We continue our UDFA breakdowns with a closer look at defensive back Doug Middleton from Appalachian State…
- Name: Doug Middleton
- School: Appalachian State
- Position: DB
- Height: 6’0″
- Weight: 210
- Career Stats: 127 Tackles, 6 TFL, 4 INT
- 40 Yard Dash: 4.48 seconds
- 10 Yard Shuttle: 1.62 seconds
- 3 Cone Drill: 7.05 seconds
- Vertical Jump: 38.5 inches
- Broad Jump: 128.2 inches
- Bench Press: 18 reps of 225lbs
Background: Was rated as a two star prospect coming out of highschool by Rivals.com. He was Appalachian State’s starting free safety the past two seasons after seeing time mostly on special teams his first three years. Named First Team All Sun-Belt in 2014. Elected co-captain for the 2015 season.
Strengths: Has the attributes and play style of the “rover” type safety that Todd Bowles covets in his sub packages. Takes good angles to the ball carrier and showed the ability to breakdown and make a tackle in the open field. Experience playing all over the defensive backfield as he played cornerback his first two years before changing positions to safety. Looks comfortable in his backpedal. Decent deep coverage skills. Made defensive calls from the backend of the defense. Always gives 110% effort and is excellent on special teams. Better playing in the box and closer to the LOS compared to playing deep field coverage.
Weaknesses: Limited athletic ability. Has difficulty changing directions and making adjustments on the run against receivers. Needs to improve coverage technique and his timing when the ball is in the air. Also needs to improve his tackling technique as he gets too reckless at times and will go for the big hit instead of the sure wrap up tackle.
Final Words: Due to the fact that the Jets defensive back depth chart has some weaknesses towards the bottom, Doug Middleton has a chance to crack the final 53-man roster if he can prove himself in training camp. He is a near perfect fit for the rover safety position that Coach Bowles loves to utilize but Middleton’s best shot at making the final roster will be through special teams, something the Jets must improve after the abysmal performance they put on last season. If Middleton can make a strong impact on special teams in training camp, I think he will be in the conversation for one of the last roster spots and perhaps earn himself a place on the practice squad.
Photo Credit: AppalachianState.edu