Safeties


2003 Draft Analysis

 


SECOND ROUND


Mike Doss

5'10" 207 Ohio State (4.45) Senior

Pros: Superb athlete with great speed and nose for football. Plays excellent in run support and comfortable in zone coverage.
Cons: Struggles in man coverage as he lacks the hips to cover wideouts.
NFL Forecast: Doss plays like an undersized strong safety and would fit there in most schemes, but most teams like big safeties so they will try to move him to free safety. Is very comfortable playing close to the line of scrimmage and acts as a fourth linebacker. Needs to improve in coverage to play more free safety.
Value: Depending on how well he fits the scheme, could be worth a late first round pick. Otherwise is an early second round pick. Could be steal there.


THIRD ROUND


Ken Hamlin

6'3" 209 Arkansas (4.54) Junior

Pros: Plays well in run support as he has great size and speed combination. Aggressive guy that can hit.
Cons: Lacking in coverage. Hits rather than tackles. Plays timid at times. There are character concerns.
NFL Forecast: I've seen it where Hamlin tries to make a hit on a big physical runner, but the guy doesn't go down. Afterwards he seemingly is shell-shocked, and becomes less aggressive in run support. But Hamlin is a good enforcer in the secondary with a lot of upside. Unfortunately he has his share of drawbacks too. Plays well when close to the line of scrimmage. Will get work at free safety, but still needs to develop in a lot of areas.
Value: His upside is so high that you want to take a chance on him on the first day of the draft.

Todd Johnson

6'1" 206 Florida (4.55) Senior

good vs. run as 8th man, good speed, smart 355 bench, 19 reps, 33.5" VJ, 9-9' BJ Pros: Smart guy with good speed and plays well vs. the run.
Cons: Is not that great as a cover man.
NFL Forecast: Johnson fits well on a defense that doesn't ask too much from its free safety in coverage. He can be adequate there, but is just that adequate. Is smart and aggressive and can be a big hitter, somewhat a reminder of John Lynch. He should be a solid starter for some team. Doesn't make many mistakes and consistently.
NFL Comparison: John Lynch, Buccaneers.
Value: A good pickup in the third round.


FOURTH ROUND


Anthony Floyd

5'9" 202 Louisville (4.6) Senior

Pros: Ballhawk that plays best in centerfield or zone coverage.
Cons: Lacks quick feet and speed and struggles in man coverage. Below average run stopper.
NFL Forecast: Floyd's best attribute is his abilities to pester quarterbacks. Is very aware of the football when it's in the air. But he is lacking as a run stopper. He'll deliver a few hits, but will miss just as many tackles. Will fit best in a scheme where he can sit back and spy the passer rather than actually support the run or play in man coverage. Has good upside, but probably won't be more than an above average starter.
NFL Comparison: Kwamie Lassiter, Cardinals.
Value: For the right defense, Floyd can be a very good pickup in round four.

Julius Curry

6' 196 Michigan (4.57) Senior

Pros: Tough, strong, and able in run support and will come up and deliver hits. Functional in coverage.
Cons: Lacks size to play strong safety on next level. His coverage abilities need to improve.
NFL Forecast: Curry would be good as an undersized strong safety, but it's likely most teams will try to employ him at free safety because of his lack of size. I think he could make a successful transition, but he may need two or so years. But he does have the strength to stay at strong safety. I expect him to develop into a decent starter, but he probably won't be a star.
Value: A good all-around safety that should be a good pickup in the fourth round.


FIFTH ROUND


Curry Burns

6' 216 Louisville (4.56) Senior

Pros: Aggressive run stopper that plays well in run support and close to the line of scrimmage.
Cons: Lacking in coverage.
NFL Forecast: It seemed Burns and Floyd were the perfect complements at Louisville. Floyd handled the pass, while Burns mopped up the run. Burns shows good burst and flow to the football, but does not show the same in pass coverage. Can immediately have an impact on a team that likes to use it's safeties as extra linebackers. Burns has good speed and athleticism, so he should develop some more vs. the pass, but he's not there yet. I like his upside, but did not develop enough in his senior year.
Value: A solid middle round prospect that could turn out to be a solid starter or just a dime back in a few years.

Donnie Nickey

6'2" 220 Ohio State (4.53) Senior

Pros: Good speed and ability to close on the ball. Has good size, strength, smarts, and athleticism.
Cons: Will miss tackles in the open field, and struggles in man coverage.
NFL Forecast: Fits best in a system where he does not have to be matched up a lot in one-on-one situations against wide receivers. Has enough speed to develop in coverage, but right now is more of a run-stopper. I think Nickey is a bit raw as of now, but he has all the basic skills to develop more, especially in coverage. He doesn't blow you away, but should develop into a competent all-around guy
Value: Fifth round pick. Good college safety that has a lot to improve upon before he can be a good pro safety.


SEVENTH ROUND


Rasuli Webster

5'11" 215 Oregon (4.62) Senior

Pros: Good as eighth man in the box. Can deliver hits.
Cons: Lacking in coverage. Lacks size and speed.
NFL Forecast: Webster is a good run stopper, but has a lot to improve on in coverage. He isn't blessed with great speed. At best, I see him being a decent nickel back and backup strong safety. But most likely he'll have to stick on special teams.
Value: Worth a look in the late round for someone looking for depth, but a marginal NFL prospect.


UNDRAFTED


Quintin Mikell

5'10" 200 Boise State (4.58) Senior

Pros: Good in run support.
Cons: Needs to improve in coverage. Not a big hitter.
NFL Forecast: Mikell is going to have to play free safety. Teams just don't like strong safeties that are this small. He has some basic skills, but projects as a special teams ace.
Value: Should get a look in camp.

Al Williams

6'1" 200 Arizona State (4.75) Senior

Pros: Plays well and comfortable up at line of scrimmage.
Cons: Weak in coverage and is not a great run stopper.
NFL Forecast: Williams is best against the run when he's allowed to play in the box. He doesn't have great size to play strong safety in the NFL, but he is not good enough in coverage to move to free safety. At best, Williams is a project that could become a decent dime back. For the most part he will have to stick on special teams. I don't see his NFL career lasting very long.
Value: Worth a look in camp.

Terence Tarpley

Marshall () Senior

Pros: Played cornerback at Marshall. Has good speed and good in run support.
Cons: Lacks size and upside.
NFL Forecast: Tarpley played the nickel at Marshall, and basically only because of his outstanding speed does he warrant a shot in the pros. He plays the run fairly well, but he lacks size for a safety. Basically, if Tarpley does everything right there is a minute chance he could land as a dime back in the NFL. But it's most likely he will have to stick on special teams. I see him as sticking probably in the Arena League.
Value: Lacks great NFL future, but project worth a camp invite.


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