Fantasy Impact: Houston Texans Select D.J. Swearinger
There’s something to be said for having a tough, fearless defender at the back-end of your defense, which is why the Houston Texans selected South Carolina’s D.J. Swearinger in the 2013 NFL draft. Throughout his college career, Swearinger was a looming presence who possessed the ability to make a crushing, game-changing hit at any moment, but also the instincts to make him dependable from series-to-series. He comes with his share of limitations, for instance, despite being assigned to single-high coverage at times for the Gamecocks, Swearinger’s range doesn’t project him to have the same responsibilities at the pro level. However, that doesn’t mean he won’t have a place as a versatile in-the-box presence who can also be counted upon to cover the slot in sub packages.
In addition to his athleticism and tenacity, Swearinger’s resume also boasts consistent production. With back-to-back seasons of 79 and 80 tackles, Swearinger also accounted for a handful of turnovers in both his junior and senior seasons. His high motor is a huge reason for this, as well as his ability to punish running backs in addition to covering the backside of the field. Because of that versatility, Swearinger could see himself getting his share of snaps in the NFL sooner than later.
College statistics courtesy of Sports Reference.
Behind a front seven that features J.J. Watt, Brian Cushing and Antonio Smith, there won’t be a lot of ball carriers that frequent Swearinger’s level of defense. However, should the Texans keep him in the box while straggling ball-carriers search for new gaps, Swearinger has the potential to feast. But because Danieal Manning is in town, Swearinger won’t likely see anything besides sub packages in his first year. He’s not worth consideration in redraft leagues, although dynasty leagues with tackle-heavy formats can look forward to finding an aggressive tackling machine in mid-rounds.