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2015 Safety Rankings (Incomplete-will be finished this weekend)

April 30, 2015
The best safety prospect since Eric Berry

The best safety prospect since Eric Berry

  1. Landon Collins Alabama 6’0 228 Jr. He had a solid Combine but he wasn’t spectacular with a 4.53 40 and a ’35 vertical. I placed him in a class along with Eric Berry, whom I’ve consistently compared him to, but Berry’s 40 was 4.47 and his vertical was ’43 so I guess Collins is a poor man’s Eric Berry. Still though I love the kid’s tape as he’s fast, strong, instinctive and can absolutely destroy a ball carrier. He is the consensus #1 player at the position in this draft so it wouldn’t surprise me if a team moved up in a trade for him. He had 102 tackles last season, 5 INTs and 3 FF the past two seasons showing that he can consistently get the ball carrier to the ground but he can also create turnovers. Last year at this time I was lukewarm on Haha Clinton-Dix and mentioned how Collins was already, as a sophomore, a much better safety than Clinton-Dix who went in the 1st round! He’s a complete safety and has the potential to go to multiple Pro Bowls. He’s also my highest rated safety since Eric Berry in 2010. Top 10 4/29/15.
  2. Eric Rowe Utah 6’0 ¾ 205 Sr. He ran a 4.45 40 which is incredible for his size and then followed it up with a ’39 vertical, 3.97 shuttle and 6.70 3 cone all of which were in the Top 5 among DBs! His Combine was one of the 5 best of any player yet was completely overshadowed by fellow DB Byron Jones who had arguably the best workout ever by a DB. He’s started since his freshman year and has great versatility with 3 seasons at S and 1 (2014) at CB. He’s an impact starter somewhere in a secondary but I’m torn as to where he should line up. I left him at safety since he played there three fourths of his career but his Combine and Senior Bowl showed that he could be a press corner if a team preferred him there. I’m a huge fan of how agile he is and his tape against Devin Funchess in 2014 was outstanding as it gives teams a glimpse of how effective he can be in the red zone and on jump balls against huge receivers. Whether at CB or S he’s one of the best athletes in the draft and an immediate starter. Top 20 4/29/15.
  3. Damarious Randall Arizona State 5’10 7/8 196 Sr. JUCO kid who had a great season statistically in 2014 (106 tackles, 9.5 TFL, 3 INTs) and a good one in 2013 too. Similar in size and style to Jimmy Ward last year out of Northern Illinois he’s a free safety with cornerback skills who can play slot CB, FS or outside CB. He’s the ultimate nickel CB for a team and showed great athleticism at the Combine (4.47 40, ’38 vertical, 4.07 shuttle) and was the best safety at the Senior Bowl in 1×1 drills. He’ll probably fall on draft day due to his size but I think safety is one of the few positions in football where height and length don’t really matter. Early 2nd round 4/29/15.
  4. *These top 3 are set in stone. Likely Friday night I will finish up this safety class as I ran out of time. The talent after the top 3 drops off precipitously anyway so I doubt too many will be drafted Friday that aren’t here now.
  5. Chris Hackett TCU 6’0 ¼ 195 Jr. He had a terrible Combine with a 4.81 40, ’32 vertical and 9’2 broad all of which made him look slow and unexplosive. It combines with Paul Dawson’a terrible performance and Kevin White’s poor one to make you wonder if there is a trend with TCU players. On film Hackett is a stud as he’s a big time hitter and seems to have good coverage skills and instincts. The measurables made me go back to the film and the second time around I saw a 4.6 or at worst a 4.65 guy on film. He just plays much faster than his time so I’m not going to drop him too much. A similar thing happened a few years back with Tony Jefferson running a 4.75 and going undrafted. Hopefully NFL teams have learned from that as Hackett is a similar player and continues to look like a future starter to me. With 75 tackles and 7 INTs last year the production was there so if he drops he could be a steal. 3rd round 4/29/15

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