Lukas Denis 2019 NFL Draft Profile

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Lukas Denis
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 04: Defensive back Lukas Denis of Boston College runs the 40-yard dash during day five of the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 4, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Overview
Position
: Safety
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 190 pounds
School: Boston College Eagles

Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash
: 4.64 seconds
Bench press: 16 reps
Vertical jump: 33.5 inches
Broad jump: 9 feet, 8 inches
Three-cone drill: 6.89 seconds (fourth-best among safeties)
20-yard shuttle: 4.09 seconds (third-best among safeties)
60-yard shuttle: 11.42 seconds (second-best among safeties)

Lukas Denis 2019 NFL Draft Profile

Lukas Denis was a breakout star for the Boston College Eagles in 2017. During his junior season, the Everett, MA product racked up seven interceptions, 10 passes defended, two forced fumbles and 46 solo tackles in 13 games played. He was one of the most exciting prospects on what should have been a consistently top-25 Boston College squad.

Unfortunately, Denis didn’t do himself any favors heading into the draft. In his senior season, Denis’ production dropped in every category except for sacks and pick-sixes. Across 10 games played, he recorded 31 solo tackles, one interception (returned for a touchdown), one forced fumble and two passes defended. He recorded one half-sack against UMass in the Eagles first game of the 2018 season. Denis recorded his lone interception in that game as well, taking it 59 yards for his only career defensive touchdown.

Strengths

  • dangerous returner after the interception;
  • displays smooth footwork in all directions pivots easily;
  • excellent ball-tracking skills overhead;
  • willing to take aggressive angles to disrupt passes;
  • plays contain defense very well.

Weaknesses

  • lacks typical size for NFL defensive back;
  • defaults to arm tackles, doesn’t finish consistently;
  • ran a bottom-10 40-yard dash among defensive backs at the Combine;
  • lacks physicality to bully receivers off the ball;
  • rarely successful in helping to stop the run.

Teams With Need at Position: San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers, Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks, Houston Texans

Projection: Seventh round, undrafted free agent

Bottom Line

Denis’ tackling skills are the biggest knock against him, and his lack of typical size for a defensive back isn’t helping his case. His production in his junior season may have been a fluke given how far he fell during his senior year. If he wants to make an NFL roster, he’ll need to bulk up a bit and work on putting his body between the receiver and the end zone. Unfortunately for Denis, his lack of impact on Boston College’s special teams unit, his 40 time and his tackling issues raise questions about how versatile he can be on an NFL roster.

Right now, Denis would be a bit of a project safety and would be best suited for a team without a pressing need at the position. He would provide some depth at deep safety but would most likely remain as a back-up option for whichever team he lands with unless there’s a marked improvement on his part or a sudden run on the depth chart. Teams like the Titans and Redskins could be looking for some depth in the secondary, and both of those units have mentors at safety that could give Denis the help he needs to succeed in the NFL.

If he doesn’t come off the board during the seventh round, expect Denis to be snatched up shortly after the draft as a free agent to provide some depth and competition in training camp.

Main photo:
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