2013 NFL Draft - Safeties No. 11-25

Posted Apr 21, 2013

From a college football perspective, the analysis of the top safety prospects.

2013 NFL Draft Position Rankings

Safeties - No. 11 to 25

By Pete Fiutak
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 - 2013 Safety Rankings
11. J.J. Wilcox, Georgia Southern (FS) 6-0, 213
Versatile enough to play any safety position, he has the size and pop to hold up against the run and the raw speed to get by as a centerfielder. A former wide receiver, he moves well and cuts without much of a problem, and there's still plenty of room for improvement with terrific upside and a high ceiling – he's just scratching the surface. However, he's still learning what to do and will need a long, long time to figure out how to do all the little things right. It might take a little while, though, and there will be several steps back before taking a giant leap forward. Quicker than fast, he'll have a problem with the blazers, but he'll hit and will do whatever a coaching staff asks of him.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

12. Duke Williams, Nevada 5-11, 203
Extremely versatile, Williams can play either corner or safety with excellent quickness and size to go along with his ability to work just about anywhere. He moves well with good speed, and he makes himself bigger with great leaping ability and all-around athleticism. However, while he's versatile, he's not an elite corner and he's not a good enough tackler to be a star at safety. Wrapping up is a problem, going for the hit and the bounce too much, and he has to be far more physical. There are warning signs, but his athleticism is enough to make him a regular NFL starter.
CFN Projection: Third Round

13. Earl Wolff, NC State (SS) 5-11, 09
Really, really fast, he surprised with a 4.46 at the Combine to go along with his tough look. Athletic, he can jump out of the stadium and brings the pop when he gets around the ball. Quick in the open field and with good instincts, he's always around the ball and hits like a guided missile. With his attitude and fire he has the potential to grow into a decent starter in time, but he gives up too many big plays and he's not as good a tackler as he is a hitter. While he might be great on the first two downs, he might not be right for third downs and isn't a fit for every system. He'll stick around the league, but he'll mostly be a decent backup.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

14. John Boyett, Oregon (SS) 5-10, 204
A bit short and squatty, he doesn't have the right size, but he makes up for it with tremendous strength and toughness. Able to get around with decent quickness and good enough straight-line speed, he could be used in several systems and styles even though he's destined to shine at strong safety. A pure football player, he'll do all the little things to get better and he'll always be looking to improve. While he's workout fast, the make-up speed isn't quite there, but the biggest problem is his style of play, taking a beating with the way he hits. Banged up, he has knee injuries that might mean a short shelf life.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

15. Shamarko Thomas, Syracuse (SS) 5-9, 213
An outstanding athlete and all-around prospect, he's lightning fast with 4.4 speed, incredible strong with 28 reps at the Combine, and impressive leaping ability. He upped his stock with his workouts, and he wasn't and on the field, either. So what's the problem? His head. He's a physical hitter who has suffered from concussion problems that will need to be monitored and could be an ongoing concern. With the way he pops, durability is going to be a bit problem. The leadership skills are there and the tools are unquestioned, but he needs to be a steadier tackler, more effective against the pass and has to show he can stay healthy.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

16. Robert Lester, Alabama (FS) 6-1, 220
A high-character player who'll do whatever he must to make a roster and an impact, he's a dangerous playmaker when the ball is in the air who could shine as a nickel or dime defender. A pick-off artist, he's also excellent at stepping up against the run and is always willing to do the dirty work. He's too slow and isn't enough of an athlete, and he's too inconsistent with mediocre range, but he's a decent backup option who can work in a variety of roles.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

17. Zeke Motta, Notre Dame (SS) 6-2, 213
Simply a good football, he's a big, tough defender who has enough mobility to get by and has terrific hitting ability. He can be used like an extra linebacker against the run and always manages to be in the right place at the right time. Aggressive, he doesn't miss any stops and he holds up well. Slow, he doesn't have the foot speed to stay with NFL receiver and he's not a gamechanger; he's more solid than spectacular. The weight room strength is missing and there's a hard ceiling on what he can do, but he'll make a roster as a decent backup and special teamer.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

18. Micah Hyde, Iowa (FS) 6-0, 197
With his versatility and ability to play either at safety or corner, he'll be a key player for a defense with potential to see time everywhere and anywhere. A ball-hawker, he was great at coming up with big plays and was always around the ball showing good instincts and awareness. He's a free safety, but he's good enough against the run and won't shy away from contact. The problem is that he's a tweener of all tweeners, decent at everything but not elite in any one area. He'll make a roster because of all he can do, but he'll struggle to become a starter.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

19. Jahleel Addae, Central Michigan (SS) 5-10, 196
With fantastic all-around playmaking skills, he moves well and isn't afraid to provide the big pop, able to be used in any style and in any situation. A leader, he's a motivational force who gets in players' faces and has the right attitude to be exactly what a coach wants. The raw wheels aren't there and he's not the most consistent of tacklers, but he can do a little of everything right and will show the versatility to be used as a swing backup who'll hang around the league for a long time. He'll always make a roster with his attitude and energy.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

20. Jamoris Slaughter, Notre Dame (SS) 6-0, 195
A do-it-all player who'll do anything for a secondary, he plays fast and moves well with the instincts to always be around the ball and deliver the big hit. Smart, he seems to be a step ahead of everyone else and always appears to be where the play is. He might not bring a huge pop, but he'll work against the run and he'll come up with the open-field stop. Can he stay healthy? He's not built to hit like an NFL defensive back and he's just now trying to come back from an Achilles tendon tear. At least a year away from being back to form, he was just an okay prospect before the injury and now he's knocked down a peg.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

21. Josh Evans, Florida (FS) 6-1, 207
The speed isn't there and he wasn't exactly a star for the Gators, but he's a good-sized defender who can get all over the field and brings a nice fire and good hustle to his play. Quicker than fast, he gets around well and cuts and moves to the ball without a problem. There's nothing he does at a high level and there's no real upside, but he could be a functional backup for any safety role and a nice special teamer.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

22. Damion Stafford, Nebraska (FS) 6-0, 221
The speed isn't there. He's a fighter who'll battle for every play, and he's incredibly strong and feisty, but he's not athletic enough and he's not a sound hitter whiffing on too many plays. He can work in a variety of ways and somehow finds a way to get around the ball, but there are too many limitations and too many holes in his game to be anything more than a decent backup. However, he'll probably be overdrafted because of his strength and toughness.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

23. Bradley McDougald, Kansas (FS) 6-0, 215
With nice bulk and good roughness, he's a functional tackler who plays quicker than his workouts. He might not have the requisite speed and he's not a good enough athlete to work as a starter, but he's smart and will do whatever is needed to become a factor. A former receiver, he's still learning the finer points and still figuring out how to play the position, but he's a productive tackler who has a shot to be a swing backup.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

24. Jordan Kovacs, Michigan (FS) 5-11, 202
A smart, tough defender who makes plenty of plays and gets past his athletic issues by being a step ahead of everyone else. With great instincts and a coachable mindset, he'll do whatever is needed to help out a team and will play a variety of roles. The speed isn't there and the tools are missing to become a top starter, but he's a try-hard type who'll run through a wall to make a roster. At best he'll be a fifth starter, but he'll mostly work as a backup and special teamer.
CFN Projection: FREE AGENT

25. Ray Ray Armstrong, Miami (FS) 6-3, 222
There was a time when he was considered a potentially elite pro prospect with special size and talents, but he got into hot water with the NCAA and was suspended from Miami. One of the biggest safeties in the draft, he brings the thump and can play like a linebacker at times against the run, but he doesn't have NFL speed and he's going to be rusty after being out of the mix for a while. He'll be a interesting option in a camp, but he'll have to show he's willing to do all the little things right to make a squad.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

- 2013 Safety Rankings