Official Grades and Scouting Reports: 2019 Safeties

Welcome, to the tenth, and final, of my official draft reports for the 2019 NFL draft. I will be going position by position giving a full report and grade on every player that I have scouted this season. Obviously, I can’t scout every single prospect in the entire country since I am a one man army and a full-time college student. I’ve tried to get at least 20 done at each position, so I think I’ve covered a pretty good chunk of the players who will be drafted. Each article will start with the worst and get to the best, so if you want to skip down to some of the better prospects you can do that.

Each profile will have some biographic data including name, school, year, height, weight, and “Red Flags”. It will also include a numerical value between 1 and 10 that will dictate there placement in the rankings. The number is calculated based on my own personal grading formula for draft prospects. The profile will have a “round grade” that is based on a scale that I will put at the end of this introduction. Round grades are not a prediction of where a player will get drafted, but where I think they should be drafted.  Last but not least, the profiles will include a small paragraph on my overall thoughts on the prospect and some explanation on their NFL outlook. I’ll try to explain some of each players strengths and weaknesses as well.  

As always you can hit me up on twitter (@DanteCollinelli) if you want to discuss my rankings further. I love talking ball with people so please let me know what you think.

 

Grading Scale

 

First-round: 8.75-10

Second-round: 8.74-7.45

Third-round: 7.44-6.15

Fourth round: 6.14-4.85

Fifth round: 4.84-3.55

Sixth round: 3.54- 2.25

Seventh round: 2.24- .095

UDFA: 0.94-0.0  

Number 23: Marvin Tell, USC

Image result for marvell tell usc

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 195

Round Grade: UDFA

Number Grade: 0.50

Red Flags: Worst effort I have ever seen from a player.

 

I the red flag that I have down for Tell basically covers everything you need to know about him as a football player. I try to refrain from just bashing players in these scouting reports, but Tell was a special kind of bad. He takes horrible angles in the open field and at the line of scrimmage which leads to a lot of missed tackles. Not only does his tackling suck, but he doesn’t do well in coverage either. He lacks the football IQ to be effective in zone coverage and the technique to be considered a man to man option. Tell doesn’t have good long speed or short area burst so his ability to cover ground as a safety is compromised. Tell can fill his gaps in the run game fairly well but his inability to tackle hurts his productivity. Tell isn’t an NFL player if you ask me.

 

Number 22: Andrew Wingard, Wyoming

Image result for andrew wingard 

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 209

Round Grade: UDFA

Number Grade: 0.80

Red Flags: None

 

Wingard does his best work in the box as a run defender because he’s a great reader of the backfield. He reacts quickly to shoot gaps in the run game, and despite his size, he does a decent job wrapping up. He’s got enough burst to be effective in zone coverage when he’s able to make more shallow drops. Wingard doesn’t meet any of the NFL thresholds as an athlete and may struggle to compete at the next level. He really struggles to change direction which shows up when pass defending a lot. If he gets moved off of his spot in coverage he lacks the ability to recover. I actually think that Wingard would be better served to play linebacker in the NFL rather than safety. Even with that, he’s still gonna have to fight to prove he can compete athletically at the next level.

 

Number 21: Mike Bell, Fresno State

NCAA Football: Brigham Young at Fresno State
Mike Bell

Class: RS Junior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 202

Round Grade: 7

Number Grade: 1.46

Red Flags: None

 

I was pretty high on Bell coming into the NFL combine back in April. He had a legit chance to land inside my top 10 safeties based off his tape. Clearly, something went very wrong between then and now. Bell ran a 4.83 forty-yard dash at the combine which landed him in the 2nd percentile all time. That is a new level of slow for a safety prospect, and typically, safeties do a lot of running for a defense. Bell does have some appealing traits at the catch point like good ball skills and plenty of length to disrupt receivers. His work in the run game is pretty good too as he will always fit his gap and make the tackle. Again, Bell running a 4.83 is just unacceptable for an NFL safety. If he gets drafted I’ll be shocked but all it takes is one team.

 

Number 20: Jojo Mcintosh, Washington

Image result for jojo mcintosh

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’0 and 219

Round Grade: 7

Number Grade: 1.82

Red Flags: None

 

Mcintosh is the second of two draft-eligible safties from Washington University this year. Clearly, he is the less valuable of the two when it comes to the draft. Mcintosh has the length that you want in your safety for him to be an effective tackler and coverage player. Mcintosh, however, only checks one of those boxes. His work in the run game is pretty solid especially when he can come downhill and lay the boom on ball carriers. His work in coverage is one of the worst in the class. He doesn’t have the acceleration to succeed when asked to close on the ball in zone coverage. His man coverage technique leaves a lot to be desired due to poor footwork and poor transitions. Mcintosh can provide some value as a hard-hitting box safety but not much else.

 

Number 19: D’Cota Dixon, Wisconsin

Image result for d'cota dixon nfl

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 5’10 and 200

Round Grade: 7

Number Grade: 2.17

Red Flags: None

 

Man, Dixon plays with a lot of heart on the backend for Wisconsin but is lack of traits makes it hard to project him to the next level. I actually think that Dixon could be a valuable special teams player for a team. His speed is good enough to qualify for the NFL and his tackling form should be taught in classrooms. He doesn’t have a lot of ball skills to make plays on the backend and his athletic ability will lead to him getting out jumped at the catch point most times. He didn’t do a great job with seeing routes developing in front of him and then driving down on them to make a play. Like I said earlier, Dixon can contribute on special teams but won’t give you much in the terms of playing safety.

 

Number 18: Delvin Randall, Temple

Image result for Delvon Randall

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 210

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 2.62

Red Flags: None

 

Randall is the last Temple player that I got to watch this season which makes this a difficult report to write. I wanted to be higher on Randall because I know how good a leader he is in the Temple locker room, but his play on the field left a lot to be desired. Randall has some of the best ball skills in the class and made some impressive interceptions throughout his career. Randall is a good tackler out in space as he always gets squared up to his target before making contact. Randall struggled mightily as a run defender at times which was weird to me because it wasn’t something I noticed during the season. He was too late to fill his gaps way too often for my liking. He was the culprit of a couple of long runs given up this season by the Owls. I was at Randall’s pro-day and he didn’t meet any of the athletic testing thresholds for an NFL safety. He wasn’t too far off but I worry about him competing at the next level.

 

Number 17: Ugochukwu Amadi, Oregon

Image result for ugochukwu amadi oregon

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’9 and 200

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 3.14

Red Flags: None

 

I’ve been told by other people on draft twitter that I am way too low on Amadi, but he’s just too raw for me to rank him higher. It easy to see how fluid of an athlete he is out in space and in coverage. He did a good job closing on the ball when asked to play in zone coverage which made for some tight throwing windows down the field. I saw some encouraging reps when asked to play press man coverage which included patient feet combined with a strong first punch. I have some legit questions about Amadi’s long speed because he gets beat over the top way too often. His tackling isn’t great which is a big concern for a player that played a lot of their snaps inside the box. Amadi has some good traits but they don’t match up with the style he played while in college and that transition won’t be easy for him.

 

Number 16: Mike Edwards, Kentucky

Image result for mike edwards kentucky

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 200

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 3.42

Red Flags: None

 

Edwards is another guy with some fans on draft twitter but, clearly, I am not one of them. Edwards has enough range to survive as a cover two safety at the next level and does a good job playing in shallow zones. Frequently, he would do a good job of playing through the hands of the receivers in order to dislodge the ball. His tackling and effort in the run game are up to NFL standards but could benefit from trusting his keys a tad more. On tape, Edwards doesn’t look like a great athlete by any stretch of the imagination. His quickness is just a tad below what I like to see which robbed him of making a couple of plays. His long speed isn’t good enough for him to be a single high safety at the next level either. Edwards can be a decent safety in a cover two scheme that allows him to roam the shorter areas of the field at times.

Number 15: Marquise Blair, Utah  

Image result for marquise blair utah

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 195

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 3.78

Red Flags: None

 

Blair has the needed speed and acceleration to be an effective zone safety at the next level. He didn’t allow a lot of plays over the top and was able to close down some throwing windows in front of him. Blair has a couple of highlight plays in the run game where he comes flying in like a missile to make a tackle. His mentality is one that will change the temperature of an defense in the way Jamal Adams does for the Jets. Blair was never tested in man coverage, so I have no idea if he can be a matchup option. His footwork and transitions can be sloppy at times which will lead to him being late to break up passes. Occasionally, he will come in a little too hot in the run game which leads to some missed tackles. Blair has some intriguing positives to his game but has a long way to go mentally before he can make an impact on the field.

 

Number 14: Sheldrick Redwine, Miami

Image result for sheldrick redwine miami

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’1 and 195

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 3.87

Red Flags: None

 

Redwine was able to chase down tackles from all parts of the field leading to some highlight level open field hits. His speed also always him to have pretty good range over the top with some potential to be a single high safety at the next level. Redwine is a fluid athlete in space so he does well to redirect himself in zone coverage. Redwine’s problem is mostly around consistency in all aspects of the game.  He has the speed and quickness to close on the ball but rarely makes the play. When he does drop back into a single high look, he plays way deeper than most safeties do. That is, typically, done to mask weaknesses in coverage, but Redwine runs a 4.40 40-yard dash which means he doesn’t need to be that deep. If Redwine can round out all the parts of his game he can be an effective single high safety at the next level.

 

Number 13: Lukas Dennis, Boston College

IMG_2267
Luckas Denis

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 185

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.05

Red Flags: None

 

My first exposure to Dennis was against Temple when he was thrown out of the game for targeting. That was the biggest hit of Dennis’ career because he wasn’t a fan of contact from what I saw. He would shy away from blockers in the running game and get outmuscled at the catch point in the passing game. Dennis does do a good job at the catch point when there isn’t a lot of contact to be had. He has great movement skills in the open field which makes him a great player in zone coverage. With Dennis’ different skill sets it is tough to say what his role will be at the next level but in a league which focuses so much on passing he certainly has a place to be a starter.

 

Number 12: Evan Worthington, Colorado

Image result for evan worthington colorado

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 205

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.41

Red Flags: Suspended from the team in 2018.

 

Worthington has the needed combination of long speed and short area quickness to be a single high safety at the next level. He did a decent job covering tight ends in man to man coverage which makes him even more versatile. His work in the run game is admirable because of his size and length giving him a natural advantage when tackling. He flashed some pretty impressive plays on the ball while in the air which points to some great body control. Worthington has some pretty bad off the field issues which lead to him getting suspended off the team. Any team who takes him would take a huge risk because of those character concerns. I would take a flyer on Worthington in the fifth round.

 

Number 11: Will Harris, Boston College

Image result for will harris boston college

Class: Senior

Height/Weight:6’2 and 210  

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.21

Red Flags: None

 

Will Harris is the second Boston College safety to make my list this season. Harris is the faster and more athletic of the two players. He ran in the 4.40’s at the combine and it will show up on tape with all the ground he covers. Harris did a good job in man coverage, especially in the slot, because of his physical hand usage at the line of scrimmage. Harris’ is a tricky player to project because despite having great open filed skills he has almost no ball production in his four years at BC. His tackling isn’t great either because he doesn’t come to balance when coming downhill to make a stop enough. Harris’ blend of speed and athletic ability will be enticing for some teams but he’ll need to be more productive with his skills at the next level.

 

Number 10: Jaquan Johnson, Miami

IMG_2263
Jaquan Johnson

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 190

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.49

Red Flags: None

 

Johnson is a player who I was super excited about coming into the season and was at the top of my safety rankings for a good chunk of the season. I don’t wanna say he disappointed me, but he didn’t develop like I hoped he would this season. I’ll start with the good, Johnson has solid quickness and long speed which allows him to close gaps well and keep receivers in front of him. As a run defender, Johnson showed admirable tackling and the football IQ to fill the correct gaps. My biggest worry with Johnson is that he doesn’t do a good enough job identifying routes breaking in front of him. He’s just too late to make a play on the ball, and even when he does get there on time his ball skills aren’t very good. Johnson has plenty of skills to work with as a mid-round player but needs mental development at the next level.

 

Number 9: Malik Gant, Marshall

Image result for malik gant marshall

Class: RS Junior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 194

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.76

Red Flags: None

 

So, Gant is my official sleeper pick for the safety class this season. One of my friends tipped me off to him, and I was really impressed with what I saw. He covers enough ground with his long speed to get by at the next level. He is a physical force on the field in both the passing and rushing games. In the passing game, he will use his body to dislodge the ball from receivers at the catch point. In the running game, he will come downhill and just lay out the ball carrier even if he’s the smaller player. His reps in man coverage were surprisingly really good, especially against NCST, where he matched up with Jacobi Myers a lot in the slot. He showed off the ability to mirror receivers footwork which is rare for a safety. Gant’s faults come when talking about some of his athletic traits. He lacked ball production at Marshall because he didn’t have the quickness or flexibility to get to the ball on time a lot. I have questions about his change of direction skills because of his stiff hips. Gant should get a chance to compete for a starting strong safety job in 2019.

 

Number 8: Amani Hooker, Iowa

IMG_2639
Amani Hooker

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’0 and 210

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.53

Red Flags: None

 

I really like this safety class a lot, and these next eight players are ones that would be in consideration no matter where I was picking in their graded rounds. Hooker does a great job in zone spacing to close on the football with quickness and change directions with fluid hips in the open field. I love his football IQ when he can just sit over the top of routes and attack downhill when routes break in front of him. Hooker has some impressive ball skills and is a true ball hawk on the back end. Hooker does a number of limitations that prevent him from being higher on this list. His long speed really limits his range and to a certain extent his ability to be a ball hawk. He doesn’t have a lot of experience in man coverage situations, so I think he’s only going to be effective in deep zone schemes. Hooker might be way higher on certain teams board’s depending on their scheme. For those teams, Hooker may be a day one starter.

Number 7: Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State

Image result for jonathan abram

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 205

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.57

Red Flags: None

 

Okay, before you yell at me for having Abram so low in my rankings I want you to hear me out. I love the player and what he brings to the team as far as his leadership, mentality, and run defense is concerned. Abram is one of the hardest hitters in the entire class and has plenty of highlight reel tackles on his tape. He fills his run gaps well and is a better run defender then half the linebackers in this class. Abram has the hyper-physical mentality that can change the temperature of an entire team, and I value that. The problem is that Abram just isn’t a great pass defender. He lacks the long speed and short area quickness to break up passes and keep things in front of him. Abram can almost get too wild at times which leads to him missing tackles in the running game and him playing the body instead of the ball in the passing game. Abram could be a first round pick for a team looking for a strong safety to change the dynamic of their defense. With that said, I can’t rank him any higher than this because his coverage was sub-par at best and that’s half of playing safety.

 

Number 6: Darnell Savage, Maryland

Image result for Darnell Savage

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 191

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 7.55

Red Flags: None

 

Savage is one of the rare players in this class that has enough range to be a single high safety at the next level. His short area quickness combined with anticipation skills allowed him to make a lot of plays on the ball at Maryland. Savage is another player who hits hard in the run game when coming downhill from his safety perch. Savage looked like a free mover in space with great change of direction skills aided by fluid hips. His biggest weakness is by far his tendency to get overaggressive at times. In the running game, he will come in too hot and miss a tackle. In the passing game, he will overplay his zone and leave easy throwing windows which lead to some big plays. If Savage can learn how to dial himself back and be more under control he can be a lot like Eddie Jackson has been for the Chicago Bears. Savage is one of the few players who can play as a single high free safety.

 

Number 5: Juan Thornhill, Virginia

Image result for juan thornhill

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’1 and 195

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 7.55

Red Flags: None

 

Isn’t that crazy? It took almost 250 reports to get a tie in the same position group but we have our first one here between Thornhill and Savage. The reason that I have Thornhill higher is that he has a more proven track record than Savage. Thornhill does a great job sitting down in shallow zones to erase throwing lanes. Thornhill’s best trait is anticipating where the ball is gonna go before it gets there. His ability to identify routes breaking in front of him and the ability to make a play on the ball is impressive. Thornhill has some good reps playing slot corner in both man and zone looks to be a useful matchup piece at the next level. Thornhill can struggle to get in and out of his transitions at times so his use in the slot may be limited. He can be a sloppy tackler at times aiming too high on his target and getting run over. Thornhill’s value is as a matchup player in a zone-heavy scheme where he can make plays on the ball.

 

Number 4: Deionte Thompson, Alabama

Image result for deionte thompson

Class: RS Junior

Height/Weight: 6’1 and 194

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 7.57

Red Flags: None

 

Yes, that’s right we almost had a three-way tie in the middle of the top 10 rankings. Thompson finished just ahead of Thornhill and Savage because he’s the best free safety in this class which is the more valuable position. Thompson has elite range and is a true ball hawk capable of getting to all part of the field. He’s got great body control and ball skills while in the air allowing him to come down with a lot of interceptions at Alabama. Teams are looking for true playmakers on the backend and Thompson is one. My worry with Thompson is that he’s got one of the thinnest frames I have ever seen. Safety is, typically, a hard-hitting position and Thompson doesn’t the body or play style for that part of the game. Obviously, for the same reasons, Thompson is a liability in the running game. He just isn’t built to come downhill and bang with the big boys. Thompson will provide a team with a playmaking free safety, however, he will need a strong safety partner to help in the running game.

 

Number 3: Taylor Rapp, Washington

IMG_2264
Taylor Rapp

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’0 and 212

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 8.18

Red Flags: None

 

Taylor Rapp was my favorite player to watch this past season despite not being my top overall safety. Rapp has the best downhill skills of any player in this draft class when it comes down to it. He lays the boom on anybody coming through the middle of the defense and is the best tackler in this class. He always comes to balance before contact and drives through the lower half of the ball carrier. When Rapp was able to play over the top in zone coverage you could see him use his anticipation to make plays on routes breaking in front of him. Rapp’s ball skills are good enough to make some plays at the next level he just needs to arrive on the ball a little quicker at times. Rapp is another guy who will change the temperature of a defense Jamal Adams style. The concerns with Rapp are about his long speed for the most part. It is reported that he ran in the 4.70’s at his pro-day which is less than ideal, to say the least. On tape, I didn’t think Rapp was a burner but he didn’t look that slow to me either. With Rapp, I think it comes down to trusting the tape and putting him in a place to use his best skills often.

 

Number 2: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida

Image result for chauncey gardner johnson

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 207

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 8.40

Red Flags: None

 

Gardner-Johnson is a player who improved a lot from his sophomore to junior season which is something I love. Gardner-Johnson is a fluid mover in space who transitions quickly to collapse on routes breaking in front of him. He has plenty of long speed and quickness to get sideline to sideline adding to his overall range. He does a good job picking up the ball when it leaves the quarterback’s hand and tracking it down the field. His biggest asset is his ability to essentially play every position in the secondary. He’s got some great reps as a slot corner and could cover tight ends if they were flexed out wide. Gardner-Johnson’s problem is being able to tackle consistently. He missed a lot of tackles his sophomore season, however, he improved a little bit this past season so I have some hope for him moving forward. The NFL is quickly moving toward matchup based defense and Gardner-Johnson could be a great chess piece for teams to move around depending on the week.

 

Number 1: Nasir Adderley, Delaware

IMG_2403
Nasir Adderley

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 205

Round Grade: 1

Number Grade: 8.77

Red Flags: None

 

That’s right not only is Nasir Adderley my only safety with a first round grade but he comes from a non-FBS school. Adderley has all the tools to be a true single high safety at the next level including long speed, quickness, and range. His athletic ability shows up on tape when high pointing the ball and when returning kicks for the Blue Hens. Some of his interceptions are highlight reel level that showcases his amazing body control. In the running game, he does a good job coming downhill to lay big hits on ball carriers. Adderley has loose hips that allow him to unhinge quickly and get vertical down the field. He has the physical tools to be a matchup cornerback against bigger tight ends and bigger slot receivers. With that said, he’s got a lot of technical work to do when it comes to man coverage. Sometimes he can get tunnel vision in zone coverage which leads to him over pursuing on plays. Adderley is a top-notch athlete who is an elite playmaker on the backend of the defense. Don’t overlook him just because he went to Delaware.

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