Mel Kiper has unveiled his top draft prospects at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, defensive end, defensive tackle and cornerback already this week and today the NFL Draft expert from ESPN unveiled his top tight ends and safety prospects for next year’s draft.
With the NFL morphing into a pass-happy league and offenses deploying a number of three and four-wide receiver sets and tight ends more of a weapon than ever before, the safety position has become more important as teams have spent higher picks on the position to reflect the growing need to have a safety who can cover like a corner and play the run like a linebacker.
Kiper’s top safety prospect is a true force in the passing game as Derron Smith from Fresno State is the active leader in career interceptions. He is a center fielder and plays in a single high scheme that made him responsible for a huge chunk of the field and he fared well.
Michigan State’s Kurtis Drummond is second on the list and a player who is equally comfortable defending the pass as he is in coming in the box and offering run support.
Corey Cooper from Nebraska led the Cornhuskers in tackles last season as the 6-1, 215-pounder was essentially an extra linebacker.
Cody Prewitt had six interceptions last season for Ole Miss but what made him an All-American status for his ability to make plays in the backfield. The six picks didn’t hurt either.
The top non-senior at the position figures to hear his name called awfully high as Landon Collins is as complete of a safety as we have seen since Eric Berry and Earl Thomas came into the league. Collins finished second on the team in tackles and will take on a bigger leadership role this year with C.J. Mosley in the NFL. He can do everything you want from a safety. Could be a rare top-10 pick at the position.
Who do you think will be the first safety taken in next year’s draft? Who is the biggest snub and the player who should have cracked this list?
Sound off in the comments section below with your thoughts.