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NFL Draft Safety Rankings 2020: From The College Perspective

Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Draft Safety Rankings 2020: From The College Perspective

2020 NFL Draft

NFL Draft Safety Rankings 2020: From The College Perspective


2020 NFL Draft Safety Rankings Top Ten

10. Brandon Jones, Texas

Size: 5-11, 198

The Good: A tough guy’s tough guy, he might be undersized, but he’ll always be working and bring the 100 mile-per-hour effort at all times. Able to get in on running plays and hold his own, he made 217 tackles over his last three seasons with 14 tackles for loss as one of more dependable parts of an extremely undependable Texas D.

The Not-So-Good: He doesn’t have the NFL build for his game. His frame isn’t right to be a next-level thumper and he’ll get battered around badly at times. While he has good speed and all-around athleticism, he doesn’t really have a next-level role as a free safety.

NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: There’s a massive tweener problem with his style and his game, but on effort alone he’ll find a spot on the field. He might be a rotational safety for a while and a core special teamer, but he’ll bring too much fight to keep out of the lineup.

Projected Round: Fourth

9. JR Reed, Georgia

Size: 6-1, 202

The Good: An elite tackler, he came up with 199 stops in his three seasons with five picks and 14 broken up passes. He’s built to be a hitter, has 4.5 speed, and brings the burst to always be around the ball. Extremely savvy, he’s a potential quarterback for an NFL secondary with all the intangibles every coach looks for.

The Not-So-Good: The raw wheels are fine, but he’s not necessarily a top cover guy against anyone other than tight ends. He could move around and play just about anywhere, but he mostly fits in the box to let him use his thump.

NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: Don’t get hung up on the negatives. He’ll get dropped down because he’s a bit rangy and isn’t an elite athlete who’ll fly around the field. Ask him to be a leader who’ll clean things up, and he’ll be that – all at a mid-round price.

Projected Round: Fourth

8. Julian Blackmon, Utah

Size: 6-0, 187

The Good: A cornerback playing safety, he’s got the tools to work in just about any system. In a draft full of big-hitters for the position, he brings more athleticism and range than most with 20 broken up passes and nine interceptions over the last three seasons. He’s not shy about hitting with 156 tackles after his freshman season.

The Not-So-Good: He’s coming off a late-season knee injury and hasn’t been able to show off his biggest positives – his speed and quickness. He’s not going to bring the big thump, but that’s not why you’re taking him. It’s going to take a little while to get all the nuances down of an NFL role, just because he really is a corner at heart.

NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: The knee will be fine. He’s a good-sized free safety prospect who fits in perfectly in nickel and dime packages with the range to freelance and make things happen when the ball is in the air. He’s got one of the biggest upsides of any mid-round safety in the draft.

Projected Round: Fourth

7. Jeremy Chinn, Southern Illinois

Size: 6-3, 221

The Good: You want your dream-sized safety, here you go. Massive for the position, he’s like an undersized linebacker and he hits like one with 192 tackles over the last three years. Best of all, he packs a whole lot of athleticism into a good frame, showing off with a 4.45 40 and 41″ vertical at the combine.

The Not-So-Good: Very good at the FCS level, he’s going to need a little time and technique work to be ready to rock in the jump up. Yeah, he’s big, strong, and athletic, but he also doesn’t really have a set position – he’s not a true strong safety and could need to be developed a bit to get there.

NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: Take the tools, take the upside, and take all he brings and work with it. He’s not going to necessarily be ready on Day One, but he’s an NFL-skilled football player who checks boxes few defensive in this draft can. It’ll take a little creativity to figure out exactly what to do with him, but the payoff should be enormous.

Projected Round: Third

6. Kyle Dugger, Lenoir-Rhyne

Size: 6-1, 217

The Good: As tools go, he’s about as close to the pin as it gets. The size is perfect for any of the safety spots, he runs a sub-4.5, and he’s one of the most explosive athletes in the draft – he led all safeties with a 42″ vertical. Rocked up big-time, this is what an NFL safety looks like.

The Not-So-Good: How much of a learning curve will there be? He did whatever he wanted at the D-II level as he badly outmatched and outplayed everyone on the field. He has never dealt with competition that’s close to his level.

NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: He’ll always be among the most athletic and all-around skilled defensive backs on the field – take your time and figure it out. He’s a massive hitter, he can fly around with the speedy receivers, and he’s got the upside to do everything you want your NFL safety to do … eventually. Be patient as he adjusts.

Projected Round: Third

NEXT: 2020 NFL Draft Safety Rankings No. 5

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