The Safety Net: Safeties of 2015
Last year, I focused in on the center class thinking we would almost have to get one of the centers in that class, and we did in the 2nd round in Weston Richberg who was 2nd on my list behind Marcus Martin.
This year, its SAFETY. We will look long and hard at this safety class to try to find one to fit our team.
Let me know who you like and if they are not listed below. Here are a few that I think are a possibility:
Landon Collins, SS, 6'0'' 222lbs Alabama
Im not as big on him as a bunch on here.
STRENGTHS: Well-built athlete with light feet and fluid hips to change direction quickly. He's a forceful and reliable open-field tackler who often rips at the ball aggressively as he's taking opponents to the ground.
Better downhill where he can attack the action, but he has shown improvement in pass coverage, learning from past mistakes and improving his awareness in the deep half of the field.
He is fluid in space and displays cornerback traits with his footwork, hips and transitional quickness to line up in man or zone coverage. Collins is at his best reading and reacting in the run game, attacking downhill like a physical missile with the technique and power to finish stops without hesitation.
WEAKNESSES: Collins' inconsistency led to some uncharacteristic lapses in coverage for the Tide over the past two seasons. Needs to prove instincts.
IN OUR VIEW: He has seen action at both strong and free safety and projects as a first-round pick in large part because he should be able to handle either role at the next level.
Anthony Harris, SS, 6'1'' 190lbs, Virginia
STRENGTHS: Possesses a lean, lanky frame with long arms. Light feet and good lateral agility and balance to shuffle, as well as fluid hips to change directions quickly.
Accelerates smoothly and is an aggressive, instinctive defender who is willing to take gambles. He anticipates routes nicely and breaks on them, leaving himself in good position to intercept passes. Possesses very good ball skills, including timing, body control to contort in space and soft hands to pluck outside of his frame.
Harris is just as aggressive in run support, attacking blockers and exploding toward ballcarriers to limit the yardage allowed. While not a classic striker, Harris is generally able to get ballcarriers to the ground and will occasionally latch, lift and drive opponents into the turf.
WEAKNESSES: Lean build is a concern. Possesses relatively narrow shoulders and hips and may not possess the frame to handle much weight gain.
More of a "slammer" than a "hitter" as a tackler, often grabbing hold of defenders with his hands and pulling them to the ground, rather than lowering his shoulder into opponents. The tactic creates some forced fumbles and occasional big hits, but also some slipped tackles.
Harris trusts his eyes and they can lead him astray, at times. Though he has a terrific burst to close once he locates the ball, Harris can lose sight of it at times and be late to recover.
COMPARES TO: Rahim Moore, Denver Broncos - Like the 6-1, 195-pound Moore, Harris lacks the elite frame scouts prefer at the position. Each has good overall athleticism and the aggressive nature to create turnovers. Occasional missed tackles, however, will occur.
Player OverviewA year after leading the country with eight interceptions and earning All-American accolades as a junior, Harris finished his collegiate career with "just" two more picks in 2014, slipping to third team All-ACC honors.
Given the drop in big plays as a senior, one might think his play slipped. The agility, awareness and closing speed that helped Harris intercept 11 passes over time at Virginia and record a career-high 108 tackles in 2014, however, projects very well to the next level.
With a long, wiry build, Harris looks more like a cornerback than a safety and if he runs well enough during pre-draft workouts he could project to corner in the NFL for some teams. Harris isn't the big bodied intimidating hitter teams prefer at safety, but he's aggressive in taking on blocks and is an effective open-field tackler.
Erick Dargan, SS, 5'11'' 212lbs Oregon
Cody Prewitt, FS, 6'2'' 217lbs Ole Miss
STRENGHTS: Looks the part of an NFL safety, sporting a well-built frame with long limbs. He is an alert, active defender with good vision and the athleticism to handle deep coverage responsibilities. He changes directions fluidly and is a smooth accelerator.
Prewitt generally is asked to play two-deep or the single high free safety role, rarely dropping down close to the line of scrimmage to cover slot receivers. From this center-field vantage point, Prewitt shows good understanding of route concepts, anticipating where the ball is going and getting a jump on it. He has good hands for the interception and times his leap to take the ball at its highest point.
As a tackler, Prewitt lets his teammates do the dirty work and doesn't jump on a pile just to do so but breaks down well in the open field to make the secure wrap-up, whether as the last line of defense or as a gunner on the punt coverage unit. He takes advantage of vulnerable receivers catching passes across the middle by timing his collision well with forceful but clean hits.
WEAKNESSES: Possesses good (but not great) top-end speed and can get himself in trouble with aggressive pursuit lines that leave him little room for error.
Kurtis Drummond, FS, 6'1'' 210lbs Mich St
STRENGTHS: Well-rounded player with the anticipation and pursuit downhill to close in the ground game while also showing the coordinated body control and timing in coverage to make plays in pass defense.
Understands pursuit angles and anticipates the action well, playing with a non-hesitant and aggressive demeanor. He shows the coordinated body control to flip-and-stick to hang with receivers vertically, using his heady instincts and quick eyes to make natural adjustments.
Drummond has the ballskills to make acrobatic plays on the ball with very good timing and coordination. He exhibits top confidence on and off the field and is well respected by his coaches and teammates, also making impact plays on special teams coverage.
WEAKNESSES: Despite his toughness downhill, he doesn't have an ideal body type with a lean-shaped frame and average muscle tone throughout. Drummond needs to consistently finish once he makes contact.
Drummond is the most consistent Big Ten defensive back I've seen on tape so far and is very much in the competition to be the first senior safety drafted next spring.
Gerod Holliman, FS, 6'0'' 201lbs Louisville
STRENGTHS: Possesses a compact, well-proportioned frame and isn't afraid to leave his feet to deliver a pop. Good vision and awareness of the play. Flies upfield in run support and gets a jump on the ball right out of the quarterback's hand, putting himself in position to make plays.
Good hand-eye coordination and body control to make the tough interception. Loose hips to change directions fluidly and understands route progressions, aiding his jump on the ball. Looks to deliver big hits when he senses that opponents aren't expecting it; getting in pops on receivers crossing the middle, would-be blockers and to knock ballcarriers out of bounds.
WEAKNESSES: Unreliable tackler due to inconsistent angles and technique as a hitter. Can flash from across the field to record the impressive tackle for loss but takes risky angles, leaving himself and his teammates vulnerable to cut-backs from the ballcarrier.
Drops his shoulder into ballcarriers occasionally to deliver the emphatic knockdown but doesn't wrap his arms securely and therefore some of his attempts slide off.
Durrell Eskridge, FS, 6'3'' 210lbs Syracuse
A starter in every game this season, Eskridge earned ACC Defensive Back of the Week honors for his performance against Notre Dame, which included nine tackles, a fumble recovery and a 29-yard interception return for a touchdown. The Miami, Florida native earned All-ACC Third Team honors in 2013 after leading the Orange in tackles and interceptions as a sophomore.
Justin Cox, FS, 6'2'' 190lbs Miss St
STRENGTHS: Cox looks more like a traditional cornerback than a safety, possessing a lean, athletic frame. He possesses good flexibility and acceleration to handle coverage duties, though his straight-line speed is a question. His JUCO tape shows good hand-eye coordination and timing on his leaps to high-point passes - traits that could lead to him becoming a feared ball-hawk at safety this year.
WEAKNESSES: He flashes physicality as a hitter but often resorts to lunging at the legs of ballcarriers, rather than fully wrapping them up.
Last edited by TheAnalyst; 01-16-2015 at 10:38 AM.
Perfect pass into double coverage. Amazing catch!
One of the safeties I really liked, Karl Joseph of WV, is returning for his senior year. Who does that? What a jerk lol.
Perfect pass into double coverage. Amazing catch!
I have to be honest, this is a pretty terrible safety class. Collins is a decent tackler, but he isnt a 1st round talent in coverage, not at all.
In fact, considering where we pick, I definitely do not think any safety in this class is worth our 1st round pick and I am not convinced they are worth our 2nd either. Maybe someone in the class will have a good draft offseason and convince me otherwise about our 2nd rounder.
I do think Safety is a need on this team, it is just a shame that the draft class doesnt align with this particular need. .
are u serious on Joseph was an idiot LOL, he was my favorite now my favorite is Eskridge, and he is from Syracuse LOL
We should be looking at Chris Hackett, TCU. A player I really like in the later rounds, could rise though.
I think the quality of this safety class just shows that the solution next year is most likely either already on the roster or is a FA. I don't see any of these guys stepping in and playing at a high level.
If Collins shows weakness in coverage then we need not draft him. That is where Rolle struggled big time. If our LB's were better and could stop the opponents run game more than our safety would not have to come up as much.
I do NOT want collins at 9
Put up Erick Dargan today
Originally Posted by B-Red22
Look at the last 2 Alabam safeties, Clinton Dix and Barron.
Perfect pass into double coverage. Amazing catch!