2019 NFL Draft Safety Rankings: From The College Perspective

2019 NFL Draft Safety Rankings: From The College Perspective

2019 NFL Draft

2019 NFL Draft Safety Rankings: From The College Perspective


Which safeties will matter in the 2019 NFL Draft, and what’s the college perspective on all of the top prospects?

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Once again, the class of safeties is terrific. No, there might not be a Minkah Fitzpatrick or Derwin James like there was last year, and the top end talents aren’t going to be transcendent stars, but there are a whole lot of very, very good starters. It’s a strong group with around ten prospects good enough to go in the top 100.

15. Malik Gant, Marshall

6-0, 209: A terrific fighter who’ll always bring the thump, he’s a killer against the run and he’s destined to come up with a few highlight reel pops. With 184 tackles in the last two seasons, he’ll get his nose dirty. With 13 broken up passes, he’ll attack the ball, too.
Projected Round: Fifth

14. Mike Bell, Fresno State

6-e, 210: It’ll be interesting to see where the final opinion in on him. There are more than enough issues to be a hard pass for some teams, and there are certainly lapses from time to time, but he’s a productive tackler and can find a spot somewhere. The NFL athleticism isn’t quite there, but he’ll come up with his share of stops.
Projected Round: Fourth

13. Sheldrick Redwine, Miami

6-0, 196: Size is a problem – he’s too thin and not all that bulky – but he can fly all over the field and he’s among the most athletic safeties in the draft. A four-year guy for the Canes, he got better and better. He’ll hit well for his size, and he can play just about anywhere in a secondary, but he’s just okay in pass coverage.
Projected Round: Fifth

12. Marvell Tell, USC

6-2, 198: He’s going to be a fun prospect for someone as a good free safety in pass coverage. There won’t be a whole lot of hitting, and he’ll be mediocre against the run at the next level, but he’ll get all over the field. He’ll grow into a volume pickoff artist who’ll make up for his issues with big plays.
Projected Round: Fourth

11. Lukas Denis, Boston College

5-11, 190: Cornerback-quick with a great nose for the ball when it’s in the air, he can play anywhere in a secondary. He’s not going to bring a whole lot of thump, but he moves well and should be shoehorned into a secondary somehow. He won’t be for everyone, but a creative defensive coordinator will find a role for him.
Projected Round: Fifth

10. Jaquan Johnson, Miami

5-10. 191: Someone will fall in love. He might not be all that big, and he doesn’t quite have the athleticism and tools to make up for it, but the guy knows how to play football. A tremendous leader and a great hitter for his size, he makes a whole lot of tackles and makes a whole lot of plays. You want Mr. Turnover Chain? He’s the guy.
Projected Round: Third

9. Darnell Savage, Maryland

5-11. 198: The 4.36 he ripped off at the combine boosted up his stock to another level. He can fly all over the field, and he’s an ultra-reliable tackler, but he doesn’t bring the lumber and isn’t quite as big as some might like. A ball-hawker, stick him in zone coverage and let him use his wheels to go make the pick.
Projected Round: Second

8. Marquise Blair, Utah

6-1, 195: The tools are there to be special. He can blast away with his hitting ability, he can run, and he’s never afraid to get in on a play and make something happen. However, he’ll always be banged up and he can be a bit overaggressive, but there’s never going to be a problem with want-to or fight. He’ll be the the leader of someone’s secondary.
Projected Round: Third

7. Juan Thornhill, Virginia

6-0, 205: Really fast and really good at getting to the ball, he’ll grab everything that’s thrown his way with 13 picks and 26 career broken up passes. With his size, tools, and athleticism, he might become a physical corner if he doesn’t start out right away as an instant starter at free safety. He can hit, too, making 98 tackles as a key part on a strong Virginia defense.
Projected Round: Third 

6. Amani Hooker, Iowa

5-11, 210: With good speed, size, and terrific tackling skills, he’s got the tools to match the tape. The overall question going into the pre-draft process was his athleticism and quickness, but he ripped off a sub-4.5 in Indianapolis and jumped out of the stadium. There’s no bust potential – he’s a stand up double of a draft pick who’ll start right away.
Projected Round: Third 

5. Deionte Thompson, Alabama

6-1, 195: Can you get past the body type? There’s no questioning the skill level, the talent, or the ball skills, but he’s built more like a rangy corner than an intimidating safety.

You actually don’t want him to be a big popper with his body type – he can wrap up and make stops just fine without having to get brutal about it.

A true free safety with a world of upside, he picked off three career passes and broken up seven throws – he’ll do a whole lot more than that at the next level.

More than competent against the run – finishing his career with 112 stops – the key will be letting him see enough reps to turn into a freelancing playmaker who can attack the ball and be an interception machine.

His role in the NFL will be different than it was at Alabama, and that might take a wee bit of time to get him there. In the meantime, the skill set is too good not to develop further after taking him just outside of the first round.

Projected Round: Second
Real Value: Second

NEXT: If he played for Alabama, he’d be a top 20 pick …


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