2023 NFL Draft Big Board: Top 5 players at each position

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio StateSyndication The Columbus Dispatch
Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio StateSyndication The Columbus Dispatch /
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NFL Draft Big Board
Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Brian Branch reacts ater making a sack during the second half against the Cincinnati Bearcats in the 2021 Cotton Bowl college football CFP national semifinal game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

2023 NFL Draft Big Board: Safeties

829. . . . Brian Branch. 1. player

Branch is just a good, all-around safety. Last season, he finished in the top 10 in run stops (5th), run-stop rate (10th), forced incompletions (4th), and missed tackle percentage (9th).

Sydney Brown. 2. player. 807. . .

Brown was PFF’s highest-rated safety in man coverage last season (89.9). He needs to improve as a tackler, but the tools are there. He was the fourth-fastest safety at the combine, as he ran a 4.47-second 40-yard dash. He also had the second-most bench press reps among safeties (23).

. JL Skinner. 3. player. 895. .

Skinner had a signature game against Wyoming last season. He had two interceptions in the final two minutes, as the Broncos clinched the Mountain West title.

As a draft prospect, he is the whole package. He is 6-foot-4. He is an efficient tackler. He has ball skills.

Skinner will need to add strength, but he is a solid Day 2 pick.

. Antonio Johnson. 4. player. 873. .

The first-team All-SEC safety is coming off a fantastic year, in which he posted 71 total tackles, three forced fumbles, and one sack.

Johnson is adept at playing in the slot. He needs to become a more consistent tackler, though, and other safeties had bigger combine performances.

. . . Jordan Battle. 5. player. 829

In 2022, Battle had the second-best coverage grade among SEC safeties (85.2), trailing only Branch. He also racked up 71 total tackles, while only missing eight tackles.

However, he does not have top-level speed or strength, which hampers his draft stock.

Honorable mentions: Jammie Robinson, Ronnie Hickman, Brandon Joseph

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers | Tight Ends | Offensive Tackles | Interior Offensive Linemen | Defensive Tackles | EDGE Rushers | Linebackers | Cornerbacks

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