Dan Kadar is our resident SB Nation NFL Draft expert. I asked him the other day for some thoughts on the safety class in the 2013 draft. I really wanted to know if there was a guy worth picking in the top 10-12, or if the Titans would be better served going somewhere else in the first and taking a safety in the second. Here is what he had to say:
A first round safety for the Titans is probably unlikely. There isn't a top 10 guy like Mark Barron in this year's class, even if all the best juniors come out. Even without that big-time player, the safety group this year looks like it should be pretty good. It's fairly deep, at least. There are a couple Georgia safeties who will be in the second and third round territory – Bacarri Rambo and Shawn Williams. Both are guys who play the run and the pass pretty well. They're not supreme athletes, but if they were they wouldn't be around when Tennessee's second and third picks come up.
Matt Elam of Florida and Kenny Vaccaro of Texas are the top two safety prospects this year. They may go in the late first, though. Someone like Eric Reid of LSU may be an intriguing option for the Titans. He's good at dropping back into coverage, especially when he can play over the top in help duty. The best pure coverage safety in the class is Philip Thomas of Fresno State. He has excellent hands and can line up in the slot if needed. Same with D.J. Swearinger of South Carolina.
There are some predominantly run-stopping safeties as well. TJ McDonald of USC has been on everyone's radar for years, but his stock is down because he takes poor angles and will get lazy in tackling technique. But the size and skill are there to coach up. The stock is down on Alabama's Robert Lester as well, but he has the physical tools to be a possible second round choice.Whatever the Titans do, I hope they don't pick another safety from Texas.