PROFILE: Javon MarshallPosition: Safety
School Bio: Vanderbilt
The first draft prospect under review is Vanderbilt University safety Javon Marshall. He may not be the biggest, strongest, fastest or hardest hitting safety entering the NFL draft, but will likely surprise some teams when they turn on the film.
The 5-foot-10, 202-pound Marshall has put together a pretty impressive resume at Vandy. He was a three-year starter who totaled 206 career tackles, three interceptions, and 12 pass breakups for the Commodores.
Intangibles: Marshall is not a flashy player who will make big hits, but he consistently makes all the routine plays. He displays terrific sideline-to-sideline range, quickness and agility. He shows good footwork and hips changing directions. He demonstrates good instincts/recognition, mental and physical toughness as well as outstanding work ethic.
Marshall rarely plays out of position and takes correct angles to make sure tackles. He’s strong at the point-of-attack, plays well inside the box and effective blitzes the passer. He shed blocks well and is a good open-field tackler.
Marshall puts in a significant about of time and effort in the weight room, during film study and has strong attention to detail in terms of practice habits. He was the undisputed leader on defense and was elected captain his junior and senior years. He established himself as one of the better safeties in the Southeastern Conference.
Versatility: Marshall is very athletic with good speed to make plays. He ran the 4x100 and 4x200 in track while attending Wayne High School (Huber Heights, Ohio). The safety was clocked at 4.50 range in the 40-yard dash with a 39.5-inch vertical jump before the 2013 season. Marshall plays well supporting the run and in coverage. He had a breakout season in 2011 while splitting time at free safety and was moved to strong safety in 2012, when he recorded 83 tackles. Although free safety would be a likely fit in the pros. Marshall has been one of the team’s top tacklers the past two seasons. He could also be a solid contributor on special teams.
Blemishes: Marshall enters the draft as a fifth-year senior with durability somewhat of a concern. He redshirted his freshman year in 2009 and missed the first four games of the 2010 season with leg injury. Marshall also has dealt with a shoulder issue. He had shoulder surgery between the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Marshall dedicated himself to the weight room during that offseason, rehabbing and strengthening the injured shoulder.
Big C’s inside report
Marshall’s measurables may not meet NFL standards for the position, but he does have the skills to play at the next level. He plays with a tremendous amount of passion and utilizes his football intelligence to make him an effective football player.
During an interview with Vanderbilt Defensive Coordinator/Safeties Coach Bob Shoop, who coached Marshall for three years, he discussed the safety’s football IQ. Shoop said Marshall is an extension of the coaches on the field. He said Marshall understands the ins and outs on defense, not just his responsibility, but that of all 11 players.
Shoop added that Marshall is a great leader and respected by his teammates as well as the coaching staff, both on and off the field.
“I don’t know what the future holds for Javon in regard to an opportunity to play in the NFL,” Shoop said. “But if the opportunity ever presented itself and he wanted to get into coaching, he can be my secondary coach any day of the week. I promise you that. However, I would never bet against Javon. If he gets into a team’s camp, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him on an NFL roster. He’s that type of competitor.”