2013 NFL Pre-Combine
Safety Rankings - No. 11 to 25
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CFN Pre-Combine Safety Rankings, Top Ten
11. Bacarri Rambo, Georgia 6-0, 211 (SS) Proj. 3
Positives: A terrific factor against the run. Tough, aggressive and fast to the ball. There wasn’t much cleaning up to do behind the great front seven, but he took care of things. A strong line of defense. … A tough guy who fights for the ball and beats up offensive players. An intimidator who should put up big tackling numbers in the right scheme. … Strong and devastating when he gets a bead on a ball-carrier. Receivers will need to keep their heads on a swivel.
Negatives: Not quite quick enough. He hits like a linebacker, but he runs and cuts a bit like one, too. There will be problems against the speed backs on the move. … Suspended for stretches including the start of last season and has to answer a few question marks from a failed drug test. … When he gets blocked, he stays blocked. When he gets up front, he doesn’t shed well.
Really, What’s He Going To Do In The NFL? The off-the-field issues truly weren’t a big deal. On the field, he’ll turn out to be a whale of a strong safety and a top tackler.
12. J.J. Wilcox, Georgia Southern 6-0, 213 (FS) Proj. 4
Positives: Versatile enough to play any safety position. He has the size to be solid against the run and has just enough deep speed to help. The scheme won’t matter. … A former wide receiver, he moves well and cuts without a problem. Terrific upside – he’s just scratching the surface. … Unselfish. While his move to the defensive side turned out to change his career for the positive, he also did it to help the team. The payoff will be big.
Negatives: Needs polish – lots and lots and lots of polish. It’s going to take a while before he becomes a solid NFL defensive back. There will be several steps back to take a leap forward. … Makes up for his shortcomings with great makeup speed. He won’t be able to do that in the NFL. … Quicker than fast. He could have problems with the blazers.
Really, What’s He Going To Do In The NFL? It’s going to take a few seasons, but he has too much quickness and athleticism not to become a factor. At the very least he could become a nice special teamer.
13. Shamarko Thomas, Syracuse 6-0, 208 (SS) Proj. 5
Positives: Linebacker strong. Tough against the run with a physical style that packs a punch in all phases. An intimidating force who could blast away as a key part of a secondary. … Fast enough. A great all-around athlete, he moves well enough to be able to get around from sideline to sideline and he should be solid when the ball is in the air. … Mature. A leader with good character. There won’t be any problems lighting a fire under him.
Negatives: Not all that great in pass coverage. He might have to fit mostly as a strong safety and not be given zone assignments or work as a free safety. … Not tall. He doesn’t have the long, lanky frame of a defensive back being built like a smallish linebacker. … It might take the right type of defense to give him a home. His style isn’t necessarily for everyone.
Really, What’s He Going To Do In The NFL? Coaches will love his style, aggressiveness and character. He won’t be a superstar, but he’ll be a good starter with a nice career.
14. Robert Lester, Alabama 6-1, 220 (FS) Proj. 5
Positives: A high-character player who’ll do whatever he must to make a roster and an impact. Many of basic skills are there, and he maximizes his talents by working hard. Coaches will love him. … Tough against the run and willing to do the dirty work. He’ll stick his nose in against the bigger, tougher backs and is great at being the second man in to end a play. … Nice size and body type. He looks the part of an NFL safety.
Negatives: Inconsistent. At times he can look like a top talent, but he’ll disappear at times. … Mediocre athleticism. The want-to will be there, but he’ll get his doors blown off once in a while by an NFL speed receiver. … The overall production was just average. Numbers don’t mean much in the Alabama defense, and he came up with four picks last season, but he didn’t always stand out when the ball was in the air.
Really, What’s He Going To Do In The NFL? A good fifth defensive back and spot starter who’ll fill a variety of roles.
15. Zeke Motta, Notre Dame 6-2, 213 (SS) Proj. 6
Positives: Simply put, he’s a good football player. He’s a tough all-around factor who has nice enough mobility to get by and hits well. … Great instincts. Makes up for his shortcomings by reading things a step ahead of time. Smart. … Packs a pop against the run. Aggressive with an edge when he gets to the ball. He doesn’t miss many tackles and wraps well.
Negatives: Not a great athlete. Pass coverage skills are mediocre. He doesn’t turn and go as well as he’ll need to. … Just an okay playmaker. A run stopper and a solid all-around player, but he’s not sensation. He’s not going to change games. … Could have big problems against speedier players who have a step on him. No recovery speed or ability.
Really, What’s He Going To Do In The NFL? People are probably going to expect too much. He’ll have to fight to make a roster, but he’ll find a way to stick as both a special teamer and a run defender.
16. Duke Williams, Nevada 6-0, 190 (FS) Proj. 4
Positives: With a phenomenal array of skills, he’s too promising to not get several chances. He’s athletic and can pack a wallop. He could turn out to be the total package with a little tweaking. … Fast. Flies to the ball and great when the ball is in the air. He can stay with any of the speedsters. … A good hitter for his size. Physical against the run, he can get tough with receivers and will stick his nose in against the ball carriers.
Negatives: Almost too fast at times. He plays the game in a hurry and will overrun a few plays here and there. For good and bad, he doesn’t let the play come to him. … Not big. How long can he hold up? With his style, he’ll get beaten, battered and bruised unless he changes up his game. … A few character issues with some off-field problems. Nothing too major, but there are enough red flags to check out.
Really, What’s He Going To Do In The NFL? Someone will fall in love with his skills as a good two-deep safety, or he could shine in nickel and dime packages.
17. Ray Polk, Colorado 6-1, 216 (FS) Proj. FREE AGENT
Positives: Smart, he always seems like he’s in the right position and he gets around well. He has great instincts to go along with his athletic ability. … He has the right size and the right look. Versatile enough to work in any safety spot and produce. … A good tackler. Makes plays in the open field.
Negatives: Just okay when the ball is in the air. Better against the run than he is at helping out in coverage. … Was always dinged up. Will he be able to stay in one piece? He might have to be a part of a rotation. … Needs a lot of polish. Still learning the basics of being a top defensive back. There’s upside, but he might need a little while.
Really, What’s He Going To Do In The NFL? Athleticism and health will be the keys to his career. He could eventually be a nice fifth defensive back.
18. Earl Wolff, NC State 5-11, 209 (SS) Proj. 6
Positives: Built like a smallish linebacker. Thick and tough, he tackles well and he isn’t afraid to mix it up. Great against the run. … Quick in the open field and diagnoses well. Gets to the ball without much wasted motion. … A decent athlete who scoots. He has football speed and gets around quickly and easily. A missile to the ball.
Negatives: Doesn’t really look the part. He’s not able to work in a variety of ways and might have to be a strong safety and work against the run. … A willing tackler, but not a great one. He can get to the ball, but he’s not going to blow anyone up. … He’s not going to be an all-around playmaker. While he might be terrific on the first two downs, he might not be the right guy on third downs.
Really, What’s He Going To Do In The NFL? A sound starter who gets the job done against the run. Coaches will love him.
19. Micah Hyde, Iowa 6-0, 197 (FS/CB) Proj. 6
Positives: A ball-hawking playmaker. Always around the ball with good instincts and awareness. … Versatile. He can fill in anywhere in a secondary with the potential to work at corner along with any safety spot. … Good against the run. Doesn’t shy away from contact.
Negatives: A tweener of all defensive back tweeners. He’s good at everything, but he doesn’t have one sure-thing spot. … Smooth. Runs like a safety if he ends up seeing time at corner. … Not a blazer. He’s not going to stay with the speed receivers.
Really, What’s He Going To Do In The NFL? He’ll be a worthwhile part of the mix because of all he can do. He could flourish as a nickel defender.
20. Jamoris Slaughter, Notre Dame 6-0, 195 (SS) Proj. FREE AGENT
Positives: A do-it-all player who’ll fill a variety of roles. Strong against the run, decent against the pass and solid on special teams. He’ll find a job. … Smart. Great instincts and good football savvy. Attacks well and doesn’t get out of position. … Will battle against the run. Plays bigger than his size.
Negatives: Banged up. He fought through a few injuries and has to come back from an Achilles tendon injury that cost him most of the season. He has to show he can hold up. … Too slow to be a top playmaker in coverage and not big enough to be so physical against the run. … He’s at least a year away from being back to top form. He was just an okay prospect before the injury.
Really, What’s He Going To Do In The NFL? He probably won’t be drafted, but he’ll be an instant free agent signing for the practice squad until he can show what he can do.
21. Josh Evans, Florida 6-1, 207 (FS) Proj. 5
22. Rashard Hall, Clemson 6-1, 213 (SS) Proj. FREE AGENT
23. Ray Ray Armstrong, Miami 6-3, 237 (SS) Proj. FREE AGENT
24. Bradley McDougald, Kansas 6-0, 215 (FS) Proj. FREE AGENT
25. Jahleel Addae, Central Michigan 5-10, 200 (SS) Proj. FREE AGENT
CFN Pre-Combine Safety Rankings, Top Ten