Expert Analysis


4 min read

DJ James 2024 NFL Draft: Combine Results, Scouting Report For Auburn CB

Aubrun CB DJ James catches a pass vs. LSU
Auburn cornerback DJ James 4 makes an interception as the LSU Tigers take on the Auburn Tigers at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023.

The 2024 NFL Draft is getting close, making it an excellent time to highlight some of the class' best players with scouting reports. Each report will include strengths, weaknesses and background information. 

Here's our report on DJ James.

DJ James' 2024 NFL Combine Results

  • Height: 6-foot
  • Weight: 175
  • 40-yard dash: 4.42
  • 10-yard split: 1.50
  • Vertical jump: DNP
  • Broad jump: DNP

DJ James 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report


  • Alignment versatility in playing from the left and right side of the field, as well as in the slot at times.
  • Plays with a good feel for coverage concepts based on formations and communicates well (man and zone).
  • Has the pattern recognition to trade off routes and position himself to play with leverage in zone concepts.
  • He is willing to come down and fill running lanes to support in defending the run — a good, aggressive run defender.
  • Plays with good vision and sees the field well in zone coverage to allow him to drive and close on routes.
  • Good bail coverage technique while staying on top of receivers in deep coverage responsibility (good zone CB).
  • Stays in phase when turning and and running vertically with WRs — solid acceleration and speed down the field.
  • Works to stay on top WR on vertical routes and plays with good vision and ball skills at the point of catch.
  • Solid edge run support with good recognition skills to beat blocks and disrupt screens and edge runs.
  • Bumped into the slot to matchup vs best WR on critical downs — good technique and closing speed as slot CB.


  • Mirrors/runs with WRs from pressed alignment. His limited hand usage allows WRs to separate off line.
  • Poor technique as open field tackler – leaves his feet and dives at runner’s legs (doesn’t break down or wrap).
  • Upright backpedal, which affects his lateral change of direction when he is attacked with a good vertical stem.
  • Over aggressive at times in zone coverage with a tendency to get noisy and react to QB's eyes or routes in front of him, occasionally leaving voids in coverage down the field (takes the bait at times).

Auburn cornerback DJ James 4 makes an interception as the LSU Tigers take on the Auburn Tigers at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023.

NFL Transition

James has experience playing both sides of the field but primarily played as the field CB for Auburn in 2023. He moved into the slot on critical downs to match WRs in man coverage schemes, with some snaps moving into the slot depending on scheme and opponent.

He had a good PBU vs. Ladd McConkey on a slot fade on third down, and he moved into slot vs. LSU to match to Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr. He excels in zone coverage schemes where he can play from proper alignment and use his eyes to read the QB and route concepts.

James has good bail coverage technique to stay on top of receivers as a deep coverage defender. There are several examples vs. Missouri and explosive WR Luther Burden, who was held to no catches by the Auburn defense on three targets. James is capable in man coverage due to his patient footwork to mirror WRs and good vertical speed, but he struggles to stick to explosive WRs laterally.

Overall, James is a versatile prospect who excels playing from man and zone coverage due to his good feel and understanding of positioning and route concepts. He is an aggressive, physical CB who is good in run support and willing to come downhill and hit.

James projects as a Day 2 or early Day 3 Pick who has the potential to contribute in Year 1 on special teams and possibly in sub-package schemes, with the chance to become a solid NFL starter.

Other Notes

James came out of Alabama as a three-star recruit and was ranked the 15th CB in the nation. He started his career at Oregon (2019-2021), and then spent his last two years at Auburn. He was second-team All-SEC (PFF) each of the last two seasons. James finished his career with 147 total tackles, five TFLs, 5five INTs and 24 PBUs, 18 PBUs came at Aubrun.

In 2022, James had 407 coverage snaps and was targeted on 48 pass attempts, allowing 14 completions for 200 yards and two touchdowns with nine PBUs. James played from press alignment on 93 of his 407 coverage snaps (23 percent of his snaps). He played slightly more zone coverage concepts than man (57 percent zone and 43 percent man).

In 2023, James had 344 coverage snaps, and he was targeted on 42 pass attempts, allowing 21 completions for 227 yards and two touchdowns with 10 PBUs. He played from press alignment on 72 of 344 coverage snaps (21 percent of his snaps). Again, James played slightly more zone coverage than man (58 percent zone and 42 percent man).