Rankings and what to watch for out of all the safety prospects invited to the 2020 NFL Combine.
2020 NFL Combine: Safety
Date: Sunday, March 1: Safeties
Live Stream: fuboTV (click to watch for free)
Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Network: NFL Network
From the college perspective. here are rankings and quick looks at all of the safetiesinvited to the 2020 NFL Combine.
Before getting into the top five breakdown, here’s a ranking of the best of the rest and what to look for.
2020 Pre-NFL Combine Safety Best of the Rest Rankings
Number in parentheses is the projected round drafted before the NFL Combine.
27. L’Jarius Sneed, Louisiana Tech 6-1, 193 (Free Agent)
NFL Combine What Matters: The team’s second-leading tackler was a big producer with great ball skills over the last two years, he has to turn into a safety. He’s a corner trying to be a safety.
26. Daniel Thomas, Auburn 5-11, 209 (Free Agent)
NFL Combine What Matters: Are the ball skills there? He produced as a part of the puzzle for four years and turned into a whale of a tackler over the last two years, but he did next to nothing when the ball was in the air. Can that be worked on?
25. Chris Miller, Baylor 6-0, 191 (Free Agent)
NFL Combine What Matters: Undersized, he was good at bringing the pop when needed for the Bears, but he didn’t do nearly enough when the ball was in the air last year. Something about his workout has to make him more than a special teamer.
24. Jaylinn Hawkins, Cal 6-2, 210 (Free Agent)
NFL Combine What Matters: The short drills have to rock. The size, length, and college prediction are all there, but he has to show he can cut on a dime at an NFL level.
23. Rodney Clemons, SMU 6-0, 205 (Free Agent)
NFL Combine What Matters: A high-volume tackler who made a whole lot of plays when the ball was in the air with four picks last year. He doesn’t have a big frame and needs to show off the wheels to make up for it – he’s a safety tweener.
22. Geno Smith, Iowa 5-10, 210 (Free Agent)
NFL Combine What Matters: A really nice piece-of-the-puzzle safety, he might be undersized, but a good workout makes him draftable as a good flier who really might make it as more than a special teamer.
21. Kamren Curl, Arkansas 6-2, 198 (Free Agent)
NFL Combine What Matters: Tall, productive, and versatile enough to be used as a corner, he’s missing a true NFL trait. He’s not a corner at the next level, and he’s not a big enough hitter to thrive at safety.
20. Tanner Muse, Clemson 6-2, 230 (Free Agent)
NFL Combine What Matters: He’s not an NFL linebacker, even though he’s built like one. He’s not an NFL safety, even though he’s good when the ball is in the air. He’s a terrific football player who’ll be a tough cut – but he has to find a role.
19. Jalen Elliott, Notre Dame 6-1, 205 (Free Agent)
NFL Combine What Matters: Can he be more than a flier? Teams will love him as a possible core special teamer, but he has to run and move like a draftable defensive back, too.
18. Josh Metellus, Michigan 5-11, 210 (6)
NFL Combine What Matters: All run D, questionable wheels. He might be a high-riser in the process with a few good times in the drills. He’s what teams want in run support, but he has to prove he can be an NFL coverman.
17. Brian Cole, Mississippi State 6-2, 205 (5)
NFL Combine What Matters: He doesn’t have a set job. He’s a tough guy who could work as an undersized linebacker, but his coverage skills are just okay. He needs to look like more than core special teamer.
16. Alohi Gilman, Notre Dame 5-11, 202 (6)
NFL Combine What Matters: The Navy transfer to Notre Dame isn’t going to lack for effort. He’ll hit and he’ll make himself into an NFL player in some way, but he has to put up some good times to be more than a good special teams option.
15. Shyheim Carter, Alabama 6-0, 191 (6)
NFL Combine What Matters: A good-sized all-around playmaker for the Crimson Tide, he’s good when the ball is in the air – one pick last year with seven broken up passes – and he’ll hit, but he needs to show off the quickness in the short drills.
14. Jordan Fuller, Ohio State 6-2, 205 (5)
NFL Combine What Matters: Where is he going to play? He’s going to look like the right type of NFL safety size-wise, and he’s a good hitter, but he has to run well and look like he can handle himself against the decent next-level wide receivers.
13. K’Von Wallace, Clemson 5-11, 199 (5)
NFL Combine What Matters: Considering he’s a force when he gets to bring the thump, but can he cover anyone? There isn’t a set role for him at the next level, but if he runs and moves well, someone will like all there is to work with.
12. Antoine Brooks, Maryland 5-11, 215 (5)
NFL Combine What Matters: Just find a spot for him. He’s a smart all-around player who should be a nice value pick, but he has to find a role somewhere. He’s not a prototypical NFL safety.
11. Brandon Jones, Texas 6-0, 205 (4)
NFL Combine What Matters: He needs to crush the 40 – or at least not be lumbering. He’ll never shy away from popping someone, and coaches will love his effort, but does he have the raw speed?
10. JR Reed, Georgia 6-1, 194 (4)
NFL Combine What Matters: Built like a corner, he’s a nice all-around defensive back who can tackle in the open field and make enough plays to find a job as a good free safety, but don’t expect any thump at the next level. If possible, he has to look physical.
9. Julian Blackmon, Utah 6-1, 204 (4)
NFL Combine What Matters: An interesting tweener, he’s a big corner who’s just growing into the safety job. He’s got the size and the skills, but how healthy is the knee he hurt late in the season, and how much work does he need to be a top starting NFL safety?
8. Jeremy Chinn, Southern Illinois 6-3, 219 (3)
NFL Combine What Matters: Size, size, size. He was a terrific tackler a the FCS level with the speed and potential to become a great mid-round prospect to develop. He might need seasoning, but one great workout with his size will push him into the fourth round or better.
7. Terrell Burgess, Utah 5-11, 192 (4)
NFL Combine What Matters: Can he work his way into the second round? He’s not huge, but he’ll tackle, he’ll move, and he’ll have a high ceiling. However, he needs a little bit of work and technique refining.
6. Kyle Dugger, Lenoir-Rhyne, 6-1, 220 (2)
NFL Combine What Matters: Blow … it … up. Talk all you want about playing at the lower-level – and everyone will – but a guy with this size and this speed and this sort of movement needs to get a much longer look. There’s no way to measure whether or not he can make the massive leap in competition, but it’s his job to look like he will.