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2024 IDP Rookie Profile: Javon Bullard, DB

@Glosser13 brings you the full scouting report on Georgia DB Javon Bullard and how he can be a potential difference maker for your dynasty team

The Player

  • Javon Bullard
  • College: Georgia
  • Height: 5′ 10 ½”
  • Weight: 198 lbs.
  • Age: 21 (September, 5, 2002)
  • Arm: 30 ¾”
  • Hand: 9″
  • 40-Yard Dash: 4.47
  • 10-Yard Split: 1.51

High School

Javon Bullard attended Baldwin High School in Georgia. He played cornerback, running back, and wide receiver. Bullard was a four-year starter. During his senior season, he was named preseason All-State, Team MVP, and Team Captain. Bullard led the team with 74 tackles and ten pass breakups in his final season for Baldwin. 247sports.com ranked him a three-star recruit. Bullard would stay close to home and commit to Georgia in the 2021 recruiting class. 

College 

As a true freshman, Bullard saw action in all but one game. He finished the season with just 12 tackles, playing for a very talented Georgia Bulldogs defense under Kirby Smart. The young Georgia DB set his sights on improving and making a significant impact. It would not take long for the Georgia coaching staff to realize they had a special player in the Milledgeville, Georgia native. 

Bullard would help the Georgia Bulldogs repeat as National Champions after the 2022 season. He finished fifth on the team in tackles (46) while recording a career-high 3.5 sacks. The Georgia defensive back would start ten games that season, and it was evident he saved his best performances for the biggest games. Bullard led the Georgia defense with six tackles in the SEC Championship. He would be named Defensive MVP of both the CFP Semifinal and the CFP National Championship games. Bullard collected four tackles, two interceptions, one pass breakup, and one sack over that two-game stretch.   

In his last season at Georgia, he would start every game and finish third on the team in tackles (56). Bullard was named to multiple Preseason teams, including the All-SEC first team, AP All-American second team, and Sporting News All-American second team. Bullard would increase his tackle numbers across three categories while collecting two interceptions. 

Strengths

Football IQ

There’s little chance you play a key role in a Kirby Smart-coached defense if you’re not an intelligent football player. Bullard has experience playing cornerback, deep safety, and box safety over his career. The Georgia DB played over 500 snaps as a slot corner in 2022, he spent the majority of the 2023 season playing at deep safety. Bullard posted an overall grade of 80+ in each of his last two seasons according to Pro Football Focus. He ranked inside the top 27 in passer rating allowed (34.0) and forced incompletions (7) among all qualifying defensive backs with a minimum of 300 snaps. 

This is one of the plays throughout a football game that goes unnoticed. Bullard is the deep safety help here on a two-route combination to the short side of the field. This is not one of his greatest plays on the back end, as he loses leverage and gets beat by the receiver. The Tennessee quarterback has one of the strongest arms in the conference, and this likely should have been an easy touchdown. 

I love how Bullard uses his instincts as a cornerback to avoid turning his head and losing more ground. He plays the receiver’s eyes and hands in anticipation of breaking up the pass. Bullard never gives this wide receiver a chance to catch the ball with his crafty technique and the timing of his hand usage. This is high-level football; it would have been so easy in this scenario to have committed a penalty or given up a touchdown. 

Versatility

As an IDP manager, when you break down DB prospects, one of the most commonly used words is versatility. That’s due in large part to not knowing the true role a player might have without being drafted yet. The success of ‘Big Nickel’ type defenders in the NFL has opened our eyes to teams drafting more dynamic and versatile safety prospects.

Bullard is a player who is very intriguing in that regard because he checks the boxes. This is a player who has played 300+ snaps in the last two seasons in two different positions in the secondary. He plays the game angry and is as willing to stick his nose in the run game as he is to be in the correct position to make a game-winning interception. 

This is an excellent example of a defensive back who is more than willing to play the run. Bullard reads this play beautifully from his inside DB position. He doesn’t commit too early to ensure the RB doesn’t cut the run inside. He can get on the blocker’s outside shoulder and use leverage to move the runner east and west.

This gives the rest of the defense the chance to pursue and stop this play for a loss. Bullard plays this as fundamentally smart as you would like from a DB against the run. This is such a crafty play that even if he didn’t have help, there’s a good chance he’s stopping this play for little to no gain. 

Development Opportunities 

Recovery Speed

This is noticeable occasionally when you’ve watched Bullard play over the last two seasons. The overall speed is not the concern, as his testing numbers prove. There are a few examples of him getting beat in coverage, and although he has the speed to make up for it, that doesn’t always show itself on film. The burst and explosiveness seem to be lacking in those scenarios.

There’s a good chance this can be corrected with better technique. This is an area he should focus on. Bullard could be costing himself playing time if he doesn’t improve. It’s no secret that pass catchers at the NFL level can easily separate from defenders. 

Landing Spot 

Bullard is one of the top safeties in this year’s draft class. He isn’t quite the athlete that will likely make him a first-round pick, but he’s very skilled, and his versatility will interest many NFL teams. The Georgia DB plays an aggressive style and has proven to make clutch plays in the big games. That should excite both NFL general managers and IDP managers alike. 

The most reasonable scenario would be a late-round two or early-round three pick for Bullard. A few teams that could benefit from his style of play are the Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, and Kansas City Chiefs. All of these teams can benefit from adding youthful experience to their secondary. An established defensive coordinator would also be a huge plus for Bullard as he enters his rookie season in the NFL. 

Fantasy Outlook 

Overall, rookie defensive backs tend to be hit-and-miss in dynasty rookie drafts. Sometimes, even when the draft capital and team fit seem right during the draft process, you can still be disappointed from a fantasy perspective. Sometimes, late-round picks at the DB position are very beneficial for your dynasty teams. I look at players like Kamren Curl and Jeremy Chinn as good examples. I’m not predicting Bullard will have that type of impact, but a player with his versatility and experience surely wouldn’t surprise us if he were effective immediately. 

The Wrap-Up 

Bullard should be among the top three safeties in this class, and IDP managers will need to keep him on their radar as rookie drafts enter the later rounds. The NFL draft is rapidly approaching, and I hope these IDP rookie profiles give you that advantage over your league mates. The difference in selecting a potential consistent fantasy producer on the IDP side over a deep stash on offense could benefit your dynasty team and your success. 


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