to biting on play-action … Long strider, but has a solid short-area burst … Shows good body mechanics working down the line and when he stays low in his pads, he has good success slipping past blocks … Will trap the ball and lacks natural hands, but uses his leaping ability and long arms efficiently to reach around and deflect the pass away from the receiver (his timing and leaping ability are also an advantage as a kick blocker) … More of a collision-type tackler than one who will wrap up with consistency, but has the hand strength to contain the ballcarrier until help arrives … Shows functional range in the short area of the zone and has enough foot speed to chase down plays in front of him … Can stall the underneath passing game when he uses his hands properly to press or redirect … Gets down the field quickly and is very effective at breaking up the wedge on the special-teams coverage units … Better playing vs. the ball in the zone than in man coverage (marginal hip snap) … High tackler in the open, but is a low striker in the alley … Showed improvement as a junior when using his arms with force to jam and redirect the tight ends at the line … Springs into his hits and shows good balance and body control combating for the ball in a crowd … Does a good job reacting to screens and has the functional speed to mirror underneath receivers … When he keeps his pads down, there is no hitch in his turn out of his backpedal (too often gets high in his stance, though).

Negatives: Has played a variety of positions in the secondary, but never the same for an entire season … Has good timed speed, but looks sluggish in his turn and recovery burst coming out of his backpedal … Has good field vision, but can be fooled by pump fakes and play-action … Perhaps due to his hip dislocation in high school, does not show the loose hips or suddenness to change direction and get back on the receiver when the opponent gets behind him (best making plays in front of him) … Gets too confident in his athletic ability to make the play and will revert to diving or taking a side rather than facing up to wrap and secure as a tackler … Maintains better position on receivers in front of him than when they get behind … Needs to show more urgency closing on running plays along the perimeter and gets washed out often by bigger blockers, as he tends to get too high in his stance, leaving his chest exposed for the opponent to lock on, jerk and pull him to the ground … Must get more aggressive with his hands in attempts to reroute tight ends and slot receivers … Needs to mature on the field, as he can be taken out of his element after a bad play and does too much talking without backing up his boasts (seems enamored by his athletic ability and is too outspoken, drawing a fair amount of penalties for unsportsmanlike play) … Plays too much with reckless abandon and gambles more often than he should … Needs to time his leaps and extend for the ball at its high point better and while he has made six interceptions in his career, he lacks natural hands and traps the ball too often.

Compares To: BRODNEY POOL-Cleveland … There is no questioning Morgan's athletic ability, but due to a lack of experience at one position and an adequate work ethic, he seems to feel that he is a "natural" at the position and doesn't need to work at it. He gets caught peeking into the backfield often and lacks the recovery burst needed after receivers get behind him. He will probably be used as a free safety at the next level due to a lack of bulk, but his timed speed doesn't always translate to the field. Like Pool, he lacks a great feel for the ball in flight and does not have the natural hands. He will be drafted earlier than some expect because of his athleticism. He would have benefited from another year of college football.

Career Notes

In 38 games at North Carolina State, Morgan started 12 contests … Recorded 225 tackles (159 solo) with 5.5 stops for losses of 12 yards and three quarterback pressures …

Caused two fumbles, deflected 15 passes and intercepted six others … Had a six-yard reception, two carries for 43 yards and blocked two punts for a total of 6 yards in returns.

2007 Season

All-Atlantic Coast Conference second-team selection … Played in all 12 games, coming off the bench vs. Boston College, as he appeared on a total of 787 plays … Started at strong safety vs. Central Florida, Wofford, Clemson, Louisville and Florida State, and at free safety vs. East Carolina, Virginia, Miami, North Carolina, Wake Forest and Maryland … In his first season as a starter, he led the team with a career-high 97 tackles (73 solos), including two stops for losses of four yards … Caused a fumble, deflected six passes and intercepted three others … Named ACC player of the Week vs. Virginia.

2007 Game Analysis

Central Florida … Opened the season with four assisted tackles, chasing down QB Kyle Israel on a third-&-20 run that netted 15 yards in the third quarter, resulting in a UCF punt on the next play.

Boston College … Came off the bench to deliver another four tackles (3 solos) … Broke up a Matt Ryan second-&-goal pass to Kevin Challenger, as BC would settle for a 27-yard field goal two plays laterto end a 12-play, 47-yard second quarter drive.

Wofford … Registered six tackles (3 solos), including one that stopped tailback Jeremy Marshall for no gain on a rushing attempt at the start of the second half … In the fourth quarter, he chased down tailback Mike Rucker for a 3-yard loss at the Wofford 33.

Clemson … Morgan registered thirteen tackles (7 solos) and broke up a Cullen Harper pass four minutes into the game.

Louisville … Delivered nine tackles (6 solos).

Florida State … Followed with six solo tackles, including one that stopped tailback Antone Smith for a 1-yard loss on a fourth quarter run at the NC State 21 … Earlier in the third quarter, he took down De'Cody Fagg after the receiver gained 4 yards on a third-&-7 catch, forcing FSU to punt.

East Carolina … Was in on ten tackles (7 solos) and a pass deflection, killing a mid fourth quarter series when he knocked down a Rob Kass fourth-&-13 pass that was intended for Phil Henry at the State 48.

Virginia … Named ACC Defensive Back of the Week, as he registered twelve tackles (11 solos) with an interception and a pass break-up … Morgan picked off a Jameel Sewell third-&-12 pass at the Virginia 38, setting up a 40-yard touchdown toss from State QB Daniel Evans to receiver Donald Bowens early in the first quarter.

Miami … Broke up a pass, intercepted another and collected seven solo tackles … Picked off a Kyle Freeman pass at the UM 35 five minutes into the third quarter.

North Carolina … For the third consecutive game, Morgan came up with an interception, as he also made six tackles (3 solos) and a pass deflection … His pass theft came on the game's second play from scrimmage, as State converted that turnover into a 40-yard field goal.

Wake Forest … Registered a career-high fifteen solo tackles and caused a fumble when he stripped the ball from tailback Josh Adams at the WF 38 with six minutes left in the third quarter.

Maryland … Closed out his career with five solo tackles, chasing down QB Chris Turner on a 41-yard run early in the second quarter.

2006 Season

Played in all 12 games, starting at free safety vs. Virginia … Despite spending most of the season as a reserve, Morgan ranked fourth on the team with 82 tackles (53 solo), including one for a three-yard loss and two quarterback pressures … Broke up seven passes and intercepted two others … Caused a fumble and blocked a punt for a six-yard loss, as he participated in 482 defensive snaps.

2006 Game Analysis

Morgan made an ill-advised play in the first quarter, picking up an Akron punt just before it rolled dead, losing six yards on the return attempt, prompting head coach Chuck Amato to grab him for a tongue lashing when he returned to the sidelines. The safety finished the day with six tackles (5 solos) and a stop for a 3-yard loss … Followed with five tackles (3 solos) vs. Southern Mississippi … Registered nine tackles (6 solos), deflected a pass and intercepted another late in the fourth quarter to seal a 24-20 decision over Florida State …

Delivered eight tackles (5 solos) vs. Maryland and posted six solo hits in the Virginia game … Credited with nine tackles (7 solos) and intercepted a Will Proctor pass in the Clemson contest … Followed with a pair of pass deflections and five tackles (4 solos) vs. North Carolina … Broke up two more passes, adding a pressure and three tackles vs. East Carolina.

2005 Season

Was a standout on special teams, participating in 242 plays with the coverage units … Played in 12 games, seeing action at rover, behind Garland Heath, and at free safety, behind Miguel Scott … Recorded 46 tackles (33 solo) with 2.5 stops for minus-5 yards and a quarterback pressure … Returned a blocked punt 12 yards, intercepted one pass and deflected two others … Added 43 yards on a pair of rushing attempts.

2005 Game Analysis

Opened the season by taking a fake punt 44 yards vs. Virginia Tech … Posted three solo tackles with a stop for a 2-yard loss and had his first career interception in the Eastern Kentucky game … Collected six tackles, including one for a loss vs. Georgia Tech and was in on four tackles in each of the Clemson and Florida State contests (also deflected a pass vs. the Seminoles) … Totaled thirteen tackles (10 solos), as he blocked a punt that he returned 12 yards vs. Middle Tennessee State … Closed out the season with five tackles (3 solos) vs. South Florida in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

2004 Season

Morgan appeared in the Richmond contest as a split end and vs. Ohio State on special teams before he was shut down for the rest of the season due to lingering problems with his dislocated hip … Wearing jersey No. 34, he had a six-yard reception vs. Richmond for his only statistics in 2004.

Injury Report

2003: Sat out his high school senior year after dislocating his hip in a car accident.

2004: Missed the team's final 10 games, seeing action vs. only Richmond (9/04) and Ohio State (9/18) before being sidelined by lingering problems from his previous hip dislocation.

Agility Tests

Campus: 4.43 in the 40-yard dash … 345-pound bench press … 470-pound squat … 34-inch vertical jump … 32 3/4-inch arm length … 9-inch hands.

Combine: 4.56 in the 40-yard dash … 1.54 10-yard dash … 2.62 20-yard dash … Bench pressed 225 pounds 21 times … 33-inch vertical jump … 9'11" broad jump … 4.41 20-yard shuttle … 7.12 three-cone drill.

High School

Attended Suncoast (Riviera Beach, Fla.) High School, earning All-Region honors at wide receiver and was the team MVP as a junior … Totaled 2,760 receiving yards and 27 touch-downs for his career, as he also passed for 1,100 yards and 13 scores, adding 600 yards and seven touchdowns rushing … As a defensive back, Morgan recorded 67 tackles with two sacks and three interceptions … Returned five kicks for touchdowns during his sophomore season … Also ran track all four seasons and played baseball two seasons … Won the Class 2-A state title in the 400 meters his senior season and was second in his sophomore campaign.

Personal

Sports Management major … Very active in the Wolfpack's ImPACK program, as a frequent visitor to schools, hospitals and community centers … Brother, DeAndre, was a teammate and cornerback at North Carolina State (2006-present) … Born 10/21/85 … Resides in Riviera Beach, Florida.

 
 

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