3. The Safeties Could Move
The idea of what a safety should be has changed. The days of the thumping tone-setting hitters are still here, but more and more, the corners are rocking up and moving to safety, and more and more, the guys can fly.
The 2009 group of safeties came up with just four players who ran a 4.5 or better. From 2010 to 2015, only ten prospects got there or better over those six seasons.
Just three did that in 2016, and five ran well – including Budda Baker – in 2017. And then everything started to change with last year’s class.
Florida State’s Derwin James and Virginia Tech’s Terrell Edmunds ripped off 4.47s, and in all, nine safeties ran 4.5 or better.
Ole Miss safety Zedrick Woods – who came into the 2019 Combine as a project and a likely free agent, or late round pick at best, ran a 4.29.
In all, 11 safeties hit the 4.5 mark, and 14 got under the more-than-good-enough-for-a-safety 4.6.
Overall, it’s just an okay class of safeties. At most, two should slide into the first round – Alabama’s Deionte Thompson will go in the first, and Washington’s Taylor Rapp, Delaware’s Nasir Adderley, Florida’s Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, and Mississippi State’s Johnathan Abram should all be locks for the top 50 overall – but there’s plenty of value now.
At least when it comes to the speed.