That trade for safety thread made me start thinking about later round safeties because if I had to bet, I think that’s where we’ll be drafting them. Here’s a few of my favorites.
Brandon Joseph, Notre Dame - I think he falls drastically from where he’s currently going in mocks, into the 5th, 6th or even 7th round. He was pretty awful as an athlete and it shows up on his tape, almost all of his negatives pertain to it. But Brad’s made a killing turning poorly testing athletes at the safety position into gold on day 3, and Joseph could be another. He’s got top notch instincts which is key at the safety position, he’s a playmaker and great in zone coverage. We wouldn’t be playing him deep which would mitigate some of those athletic questions (see Branch, Brian), and while he’s been hit or miss as a tackler coming from deep, when he’s set he’s been pretty good.
Kaevon Merriweather, Iowa - I’m really happy he tested poorly, it will keep his stock in check. On tape he looks like a much better athlete, but it could just be his instincts are so great, and that’s fine too. He’s got one of the quickest triggers in the class. More versatile than Joseph but so instinctive he thrived in the box when he played there. Can cover real ground from deep and could be used in 2-high, really good tackler, high motor. Said to be a good kid and a hard worker. I think he probably goes before Joseph if I’m honest.
Jason Taylor II, Oklahoma State - Unlike Joseph and Merriweather tested like a great athlete and will probably rise. Great playmaker (led the Big 12 in picks) and along with Rodrigo, one of the two leaders on the 2021 defense that was 5th in the country. You know our FO has seen a lot of him. He’s a little bit more of a gambler and can look silly from time to time because of it, but most of that came when he played single-high and we’d be unlikely to use him that way. He can play in the box or two-high, he can cover TEs and RBs, and he’s got a knack for making big plays in big moments.
Those are my top 3 targets on day three, but I’m sure there’s plenty more once we get to the tape. Who else am I missing?
I would leve to see a Cal safety added late or udfa. This guy tested very well and has the grit. He should be more consistent for a Wilcox trained safety, especially as a 6th year senior. He may have already peaked…
I like (and was somewhat surprised by) Howden’s testing, I just think he’s pretty much strictly a single-high or 2-high safety. I don’t want him anywhere near the box. He struggles to get away from receivers when they block him. He is highly instinctive from deep though.
I think Martin goes day 2 for sure after his testing but if he doesn’t, he’d be a definite option. And I’ve been a Brown fan for awhile I just don’t think he’ll make it late enough for us to draft him. I really don’t think we’ll be pulling the trigger at safety until that 5th rounder at the earliest.
Quindell Johnson is a great shout, I was shocked he wasn’t invited to the combine. Might be the same sort of safety as Martin, he’s that kind of athlete, though he rarely played in the box. Easiest transition would probably be as a free which is why I’m not sure he’s a fit since we have Kerby, but he might be able to transition.
He would definitely be on my list if he did. In fact I intended to include him but all the videos were using up too much bandwidth on my computer and causing the page to constantly reload. Decided to end it a little prematurely.
My concern from the tape was his coverage ability but he really surprised me at the Senior Bowl, where it’s actually more difficult for DBs to cover in the practices than in college games. Pitre did the same thing last year and that more or less translated to the pros, so I feel good projecting him that way.
Yep, him and Torrance may fall further than that. 4.7… ooof. Then of course him and Dean following the legacy of Teez Tabor. Do they drink cement in the DB room down there or something… I like Torrance on tape though. I’d just probably have to put in more time scouting him than any other prospect (I kid… I kid…)
Slow safeties have a history of being bargains though, from Jordan Fuller to Hufanga to Geno Stone to John Johnson to Kam Curl to Justin Simmons. Taylor Rapp was agonizingly slow and you know who was part of the team that drafted him.
I love him. I’m biased as an Oklahoma State alum, but because of it I tend to be harsher on our own players to counteract it. Until last year I hadn’t loved a Cowboy as a prospect since Justin Blackmon. But last year I loved Rodrigo and mentioned it here. This year I really, really like Taylor. Probably not as high on him as I was Malcolm - he’s more of a risk-taker whereas Rodriguez was sound af - but those guys were definitely the leaders and two best players on what was a damn good defense.
He would have been so good… A bunch of old friends of mine see him around at dive bars all the time, just hanging out and shooting the shit with people. Strange decision but I don’t think he regrets it at all. He just wanted a chill life.
Still had a 9.8 RAS as a corner. His long speed’s not the best but really good ten-yard-split, I think he can hang on the outside. Especially with those 32+ inch arms. Press monster. Good PFF scores too, would be surprised if he’s not on our board.
Boykin I agree with, there’s no getting past that awful testing. He’ll be lucky to hold up at safety but the athleticism’s not as important there and I do really like his ball skills and instincts. No doubt a UDFA though.