Let’s talk safety - Who do you like?

I think the Lions have to get a safety or two out of this draft. We desperately need a SS and I’d like to see us draft some competition for Walker too. Last year the Lions safety play was atrocious.

This safety class has a lot to offer but it does lack top shelf prospects. However it’s a fairly deep class and the Lions should be able to get a safety in round 2-5.

So let’s talk about some of the safeties who I like.

Let me start with a guy who I really like and that’s Elijah Molden. Most mock sites are projecting him as a CB but he played NB, CB and S in college. He’s not flashy or getting any hype. He’s just a good football player.

He’s 5’10 190lbs and ran a 4.58 forty. Personally I think due to his speed he’s a slot CB or S. I wouldn’t want that lack of speed on the outside. But he is more than fast enough for the slot or safety position. Let’s compare him to Quandre Diggs 5’9” 198lbs and a 4.56 forty time. If you recall Diggs started as a slot CB for the Lions before moving to Safety. Molden is a much better player than Diggs was coming out. He’s fundamentally solid. I think he’s an immediate plug and play starter. The kid is a natural and his read and react abilities are top shelf. If he were bigger or faster he’d go round one easily. He’s a smart, instinctive football player and could very well be the safest pick at NB/S in this class. He’s the son of DB Alex Molden former 11th overall pick. I honestly don’t think a team can go wrong with this pick. I think he will go early to mid round two.

Jamar Johnson - 6’1” 197lbs 4.58 forty. Another safety that isn’t super fast but makes up for it in ball skills. He’s not as polished as Molden but the kid has great ball hawking skills. With 8 INT’s in the last two seasons at Indiana. He’s another versatile player who could plug is as a NB too. I think he goes mid round two - early round 3.

Andre Cisco - Speaking of ball hawking safeties. This guy had 13 INT’s. If he hadn’t blown his ACL he’d easily be a 2nd rounder. Now he likely goes 3rd or possibly later. He’s an aggressive safety who brings a lot to the table. He plays well in space and was used in a lot of single high looks. This kid can play but his aggressive play has lead to some injuries. I do worry he could go the Delmas route. Meaning injured a lot because he’s too aggressive.

Trevon Moehrig - He’s the best free safety prospect in the draft and has gotten plenty of media attention but I think he goes in the second half of round one and the only way the Lions have a shot at him is via a trade scenario.

Jevon Holland - He’s 6’1 200lbs and ran a 4.48. He’s a strong coverage safety and I like what he brings to the table. I think he will likely be one of the top 3 safeties drafted and could go early to mid round 2.

Richie Grant - I know a lot of sites project him at FS but at UCF he took snaps at FS, SS, and Box Safety. I like him as a versatile chess piece who you can move around and be use as a MOD defender, FS or SS. Personally I think he projects well for a cover 2 or cover 3 defense. Grant is 24 years old and this may cost him to slide a little. He may just make it to our 3rd round pick but I doubt it.

Holland is who I want with our 2nd pick. I think a ball hawking type safety can literally win you a game or two a season. Those types always seem to rise to the occasion in big spots. I think this guy has the potential to be that type a player. Could give Detroit a solid young core secondary for the next few years.

Little bit of Tyrann Mathieu in him I think but bigger


Grant has a little Bennie Blades in him. I take him in a lot of my mocks where I’m able to trade down far enough to land a 2nd round pick. My favorite Safety, though not the highest rated. He’ll probably battle Holland for the #2 Safety taken. Dude jumps off the tape and would be a true enforcer which would be a great thing.

Holland is probably my next guy who will go somewhere in the 2nd IMO. I do like the kid from IU, Johnson. I agree if we want Moehrig we are either have to trade waaaaay down, or shed picks to move up from the 2nd which I’m not really a fan of. If we could score the magic bean double trade down in the first scenario, then sure Moehrig is in play somewhere in the 20’s probably.

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I can’t say it enough. Don’t sleep on Molden. He’s not flashy but the kid can play and is fundamentally sound.

Just for you man…

13 Micah Parsons LB Penn State

41 Levi Onwuzurike DT Washington

47 Kadarius Toney WR Florida

72 Elijah Molden CB Washington (Safety)

101 Deonte Brown OG Alabama

112 James Hudson OT Cincinnati

118 Andre Cisco S Syracuse

153 Jaylen Twyman DT Pittsburgh


I would love that draft.

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Let me share this though here too.

The more I watch him, the more I like Christian Uphoff. Ran a slightly disappointing 40 at his pro day, but then Senior Bowl director Jim Nagy had this to say about it:

Divine Deablo 6032 226 4.42 long arms 33 I would take him rd 4 or 5 depending on how draft is going

He has really good size an speed He fits really well like a LB in Safety positions with length an speed

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I started a thread about this 2 weeks ago that could probably be merged for more insights: Who are your favorite Safeties in this draft?

I like all 3 of the top safeties, but Moehrig, as mentioned, will most likely be gone. I think we start looking for S in round 2, depending on what we are looking for. Grant and Holland both have ball skills, are willing tacklers and will jump into the box in run support. These guys I think are worth a second round investment and if they are there in the third sprint to the podium.

I really like Molden and for that matter Wade. I see both as having the versatility to play slot CB or safety. Wade fell off a bit this year, but was considered a 1st round lock in 2020 draft. Would love to have either of those 2.

Because of the need for a SS, I watched highlights of Nasirildeen, Diablo, Hufanga, Sterns, Sherwood and Stevens. These guys all play that LB/SS hybrid role, backend coverage and live just outside the box. I would say, Sterns, Nasirildeen, Hufanga and Stevens in the 3rd or later would be solid picks, not as big a fan of the other 2 after watching highlights. Sterns is a ball hawk that will lay the wood similar to Grant and Holland, Nasirildeen is a super athlete with size but a little raw and lacks instincts causing him to play a little slower, Hufanga just a great football player, not great speed but good play recognition so he plays fast but may be capped athletically, Stevens is an undersized LB that will knock you out - always hard to evaluate LSU players, seems like a bunch of athletes playing positionless football, so you have to project them to a position.

These are just my opinions on the above players and I don’t know shit about the safety position, they’re not a CB and they’re not a LB.

If we pick up an additional pick in a trade down, wouldn’t object to picking 2 of these guys: Holland/Molden or Grant/Stevens would be awesome. Molden and Stevens both have the versatility to play multiple positions well.

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On just a raw football level I like the kid from USC as a box safety. He can probably play two deep too.

Jevon Holland is also fun to watch.

I also consider the ND LB a safety.

I want two safeties. One on day 2 and one on Day 3.

Damar Hamlin is interesting on Day 3. Sign Paris Ford as an UDFA. The organization should be buyers of Ford.

I actually like Deablo… he’s one of the guys I wanted to bring up in the comments. I think he’s a possibility for us in rounds 3-5. He played QB and WR in high school and was actually recruited as a WR before switching to defense. He’s a smart physical player who understands route trees. It’s obvious playing WR helped him. He played the Rover in DC Hamilton’s hybrid defense. However I don’t think he’s a traditional safety. He is a bit of a tweener and will likely be a box safety type in the NFL or be selected by a team who runs a hybrid defense.

But he’s got potential and could be a mid round steal for sure.

Sorry I missed that … we could merge it if you like but linking to it makes more sense to me. There’s some good stuff in there for those interested in reading it all.

I do as well and I kinda concentrated on players I think we might actually draft.

You mentioned a few players I also wanted to talk about. I’ll come back when I have more time and speak about them.


Still driving the Richie Grant train.

You should be and I think he’s a legitimate possibility for the Lions round 2.

Honestly I kept in the back of my mind down grading him slightly due fo his age. (24) I just do not want another Golladay situation where by the time he’s up for his 2nd contract that he’s 28 years old. So I’m downgrading him slightly on my board.

I know above I said I thought he could make it to our 3rd round pick. My thought was that teams would down grade him for his age… I’ve thought about this more. I looked at draft history and found that some players fall slightly do to age but not usually a full round. So upon deep thought … I’ve changed my mind… I doubt he makes it to the 3rd round pick.

But … truth is … I think that if he were younger he’d easily be a borderline 1st round talent. I think I could make that argument. I do think teams will value his versatility and that might be enough to over look his age.

I wouldn’t be disappointed if we took him round two and I wouldn’t be shocked if he goes before us. I do think he’s one of those players who are a little harder to predict where he falls. But I don’t think he makes it past our 3rd round pick. He would be a solid player to get and the type of player I think we will target.


I watch a lot of college football and I am a bit of a football geek. When I watch football I keep a note pad near by and make notes of the guys who jump out at me. I then go back and watch them closer.

Before commenting on the next group I wanted to go back, watch a few more games on them and confirm my initial thoughts.

HAMSAH NASIRILDEEN - I like this kid and I wanted to watch a few more of his games to make sure I fully understood what he was and was not capable of. Because he pops out during games as a guy you like. He’s a hybrid LBer / Safety type… He’s a gritty, down hill safety and I love how he plays. He was used as a FS in college but I don’t think he projects well there. So I find myself questioning how an NFL team will use him. He doesn’t really fit a defined role because of size, speed and skill questions. He wasn’t used in college where he should have been so it’s a little more difficult to say where he best fits in the NFL. He’s a tad too small to be a LBer and he’s a tad too slow to be a legitimate FS. I don’t think he projects well as a NB but I think he can be a SS or Box safety type. To be honest I think he’s going to end up being a role player much like Killebrew was. Possibly a box safety or a big nickel type. I do think he could play an MOD role in a cover 3… so where will he go? … I think some teams might have him as high as a 3rd rounder but I suspect most will project him round 4. The team who takes him will probably have a specific role in mind and mold him. I think he needs a little work at defining his role in the NFL and if he lands on the right team he could be an above average NFL player. But he has physical limitations.

JACOBY STEVENS - He’s one of those guys who never lived up to his 5 star recruit hype for me. Even though I think he has a lot of potential. I like that his game has continually improved each year at LSU. I dislike that he doesn’t stand out in games. Sure he makes some plays but not enough of them in my book. He has the size, speed and physical traits that you just love to have in a strong safety. But then it doesn’t translate to the field like you expect. There’s something a miss with this kid because he’s not living up to his potential… I can’t help but think Will Harris when thinking of Stevens. I think He’s a boom or bust type of player. He has the traits to be very, very good but he hasn’t been. If he had come out of a lesser program I would be more excited about this kid because I’d think a good coach could coach him up. But he’s coming out of LSU who are great at coaching the back 7… I mean he should have been one of the top Safeties in this class. Everything lined up for it and he’s just meh… he could turn into a stud with the right coaches and that upside might get him drafted round 3 but I think he’s a 4th or 5th round prospect in my book.

TALANOA HUFANGA - He’s an instinctive player who makes good decisions, has a high motor and doesn’t give up on plays. But he lacks range and I like range in my LBers and S. What I like about him is how he keeps himself squared up on ball carries. How he does a good job of keeping the play in front of him. This is an important trait for LBers and Safeties. I think he could be a good box safety type but when asked to do that he often gets caught in traffic and struggles with blockers. Needless to say he has some things he does well and some things he needs to work on. I do think he has physical limitations in the speed and range dept. he’s a 4-5th rounder in my book.


I have been taking two with no trade down on the mocks i do…rd 2 i take Holland he can also play CB check his pro day an his play before you bash Lions would get two for one with him FS an CB

In rd 5 i take Divine Deablo again two for one an perfect fit if we play 4-2-5 again check him out only he is like a LB/SS fast an big the best group this draft IMO is Safety an we could use two an both would fit . There are couple more that are very good also.

You have two talented fast Safeties who one can play CB position an has an other is like fast LB

You put them along with T Walker in secondary an have Jeff O an Q Dunbar an AO with Safeties We will have a solid secondary

I love college ball, but never analyze to the extent you speak of and rarely have the opportunity to watch games, outside the teams I follow, in their entirety. Consequently, I don’t catch many of the nuances you discuss, effectively limiting the depth of my analysis. These factors however, rarely limit my voicing of an opinion. I appreciate your insights and taking the time to respond.

Do you have a favorite safety in this class or an ideal target for the Lions?