USA TODAY Sports
This safety class reminds me of the 2009 class. After Malcolm Jenkins went top 15, we saw six more safeties drafted in round two between picks 33 and 55. After those top seven prospects, only as couple more made an impact in the NFL in the last four years. Getting one of these top guys could become a bidding war. Nobody wants to be left picking through the scraps and almost every team could use one safety in this draft.
The safety position may be the hardest for outsiders to evaluate. We're not using coaches film for most evaluations and television angles give us a few seconds before we lose the player completely. What we can do is look for how safeties attack the run, the angles they take and how they move in space.
In coverage, we may not see every mistake or job-well-done, but we can evaluate the plays made and the translating skills that the prospect used to make such plays. With the limited footage at my disposal, I could only gather conclusive analysis on half of the prospects on my original list. I'll be sure to go back as more information and footage becomes available, but for now, here are my top safety prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft.
|1||Kenny Vaccaro||Texas||6'1" 215 lbs||6.88||1st Round (5-20)|
|2||Jonathan Cyprien||FIU||6'0" 210 lbs||6.80||1st/2nd Round (20-36)|
|3||D.J. Swearinger||South Carolina||5'11" 210 lbs||6.69||2nd Round (35-50)|
|4||Bacarri Rambo||Georgia||6'1" 210 lbs||6.63||2nd/3rd Round (50-75)|
|5||Eric Reid||LSU||6'2" 210 lbs||6.60||2nd/3rd Round (50-75)|
|6||Matt Elam||Florida||5'10" 205 lbs||6.49||3rd Round (60-85)|
|7||Tony Jefferson||Oklahoma||5'11" 210 lbs||6.41||3rd/4th Round|
|8||J.J. Wilcox||Georgia Southern||5'11" 215 lbs||6.22||4th Round|
|9||T.J. McDonald||USC||6'2" 210 lbs||6.21||4th Round|
|10||Robert Lester||Alabama||6'1" 210 lbs||6.01||4th/5th Round|
|11||Phillip Thomas||Fresno State||6'1" 210 lbs||5.88||4th/5th Round|
|12||Shawn Williams||Georgia||6'0" 220 lbs||5.78||5th/6th Round|
Other prospects that I watched that showed promise, but still feel inconclusive: Devonte Holloman (South Carolina) Duke Williams (Nevada), Zeke Motta (Notre Dame), Earl Wolff (N.C. State), Sharmarko Thomas (Syracuse), Ray Ray Armstrong (Miami).
Cornerbacks that could possibly convert to safety: David Amerson (N.C. State), Tyrann Mathieu (LSU), Logan Ryan (Rutgers), Tharold Simon (LSU), Sanders Cummings (Georgia), Xavier Rhodes (Florida State) and Micah Hyde (Iowa).