2012 Draft Profile: Safeties

Hey guys, it’s never too early to start looking at draft prospects and over the next few weeks I am going to be posting draft profiles of key positions I believe the Titans will be targeting in the 2012 NFL Draft.

For now, we will start with Safeties, and I’m not talking about the kinds that result in 2 points.  I think we can all agree this will probably be Chris Hope’s last year with the two-tone blue and while the 29 year old Jordan Babineaux could be re-signed to take his spot next year; we will need a permanent replacement eventually. I am also assuming the Front Office will resign Michael Griffin.  The prospects and their profiles are listed after the jump. I have also listed Pros and Cons based on my observations.

T.J. McDonald – USC

6-2, 205 lbs

4.49 40 yd dash

Projected: 2nd round pick

Highlight video: here

Pros: hard hitter, does not bite on the play action most of the time, very quick closing and lateral speed

Cons: sometimes takes bad angles to make tackles, has played mostly Free Safety in college

2011 Season Stats: 41 Tackles, 1.5 TFL, 2 INT, 1 PBU, Fumble Recovered

2010 Season Stats: 89 Tackles, 3 TFL, 1 Sack, 3 INT, 4 PBU, Blocked Kick

 

Robert Lester – Alabama

6-2, 210 lbs

4.51 40 yd dash

Projected: 2nd round pick

Highlight video: here

Pros: good at getting pressure on QB when blitzing, always seems to be around the ball, good awareness on the field

Cons: not tremendous speed, appears hesitant to make tackles, has some difficulty shedding blocks on screens

2011 Season Stats: 21 Tackles, INT, 3 PBU, Blocked Kick

2010 Season Stats: 52 Tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1 Sack, 8 INT, 4 PBU, 2 QBH, 1 Fumble Recovered

 

Ray Ray Armstrong - The U

6-4, 220 lbs

4.57 40 yd dash

Projected: 2nd or 3rd round pick

Highlight video: here

Pros: good open field tackler, good at covering the RB running out into the flat, has played Strong Safety throughout whole college career and played in 10 games as a freshman

Cons: can take the occasional bad angle on tackles, was suspended for part of the 2011 season, might be too big for a safety

2011 Season Stats: 18 Tackles, 0.5 TFL, 2 PBU, Fumble Recovered

2010 Season Stats: 79 Tackles, 4.5 TFL, 3 INT, 3 PBU, 1 QBH, 1 Fumble Recovered

 

Mark Barron - Alabama

6-2, 215 lbs

4.61 40 yd dash

Projected: 2nd round pick

Highlight video: here

Pros: Strong Safety, has a nose for being in the right spot, covers the TE well

Cons: sometimes over pursues the ball carrier, gets burned on some plays

2011 Season Stats: 37 Tackles, 3.5 TFL, INT, 5 PBU, Fumble Recovered

2010 Season Stats: 75 Tackles, 3 TFL, 2 Sacks, 3 INT, 6 PBU, 2 QBH, 1 Fumble Forced

 

TFL: Tackles For Loss

PBU: Pass Broken Up

QBH: Quarterback Hits

 

My only concern is this year's safety draft class appears to be weak with no potential first round picks, but you never know what will happen as we get closer to the draft. The combine can make or break your draft. The highlight videos I have posted do a pretty good job showing both positives and negatives.

Feel free to chime in with any other Safety prospects you think the Titans should take a look at as I have just provided a few.

 Email me at ryan-sikes@uiowa.edu or follow me @Ryan_Sikes

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