Safety Karl Joseph commands more of the draft buzz than his secondary counterpart and fellow Mountaineers teammate K.J. Dillon, but Dillon’s size and understated traits make him an intriguing Vikings prospect in his own right. His experience at free safety, strong safety and the “Spur” position (hybrid safety/linebacker), along with his ability to play single-high as well as down low in the box, gives him the versatility Zimmer demands from the safety position.
K.J. Dillon | Safety, West Virginia
Height – 6′ 0″
Weight – 210 lbs.
Age – 22 yrs.
At First Glance
All-Big 12 Second Team.
WVU’s Defensive MVP against Texas A&M in the Liberty Bowl.
Good length and ability to attack the catch point.
Can play man coverage from the slot.
Uses his long arms as a solid wrap-up tackler.
Plays with a high level of confidence and swagger.
Equally effective against the run or pass.
Solid read and react instincts.
Good athleticism and speed. His second forty time at the combine was clocked at 4.48.
Can drop the hammer and deliver the big hit.
Needs to add more muscle and refine technique to become a more consistent tackler in the NFL.
Can do a better job of using his hands to press receivers at the line and knock them off their routes.
Stiff and mechanical in his backpedal lacking elite level quickness and recovery speed.
Will get grabby when he thinks he is beaten in coverage.
NFL Player Comparison:
Michael Mitchell, Pittsburg Steeler
The Vikings Slant
Vikings fit? Yes
The Vikings re-signed Andrew Sendejo, added Michael Griffin in free agency and will continue to develop Anthony Harris and Antone Exum. Terence Newman’s ability to play safety also gives the Vikings enough of a security blanket to possibly wait unit the mid to late rounds to draft a safety.
Dillon showcased his talents at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, with a five-tackle performance on defense and a blocked field goal in the third quarter on special teams. He also delivered a nice block on a second half kickoff that helped spring a 73-yard return.
He went through the typical ascension throughout his career in Morgantown, playing on special teams and as a reserve safety as a true freshman in 2012. As a sophomore he earned some part-time starting opportunities and additional playing time. He finished his final two seasons as a full-time starter compiling 159 tackles (17 for loss) and four career interceptions.
Dillon is a natural athlete with great instincts who doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses, yet at the same time doesn’t excel at any one area other than being known as a hard hitter.
By making the most of his opportunities on special teams, Dillon could eventually work his way into the Vikings starting lineup much like he did at West Virginia.