The valuation of the 2019 safety crop is wide-ranging and the Combine will be a useful tool in helping to finalize draft stock and truly get a sense for the valuation of the group. The class features a variety of skill sets, and the Combine will be an important component to validating the requisite measurables the NFL is looking for.
Let’s examine the top three safeties with the most to prove in Indianapolis.
Nasir Adderley, Delaware
Adderley is a versatile safety that excels in every technique which offers scheme multiplicity because of his presence. He is physical playing forward but also provides outstanding range and ball skills to play in deep zones. He excels in so many ways and is in contention to be the top safety drafted. Validating the athletic ability Adderley illustrated on film in athletic testing will be defining in his efforts to be the first safety off the board at the end of April.
Taylor Rapp, Washington
I really like Rapp’s ability to play forward, his physicality, how he runs alleys and his tackling ability. But how rangy is he in coverage? Can he make plays on the ball? The ability to cover ground and create turnovers is what separates middling safety prospects from top safety prospects. I didn’t come away from Rapp’s film evaluation feeling great about his ability in either area.
Measuring his athletic ability, fluidity and ball skills will be important in finalizing his grade.
Deionte Thompson, Alabama
Thompson’s best moments on tape come when he is playing in deep zones as a center fielder, reading the backfield and breaking on the football. With that said, his production declined as the season progressed and his athletic ability became questioned. Answering questions about his season during team meetings will be important, but so will his size measurements and his mobility at that size. Once perceived as a first round pick, Thompson needs to recapture some sizzle.