The linebacker position is changing all across the NFL. Defenses have been forced to adapt as offenses have gotten faster and weaponized spacing and tempo.
The lines between linebacker and defensive back have blurred in recent years, and at times it’s tough to tell the difference between a defensive back and an off-ball linebacker. Texas linebacker DeMarvion Overshown, for instance, actually started his career as a defensive back before transitioning to a full-time linebacker role.
The New York Giants could certainly stand to add range, athleticism, and coverage ability to the second level of their defense. Could Overshown’s athleticism and background in the secondary appeal to Wink Martindale?
Games Played: 39
Tackles for a loss: 30.5
Forced fumbles: 3
Passes defensed: 17
Games Played: 12
Tackles for a loss: 10.0
Forced fumbles: 0
Passes defensed: 5
Best: Athleticism, explosiveness, pass coverage, versatility
Worst: Awareness, experience at linebacker
Projection: A nickel off-ball linebacker with upside.
DeMarvion Overshown is a twitchy, explosive off-ball linebacker prospect from the University of Texas.
Overshown was originally a defensive back on the Texas defense before transitioning to linebacker. He primarily lined up as an off-ball linebacker, usually on the weak side of the formation. However, he did also line up as an inside linebacker and even as an edge defender on occasion.
His experience in the secondary shows up in his coverage. Overshown easily gets depth in his zone drops and is an easy mover in space. His speed gives him great range and he has the ability to stay with most running backs or tight ends in coverage. He has the ability to get to the ball in a hurry once he commits to a course of action and takes smart angles to the ball. Overshown’s background as a DB helps him play the ball at the catch point.
Overshown is somewhat light for a linebacker, but he has enough play strength to take on blockers in run support. He’s able to stand up blockers when playing downhill with leverage, and is a reliable tackler who gets the ball carrier on the ground.
He’s an explosive hitter who’s able to turn his speed into power and arrives at the ball carrier with bad intentions. Overshown does flash some solid instincts and is able to beat blockers to their landmarks or cut off the ball carrier as he attempts to escape from other defenders.
As mentioned above, Overshown did play some edge defender on occasion. He has enough burst into the backfield to give blockers headaches, and could be an asset in obvious passing situations.
While Overshown is an impressive athlete for the linebacker position, that athleticism is tempered by a lack of experience at the position. While he’s a red-shirt senior, he only transitioned to linebacker before the 2020 season, and that can show up on his tape. There are instances where Overshown is clearly thinking his way through his keys and reads, which can slow down his overall play speed. Likewise, he can be late to pick up skill position players in zone coverage and occasionally find himself defending grass.
He can also be a bit slow to process the offensive play when something doesn’t go as expected, such as the quarterback pulling the ball down and running. He has the athleticism to make up time on the move, but slight hesitations to double-check could cost him at the NFL level. On the other side of that coin is that his athleticism can pull him far out of position if he makes an incorrect read.
Overall Grade: 7.2
DeMarvion Overshown projects as a nickel linebacker, likely at the WILL alignment, at least to start his career.
Overshown could develop into a potential starter with some time and coaching, but he isn’t there yet. For now, he flashes the ability to process the play quickly and has the ability to take on blockers when playing downhill, but it isn’t consistent at this point in his development. He’s at his best when he isn’t saddled with too many reads or responsibilities. In those situations, such as in short coverage zones or rushing the passer, he’s able to play fast and make full use of his athleticism.
He is a violent hitter who arrives at the ball carrier with bad intentions, and that will certainly catch coaches’ eyes. He also has the ability to drop in coverage and has good range at the second level. That could make Overshown a valuable piece for a defense that makes use of linebackers in blitz packages or makes frequent use of sub-packages.
Overshown’s speed and competitive toughness should also make him a fixture on kick and punt coverage teams to start his career. That could help earn him valuable snaps while he works with the coaching staff to develop as a defender.