We are a mere two weeks away from the draft. It seems like that the offseason has been really long this year. This week, we will be taking a look at the safety position. The safety class overall is pretty top heavy with some interesting pieces in the middle that could be had late.
1. Haha Clinton-Dix Alabama
- HCD is the best overall safety prospect in this class. He can fit in at either safety position. However, he fits best as a center fielder type of free safety, much in the mold of an Ed Reed. Clinton-Dix, after patiently waiting his turn, took the lead over the feared Alabama secondary after the pro departures of Dre Kirkpatrick, Mark Barron, Robert Lester and the injury to Vinnie Sunseri. He possesses above average ball skills and a good football IQ (all Bama secondary players have to be in order to start for Saban's favorite unit).
2. Dion Bailey USC
- Bailey converted back to safety in 2013 after switching to OLB in 2012 to cover for injuries. He has great ball skills and isn't scheme dependent as he's played in the Tampa 2 AND a 3-4. Also possesses the frame to make a Thomas Davis/Brian Urlacher style move to outside linebacker in the pros. I see Bailey fitting in as a do everything backup safety who can cover both free and strong.
3. Deone Bucannon Washington State
- Bucannon is a prototypical center fielder ball hawk but possesses a penchant to show off his hard hitting. He was a tackling machine in 2013 with 114 tackles and has over 200 tackles in two years. Also well prepared for the pass happy NFL after practicing against the Mike Leach Air Raid put it up 80 times (literally) offense.
4. Terrance Brooks Florida State
- Brooks has been moving up the boards after a standout 2013 season, taking over for Lamarcus Joyner (who switched to corner). Put up a good Combine performance after a nice Senior Bowl week. Like all Seminole defenders, Brooks is a big hitter with a nose for the football. He really blossomed under Jeremy Pruitt's tutelage. A quick story about him: after the shootout win against Clemson in 2012, he didn't celebrate at all and took the unnecessary blame for allowing a deep touchdown in the opening series. He vowed to never let that happen again and worked his tail off knowing Joyner was moving to corner and he would be the man at safety.
5. Calvin Pryor Louisville
- Pryor was the force behind a good Cardinals defense. He's a hard hitter with a knack for creating turnovers. More of a Bernard Pollard type of strong safety instead of the Troy Polamalu creating havoc everywhere type. Not the best athlete but knows when and how to get there.
Best of the Rest:
6. Jimmie Ward Northern Illinois
7. Ahmad Dixon Baylor
8. Craig Loston LSU
9. Tre Boston UNC
10. Ed Reynolds Stanford
Live Draft update:
- Teams are rapidly filling up (should be filled by the weekend)
- The "trade negotiation/tampering" period is underway
- There will be a one day final "negotiation" period thread on Friday May 2
- Schedule changed to Saturday May 3rd and Sunday May 4th. Both will be Noon EDT starts
- These positions need to be filled: Trade Calculator and Assistant Commissioner