Senior Bowl Player Profile: Illinois CB Devon Witherspoon:

On February 4th, Mobile’s game will be held at Hancock-Whitney Stadium and over a hundred of the nation’s draft hopeful seniors will descend on the Gulf Coast for a week of practice in front of scouts from every NFL team before the Senior Bowl. Leading up to the game, we’ll take a look at a different prospect every day and talk about their background, their college career, where they could be drafted, and how the Senior Bowl could help them. Today, we’ll take a look at Illinois’ skilled cover man, Devon Witherspoon:


Witherspoon, a native of Pensacola and Pine Forest High School, returns to the Gulf Coast after a fantastic career at Illinois. As a relatively unknown recruit, Witherspoon’s only power five offer came from Illinois and he chose to play for the Illini over South Alabama, Temple, UMASS, and Appalachian State. He only started playing football his junior year of high school, but was named the 2018 Pensacola News Journal Defensive Player of the Year. He was also a basketball and track star, helping lead Pine Forest to district titles in all three sports his senior year. As a result, he was also named 2018 Pensacola News Journal Male Athlete of the Year.

College Career:

Witherspoon began to make an impact from day one for the Illini, appearing in all 1`3 games his freshman year and leading the team in special teams tackles. He made three starts at corner, the only true freshman on the team to start a game in 2019. After the shortened COVID season in 2020, he really came on in 2021, starting ten games and leading the team in pass breakups as well as earning an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention. Similar to many Senior Bowl prospects, he saved his best for his final year in school, making numerous first team All-American rosters as well as being PFF’s No. 2 graded CB in the nation. Through sheer effort and will to get better, Witherspoon has become a premier draft prospect in this cycle. Check out some of his best plays and take a look at the motor he plays with:

Current Draft Projection:

Devon Witherspoon is going to be a first round draft pick. As someone who is still coming into his own as a football player (he has only been playing for about six years), he has gotten better every single year and has some seriously impressive speed and man coverage skills. He is rangy, athletic, and physical, all traits you want in an NFL corner. Before this season, he likely would have been a late Day 2 pick, but has probably played his way into going much earlier than that.

How the Senior Bowl Could Help Him:

The group of DBs in Mobile is deep and very talented, but Witherspoon very well may be the best of the bunch. He has earned every bit of the first round chatter surrounding his name, but he has a chance to make a grand return to the Gulf Coast and solidify that status beyond any shadow of a doubt by dominating at the Senior Bowl. Of all the names to watch, Witherspoon is right near the top of the list.