Returning Auburn football cornerback DJ James received high praise from 247Sports’ Nathan King — who called the 2022 transfer from Oregon “one of the most efficient returning players in the conference.”
“With another comparable, All-SEC-caliber showing next season, there’s no doubt James would put himself in position to be an early draft pick, as one of the most efficient returning players in the conference,” King said of the potential Day 1/2 draft pick in 2024.
King believes James is the top Auburn football NFL draft prospect Hugh Freeze has to work with in his first season on the Plains.
“The former Oregon transfer had the opportunity to turn pro this year, even receiving a Senior Bowl invite,” King prefaced before saying, “His draft stock was favorable after he was the SEC’s top-graded coverage cornerback, per Pro Football Focus numbers, in his first season as a Tiger — but he chose to spurn the draft and return to school for another year, making James Auburn’s top NFL prospect in 2023, with a chance to continue the program’s recent legacy of producing high draft selections at that position.”
DJ James and Nehemiah Pritchett give Auburn football ‘one of the top cornerback duos in the league’
In addition to James, returning defensive back Nehemiah Pritchett was deemed 1/2 of what should be one of the top cornerback duos in the SEC according to King.
“Auburn’s starter opposite James, Pritchett also could have turned pro and likely been drafted,” King prefaced before saying, “Instead, his return gives the Tigers one of the top cornerback duos in the league. Last season, Pritchett returned to playing on the outside the majority of the time, after a good portion of his snaps came at nickel in 2021, when he wasn’t as effective in the secondary.”
New Auburn defensive coordinator Ron Roberts and returning cornerbacks coach Wesley McGriff will have two highly-touted potential NFL draft picks at their disposal in 2023.