Scouting Reports

Sunday Sleeper: Safety, K.J. Dillon

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]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

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Height – 6′ 0″
Weight – 210 lbs.
Age – 22 yrs.

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At First Glance

All-Big 12 Second Team.
WVU’s Defensive MVP against Texas A&M in the Liberty Bowl.


Projected Round:

5th Round

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Carl Knowles

Carl Knowles (Contributor) is a former member of the Professional Bowler Association and an avid lifelong Vikings fan. When he is not bowling you can find him on websites and forum pages sharing his creative insight and enthusiasm for the Minnesota Vikings any chance he gets. Carl was a Phoenix Institute of Technology and Purdue University standout who currently enjoys the challenge of being a graphic director in the printing business. You can follow him on twitter @carlknowles_vt.

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  1. A guy that is really flying under the radar is Justin Simmons from Boston College.He’s smart,has great size and shows leadership skills,all traits that Zimmer looks for in his players.And he ran a 3.8 short shuttle at the combine,the quickest of anybody!
    Don’t be surprised if the name Justin Simmons gets read out as a Vikings pick in the draft.

  2. I agree Aussie. I would like to see the Vikes land Simmons or Killebrew, very possible (likely even) either will be solid starters very many years barring injury.