2018 NFL Draft Safety Rankings: From The College Perspective

2018 NFL Draft Safety Rankings: From The College Perspective

West Virginia

2018 NFL Draft Safety Rankings: From The College Perspective


It’s NFL Draft time. Finally. Who are the safeties who’ll matter from the 2018 NFL Draft, and what’s the college perspective on all of the top prospects?


Daily Five: NFL Draft Safeties

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2018 NFL Draft Prospects 
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It’s a soft draft for plenty of positions in the 2018 NFL Draft – not at safety.

If you want your biggest impact positions, the quarterbacks will get all the glory, but the top safeties are going to be every bit as important with a few potential all-timer talents, and a whole slew of very good, very talented options.

15. Rashaan Gaulden, Tennessee

6-1, 193: He’s not build like a big-hitter, but after overcoming an early foot problem, he put together two nice seasons making 130 stops over the last two years. However, he’s not fast, is just okay in coverage, and is a better football player than an NFL prospect. He’ll fill in where needed and work on special teams, but he’s missing the raw wheels.
Projected Round: Fourth

14. Tre Flowers, Oklahoma State

6-3, 200: A terrific tackler with great size, he came up with 284 stop with four picks over his four seasons. Throw in the 4.45 40, and he’s a fast, long, smart player with a whole lot to like. The problem? He just doesn’t have the body. He’s build like a shooting guard, but should that really matter? It’s not fair, but can he hold up? Take the mid-round chance, and he’ll surprise.
Projected Round: Fifth

13. Jordan Whitehead, Pitt

5-11, 195: He started out his career tackling everything – with a 110-stop freshman year – and closed out with 235 tackles. However, he’s not a big hitter and came up with just three picks. He’ll stick his nose into everyone’s business, but he’s more of a stat-sheet filler than a great NFL prospect. With corner skills, he’s versatile enough to take as a key part of a defensive back rotation and a nice dime defender.
Projected Round: Fourth

12. Quin Blanding, Virginia

6-2, 215: A hitting machine, he might not be all that fast, and he might be more like a linebacker than a safety, but the college production was peerless with 100+ stops in all four years and 492 tackles overall. He’s got the bulk, he’s got the toughness, and he’s got the smarts to be a quarterback of a secondary. But he’s not the best athlete and he might be a bit limited. Don’t overthink this – he can play, he can hit, and he can produce.
Projected Round: Fourth

11. Armani Watts, Texas A&M

5-10, 202: The talent, skill and upside are all there to be a big-time starter right away, but he’ll get torched at times. He was a great tackler with 324 stops and ten interceptions despite missing a bulk of his junior season hurt. He’s a great athlete who always gets around the ball, and he made a lot of stops because he had to on the mediocre A&M D. He’ll be a fun player who’ll find his way around the ball, but he’ll take a ton of chances.
Projected Round: Fourth

10. DeShon Elliott, Texas

6-2, 205: He grew into more of a playmaker against the pass after the coaching staff shift – making six picks with nine broken up passes last year – but he’s going to make his money as a tackler, with 63 stops last year and 104 or his career. He’s smart and is always around the ball, but he’ll drop because he’s going to be just a strong safety and special teamer.
Projected Round: Fourth

9. Terrell Edmunds, Virginia Tech

6-2, 220: Really big, really fast, and with a whole lot of talent, the brother of likely top ten overall pick Trumaine is a going to be a good pick on his own. He’s got corner skills whose big problem is making too many misses by being overaggressive – that can be fixed. He made 196 tackles and six interceptions in three years, and got in on 14 broken up passes.
Projected Round: Third

8. Godwin Igwebuike, Northwestern

6-0, 205: Northwestern-smart and with a whole lot of production, he’s got the basics to step off the bus and into a lineup right away. Throw in the 4.44 wheels and his desire to come up with the big pop, and he’s the leader of a secondary. With 324 tackles and seven career picks, he can hit, but some are going to see him only as a strong safety – he can play any safety role.
Projected Round: Fourth

7. Jessie Bates, Wake Forest

6-1, 200: A great recruit for the program, once he got on the field he hit everything that moved, with 177 tackles his two seasons and with five picks as a freshman. He can play any safety spot, he’ll pop, he’ll cover, and he’ll do everything needed, but he’s not the surest of tacklers and has average wheels. Very, very smart, he’ll find a home early.
Projected Round: Second

6. Marcus Allen, Penn State

6-2, 215: While he’s just okay in pass coverage, get ready for him to be a rim-rocker against the run. He’ll come up with a whole lot of hits, making 320 stops over his four years with 110 as a junior. Coaches will love his hitting skills, but don’t ask him to be a free safety or do much when the ball is in the air. Once he gets a year or so under his belt, the secondary will be his.
Projected Round: Third


5. Kyzir White, West Virginia

6-2, 218: Kevin White suffered the horrific bad luck of a leg injury that was never right, and now it’s up to his brother to be the NFL star of the family.

Kyzir came to West Virginia as a top JUCO transfer, and after a solid first season making 58 tackles with three sacks, turned into a devastating playmaker with 94 stops, a sack, and three picks with two forced fumbles last season.

A baller’s baller, he’ll come up and hit anything and everything, being used like an extra linebacker at times against the run as he took over the Mountaineer defense while becoming one of its most vocal leaders.

He’s not afraid to get his nose dirty, and he’ll be an intimidating force at the next level against anyone who comes his way.

The problem is his athleticism – he’s not Kevin.

He can move, and he’s fine in coverage, but he’s not going to fly around and might be limited to being a strong safety who lives to support the run.

With his effort, drive, and toughness, though, he’ll make some coaching staff very happy. He’ll make himself into a player.

Projected Round: Third
Real Value: Top 50

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