South Carolina safety D.J. Swearinger will be disappointed if he isn't a first-round draft pick. Speaking at the 2013 NFL Combine on Tuesday, he made a case for himself as the best safety in his draft class.
"I'm the best safety in this draft because I'm a leader first and foremost," Swearinger said. "I have instincts that coaches can't coach. You can't coach instincts. I have great ball skills, great feet and hips. I'm going to stay in that film room and be a hard worker day in and day out."
Two teams in particular could be very interested in the versatile, hard-hitting defensive back. Swearinger said he has talked to representatives from the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens, two teams that could be looking to draft a safety. With New England, he would relish the opportunity to work with Bill Belichick.
"I love the style of New England's defense, and I like coach Belichick, how he does things, how disciplined he is," Swearinger said. "They win championships, and I think I can help be a part of that."
"I would see myself fitting right in with the Ravens," Swearinger said. "Losing their leader like Ray Lewis, I consider myself a leader first and foremost so I think I would go right in and be a defensive leader and get in well with the playbook and get right."
Although Swearinger doesn't project to the first round in SB Nation's latest mock draft (unlike Texas' Kenny Vaccaro and FIU's Jonathan Cyprien), he has no shortage of confidence. One of his biggest attributes is his versatility. Swearinger stepped up to play cornerback, free safety and strong safety last season for the Gamecocks. He was known to level receivers as well, although his aggressiveness occasionally left him out of position in coverage.
That said, Swearing has no doubts he can play at the next level.
"The second you doubt at my position, it's six points," Swearinger said. "You've got to carry yourself with confidence and have a confidence and a swagger about yourself that you know you can make plays and you know you can make things happen."
More in the NFL: