Rankings and quick lookaheads of all the safety prospects invited to the 2019 NFL Combine.
2019 NFL Safety Combine Workout: Monday, March 4
Here we go with the 2019 NFL Combine, with all the breakdowns and analysis of every positive and negative for all of the top prospects. This isn’t that hard. Just simplify it – who can play football well enough to make an impact at the next level?
The bigger breakdowns will come before the NFL Draft, but for now – again, from the college perspective – here are the pre-combine rankings for all of the safeties invited to the big workout.
Before getting into the top five breakdown, here’s a ranking of the best of the rest.
2019 Pre-NFL Combine Safety Best of the Rest Rankings
Number in parentheses is the projected round drafted pre-NFL Combine.
30. Zedrick Woods, Ole Miss 5-11, 203 (7 FA)
With 231 tackles in a strong four-year career, he was an underappreciated playmaker in a beleaguered Rebel secondary. He’ll hit like a linebacker and he’ll never back down from a play, but the coverage skills aren’t strong enough and the production just isn’t there when the ball is in the air.
29. Will Harris, Boston College 6-2, 210 (6)
The pass defending skills are just okay, but he’s a smart hitter who’ll always be around the ball. He made 225 stops in his career, but broke up just seven passes in his four seasons. There’s athleticism to go along with his size, but he’ll have to battle to make a squad – he doesn’t do anything at a high level.
28. Donovan Wilson, Texas A&M 6-0, 196 (7 FA)
The steady tackling was there, but he’s got a slight build for the next level and he only broke up seven passes in his four seasons. No, he’s not going to fly all over the field, and he missed a year with an ankle injury, but he’ll push hard for a gig with his hitting ability.
27. Ugo Amadi, Oregon 5-9, 199 (7 FA)
Too smallish to be a regular safety who can bring any sort of thump, and not quite explosive enough, he’s missing the sure-thing place to play. However, he’s a smart player who could find his way in on special teams and intangibles.
26. Saquan Hampton, Rutgers 6-1, 209 (7 FA)
Never quite healthy until his senior season, he only played in seven games in each of his first three years, and then showed what he could do with 64 tackles and three picks with 13 broken up passes as a senior. There isn’t any one thing he can do at a high NFL level, but he’s a baller and will do the work needed to get on a team.
25. Darius West, Kentucky 5-11, 204 (7 FA)
A tough tackler, he came up with 171 stops over the last two seasons with six picks last year. On toughness and special teams ability, he has the upside to stick as a nice option on running downs, but he’ll have huge issues in pass coverage at the next level.
24. (CB) Montre Hartage, Northwestern 5-11, 191 (7 FA)
Versatile enough to be either a corner or safety, he made 172 career tackles with nine picks and 26 broken up passes. He’s a bit too much of a tweener, but he’s great at attacking the ball in the air and makes a whole lot of plays.
23. Mark McLaurin, Mississippi State 6-2, 215 (7 FA)
A solid hitter who made 224 career stops and eight picks, he’s a good veteran who looks the part, but doesn’t quite have the NFL athleticism and speed. However, he’s a smart player who’ll hit – he’ll be a tough cut.
22. Jonathan Crawford, Indiana 6-1, 192 (7 FA)
As scrappy as they come, he’s undersized and built like a corner, but he was a four-year producer for the Hoosiers with 276 tackles with 19 broken up passes and nine picks. He’s a true tweener without an NFL position, but he’s just good enough to have a fighting shot as a key backup.
21. Khari Willis, Michigan State 5-11, 210 (6)
With good tackling skills and steady play, he has to the upside to stick as a defender after likely starting his career as a key special teamer. Coaches will love him, and he’ll be an impossible cut because of his intangibles, but he’s not quite athletic enough.
20. John Battle, LSU 6-0, 200 (7 FA)
The tools are there. There’s a whole lot of athleticism and range to go along with his excellent size. He was surrounded by a slew of great defenders, and now he has to prove in a camp early on that he can translate his skills into production.
19. Malik Gant, Marshall 6-2, 200 (5)
A fantastic tackler over the last two years with 184 tackles with 13 broken up passes, he’s got great size and talent and blasting style to go along with the productivity. A coaching staff will love his toughness and his style, but his pass coverage skills need improving.
18. Evan Worthington, Colorado 6-2 200 (4)
Able to play just about anywhere in the secondary, he’s a good-sized all-around defender who can get all over the field, but only broke up ten passes over the last two seasons. He’ll make a lot of hits, but he won’t bring a big boom.
17. Andrew Wingard, Wyoming 6-0, 209 (6)
A peerless college tackler, he cranked up 454 stops with ten picks, playing like an extra linebacker and steady force for four years on a fantastic defense. Nah, he doesn’t have the raw NFL tools, but he’s going to make a roster on special teams and end up living in a secondary making a ton of stops.
16. Darnell Savage, Maryland 5-10, 195 (5)
Great over the last three seasons, he’s been a reliable tackler with just enough ball-hawking plays to be a regular difference-maker. He’s undersized, but he makes up for it by always being in the right spot and his versatility as a coverman.
15. Sheldrick Redwine, Miami 6-1, 195 (4)
A four-year veteran who finished up his career with a terrific senior season, Redwine has good enough hitting ability to hold his own at any safety spot, and the speed and quickness to be a factor in pass coverage. There’s a lot to like, but he disappeared a bit too often.
14. D’Cota Dixon, Wisconsin 5-10, 206 (5)
A smart leader and veteran with sure-thing tackling ability, he’s missing the size, and he’s just okay in pass coverage, but he’ll mostly work as a smallish big-hitter who’ll mostly be used early on in run support and on special teams.
13. Lukas Denis, Boston College 5-11, 181 (4)
Part corner, part safety, he dominated as a junior with 83 tackles and seven picks with ten broken up passes, but he got banged up a wee bit and the production slipped as a senior. He’s way too skinny, but there’s too much skill not to try him out in a variety of ways.
12. Mike Edwards, Kentucky 5-11, 201 (5)
With 317 career tackles and 23 broken up passes with ten picks, Edwards was a highly productive leader and tough-guy tackler. He’s the type who could take over a secondary and make it his, and do anything needed at a variety of spots to find a home. The quickness is there to go along with the hitting ability.
11. Mike Bell, Fresno State 6-3, 203 (4)
A star player over the last few years on a fantastic Bulldog defense, he closed out his career with 199 tackles over his three years. He’s got great size and can move well enough to have the range needed to play any safety spot. With good versatility, he’ll be a strong mid-round grab.
10. Marvell Tell, USC 6-2, 195 (4)
Among the most athletic safeties in the draft, he had a decent career with 220 tackles with five picks and 13 broken up passes, but he’s not quite built to be an NFL thumper. He’ll get all over the field and will be great when the ball is in the air, but he has to be surrounded by physical hitters.
9. Marquise Blair, Utah 6-2, 190 (5)
There weren’t enough plays on the ball – just two picks and four broken up passes in two years – but even at his corner size, he’s a big-time tackler who could turn into a tone-setting defender. You want the big pop? You want the tough guy sheriff for your secondary? Here you go.
8. Jaquan Johnson, Miami 5-11, 190 (3)
One of the better-hitting defensive backs in the ACC over the last few years, he made 188 tackles with six picks over the last two seasons with five forced fumbles – he’s the epitome of the Turnover Chain. He’s also a vocal leader who might not be a sure-thing star at the next level, but he’ll start.
7. Juan Thornhill, Virginia 6-0, 200 (3)
With amazing ball skills – 13 interceptions and 26 broken up passes – and after stepping up with a huge 98 tackle season, he’s a fabulous all-around defensive back who’ll be a jack-of-all-trades for someone, if he doesn’t dominate as a free safety. There’s a whole lot to love here.
6. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida 6-0, 207 (2)
Get ready for the gushing to come in war rooms all over the place. He doesn’t have ideal size, but he can really, really move, and he can hit with 161 tackles with nine picks and 12 broken up passes in his three seasons. Defensive-minded scouts are going to beg for GMs to take him early on Day 2.