So many mocks have us going Brisker or Cine at 32/34 and they’re both very popular picks in here based on that poll from a couple of days back too, and I wanted to push back against the idea a little. Maybe their ceiling is 34, but history tells us it’s probably lower than that.
Just last year for instance Trevon Moehrig appeared in the 1st round of every mock, yet didn’t go until the mid-2nd. Kyle Dugger was a popular 1st rounder in 2020 who didn’t go until the 2nd, as were Winfield and Delpit. Adderly and Thornhill the year before that. Jessie Bates the year before that. That’s not to say that some safeties don’t go around where they’re predicted to go (Holland last year), but they almost always go at the lower end of their windows, and often much later. Rarely is a safety drafted above his average-mock-draft position.
The only safety who’s gone in the 1st round the past 3 years is Jonathan Abrams at 27 (and he’s been a bad pick). Kyle Hamilton will most likely end that streak this year, though personally I would be less surprised to see him go in the twenties than the top ten.
Of course I want a badass safety as much as everyone else on here, and I really like Cine and Brisker as prospects. I just think there are different ways to go about it. And I think Holmes feels that way too judging by his draft history.
For me, I wait until the 3rd, oftentimes our comp pick, to grab a guy like Bryan Cook (my fave), Kerry Joseph or Nick Cross. In the later rounds I could see guys like Tycen Anderson, JT Woods, Verone McKinley, Brad Hawkins, Dane Belton or Kolby Harvell-Peel winding up as starters. It’s not the slam dunk everyone wants, but safety is one of the better value positions in the mid-late rounds. And Brad mined it with the Rams like an expert.
I will also add that Dax Hill and Jalen Pitre are a little different in that they’re as much slot CB as safety, which will affect their value. Saying that I still think Pitre goes mid-2nd, though Hill’s athleticism could push him into the 1st.
Anyway, in that guess-the-pick contest we have every year, my hunch is if you go safety at 2, 32, or 34, you’re bound to be disappointed.