2014 NFL Draft Scouting Profile: Alabama Safety Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama @HaHa_CD6

PERSONAL

  • Name: Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix
  • Position: Free Safety
  • Nickname: Ha Ha
  • Twitter: @HaHa_CD6
  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 209
  • Hometown: Orlando, FL
  • Birth date: December 21, 1992
  • School: Alabama Crimson Tide

STATISTICS

Year

Tackles

INT

PD

FF

FR

2012

37

5

4

1

0

2011

11

0

2

0

0

STRENGTHS

Size

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix looks like an NFL safety.

The six-foot-one, 209 pound 5-Star recruit from Orlando has put on about 25 pounds since he arrived in Tuscaloosa. Clinton-Dix’s natural size and length is a valuable asset at the safety position.

AthleticismClintonDixINT

He was a superior athlete at Orlando’s Dr. Phillips High, and when he became the full-time starter his sophomore season, this athleticism was evident right away.

Clinton-Dix is an explosive athlete in and out of his breaks. This agility can be seen both against the run and the pass. This, coupled with his length, gives him a large striking radius.

He has smooth hips and good top-end speed for a safety, allowing him to turn and run with receivers when he needs to. He should run in the 4.45 to 4.55 range in the 40-yard dash at the combine.

His skill set matches up well against the tight-end oriented offenses trending in the NFL. If Clinton-Dix doesn’t make an impact in the NFL from the position, it will not be due to his physical tools.

Range

Going into the 2013 season, Clinton-Dix is the best center-fielder in college football. He’s the Ken Griffey Jr. of the NCAA landscape.

A defensive coordinator can line Clinton-Dix up between the hashes, and he has the range to get to either sideline and make a play on the ball. When asked to play a cover-two shell, he leaves quarterbacks with option but to throw the ball elsewhere.

Ha Ha breaks up a pass against Notre Dame.

Ha Ha breaks up a pass against Notre Dame.

Even when he lapses mentally, he shows the acceleration make up ground and get back in position.

Ball Skills

When the Crimson Tide safety gets to the football, he can end possessions. He recorded five interceptions in his first season as a starter. His awareness of what’s developing in front of him combined with his ability to get his gloves on the ball will certainly benefit gamers one day with Madden’s new Ball-Hawk feature.

Clinton-Dix also utilizes his length to break up passes. Since he is also a leaper, this enables him to compete with bigger receivers by attacking the rock at its highest point.

In tip ball situations, he can track and meet the football. He reacts great to tipped passes primarily because he has superb body control when he’s off the ground.

Clinton-Dix intercepts a pass, tipped by teammate Dee Milliner, in the BCS National Championship game.

Clinton-Dix intercepts a pass, tipped by teammate Dee Milliner, in the BCS National Championship game.

He even started out 2013 with a turnover, returning a fumble 55-yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of Alabama’s spring game.

In today’s NFL, teams need players that can create turnovers in the passing game, and the soon-to-be junior safety adds this ability to any secondary.

Aggressiveness

When “Ha Ha” sees a ball carrier, it is rarely a laughing matter. In the running and horizontal passing games, he attacks the line of scrimmage with malice.

When he wants to pursue, he closes on ball carriers like hawks on prey.

The free safety isn’t afraid of contact, showing the want-to a coaches love to see. No. 6 in the Crimson and White will put a hat on a body.

He’s shown flashes of blitzing ability too. He can disguise his rush, anticipate the snap count and be disruptive in the backfield. He has yet to register a sack, but he did blow up a read option in the National Championship game coming off the edge.

WEAKNESSES

Overaggressive

Aggressiveness is a real Jekyll and Hyde attribute, and it can show its ugly side at times. Sometimes, the Florida product comes in a little too hot and over runs the action. He can get a little anxious and reckless in pursuit. Rather than swinging the kill shot every snap, he would be better served, at times, breaking down and attempting a higher percentage tackle.

Technique

Ha Ha could use some work on his hands, feet, and tackling.

Safeties need to be able to work off blocks to get to the runner. Clinton-Dix can be overwhelmed by blocks at times, allowing offensive players to get into his body. If he can learn to use his natural reach to control the action, much like a UFC fighter, it will be much easier for him to keep oppenents’ hands off of him so he can shed and hunt.

He has a streaky tendency to get high in his back pedal. Despite the recovery speed he displays, an undisciplined back pedal is all it will take for an NFL-caliber receiver to run right past him.

His efforts to destroy opponents can cause his to lose tackling discipline. Rather than wrap up the ball carrier, he often lunges and strikes them with his shoulder. This is not to say that he is a bad tackler. He definitely is not. However, in the NFL, runners will bounce of off those tackles, and as a free safety, Clinton-Dix will often be his teams last line of defense.

Experience

He has only played one full-time season of college ball. He also plays on the best defense in the country. After spending the majority of his freshman season on special teams, which is another asset he adds to a team, scouts will be looking for Clinton-Dix to build on his stellar sophomore season.

PRESEASON SCOUTING REPORT

GIF of Clinton-Dix INT.

GIF of Clinton-Dix INT. Credit: ESPN and BigLeadSports.

Clinton-Dix is a complete safety. He’s an athletic, long and rangy player that has shown he can protect a defense’s back end. He is what teams have begun to covet in the new, wide-open NFL, and many of the flaws he does have can be corrected through study and on-the-job training.

He will be the best draft-eligible safety playing on Saturdays this fall. If he shows he is the player he was in 2012, decides to enter the draft early and shows up at the combine, he will be invited to Radio City Music Hall, and he will not be in the green room long.

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON: Ed Reed

Before anyone starts throwing stones at their computers and refusing to ever read our website again, I am not saying that Clinton-Dix is going to step into the NFL and perform like the future hall of famer.

However, they do share many of the same skills as well as some of the same faults. Reed is a rangy ball-hawk who would much rather give his body up for a big hit than wrap up the carrier.

Clinton-Dix has miles to travel before he even gets on Reed’s level, but he does have the potential to join a special echelon of safeties in the NFL.

, American football player for the Baltimore R...

, American football player for the Baltimore Ravens (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Photos from Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix Twitter account @HaHa_CD6

Video from nfldraftscout.com and youtube.com

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