The NFL Draft will be light on safety prospects so they will be a hot item as the NFL Draft enters the third and fourth rounds. In an NFL Draft with NFL general managers looking for defensive help the safety position is not a deep position. Safeties in this NFL Draft will be at a premium and the top 10 may not have made the board in previous years. The following are the top ten safeties available in this years draft.
No.10. Javes Lewis: Oregon Ducks
Javes Lewis has met with nasty comments and little pub from most NFL Draft “experts.” What the draft experts are not anticipating is a blow out performance at the NFL Combine by Lewis. Most of the NFL draft analysts were caught off guard by the decision Lewis made and now they are rating him off the draft boards. It will be called a surprise when Lewis is the tenth safety drafted but it will be late in the NFL Draft. Projection: Lewis will be a late sixth round NFL Draft pick.
No.9. DeJon Gomes: Nebraska Cornhuskers
DeJon Gomes is not the fastest safety with a 4.59 40 time but what he lacks in speed he makes up for with average tackling skill. Gomes best game of 2010 was a ten tackle and one interception game against the Idaho Vandals. Gomes does have good instincts for the position and will have enough talent to make an NFL team as a special teams player. Projection: Gomes will be drafted in the sixth round.
No.8. Will Hill: Florida Gators
Why would a part timer safety that struggled to crack Florida’s starting lineup be a good NFL Draft prospect? Hill excels on special teams and this will catch the eye of the better special teams coaches looking for special teams player in the fifth or sixth round of the NFL Draft. Projection: Hill will be drafted in late fifth round of the NFL Draft.
No.7. Jermale Hines: Ohio State Buckeyes
Jermale Hines is a versatile safety which is a key past the fourth round of the NFL Draft. Hines has ranked between sixth and eighth on most NFL Draft experts but his 4.59 speed and his ability to find the ball carrier in the open field rate him right at seven best in the category. Projection: Hines will go late fourth or early fifth round of the NFL Draft.
No.6. Robert Sands: West Virginia Mountaineers
Robert Sands runs the 40 in 4.57 and has learned to deliver the blow to a receiver as well as make open field tackles. Sands will have to be a hard hitter on the next level and although he may not be a starter in the NFL in 2011, Sands will be a back up and will learn on the job. Projection: Sands will be a fourth round NFL Draft pick.
No.5. Jaiquawn Jarrett: Temple Owls
Jaiquawn Jarrett runs a 4.57 in the 40 and he has strong instincts against the run and when shadowing receivers routes. Jarrett is quick to adjust when he over pursues a play and he is a good back peddler that can keep pace with most receivers. Projection: Jarrett will be a late third round NFL Draft pick.
No.4. Chris Culliver: South Carolina Gamecocks
Speed is the key to drafting a player of Chris Culliver’s status. He runs a 4.47 in the 40 and is a devastatingly fast kick returner that has been downgraded by most based on an injured shoulder. Culliver is one of the better kick returners available in the NFL Draft and despite questions about his shoulder he is worth a gamble. Projection: Culliver will be taken in the third round of the NFL Draft.
No.3. Deunta Williams: North Carolina Tar Heels
Deunta Williams is another safety that is being dropped by many NFL Draft projections based on his broken leg suffered in the Music City Bowl. This will make Williams available to a good team that can afford to take a chance on him. Williams runs a 4.53 in the 40 but his instincts and quickness in the open field more than make up for not being the fastest at the position. Projection: Williams is a late second round NFL Draft pick for an NFL Playoff team.
No.2. Quinton Carter: Oklahoma Sooners
Quinton Carter has plenty going for him his a top five safety in the NFL Draft. He runs a 4.53 in the 40 and is a voracious tackler. Carter is a safety that is not afraid to help stop the run and he will be a good fit for a team looking for a safety that can stuff the run. Carter is also a good fit for a team looking for a good citizen. Carter has won the Wooden Award for his charity work in the community. Projection: Carter will be a second round NFL Draft pick.
No.1. Rahim Moore: UCLA Bruins
Rahim Moore is a smart safety that plays best as a cover 2 safety. Moore’s strengths are his leadership and his ability to know instinctively which route runner to gravitate towards in a pinch. Moore is smart enough to know the routes being run and to break down the primary receiver. In college this a great skill but against better NFL quarterbacks this will be used against him.
Moore has a few drawbacks as an NFL safety. The first drawback is his lack of pop at the point of contact. Moore is not a good safety at delivering a blow and separating a receiver from the ball. Moore’s second drawback is size. He needs to put on weight without sacrificing speed. Projection: Moore is a second round NFL Draft pick.
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