2020 Deep Dive Rookie Safeties
4/21/20
David Reed https://twitter.com/Nfldraft_dwr

Our final deep dive for 2020! This safety class brings some outstanding prospects that can do it all, tackle or play man to man or old school deep coverage. These kids are the last line of defense!

If you missed Davids most recent Deep Dive find it here! https://www.dfscheatsheet.com/2020-deep-dive-rookie-dbs/nfl/04/

Xavier McKinney – Alabama 6-1 200

Alabama DB Xavier McKinney

Pros:
– Versatile player who can cover man and zone as well as be an enforcer at the line
– Quick down hill ability
– Attacks the ball in the air
– Good short area burst
– Good strong tackler
– Good route anticipation
– Natural feet
– Range
– Football IQ

Cons:
– Tackling in space 1 on 1 sometimes comes up short
– Better near the line than in space but can do it all
– Can be a tad over aggressive on his angles and a shifter back can use that to there advantage

Overall:
McKinney is the top safety in this draft. He can do it all in terms of coverage and play at the line as a sub package linebacker. He is best near the line but can go out there and cover area like a center fielder.

Antoine Winfield Jr. – Minnesota 5 -10 195

Minnesota DB Antoni Winfield Jr.

Pros:
– Great instincts and feel for the ball on the field
– Place with urgency and will put his head into the ball
– Thick frame that allows him to hit hard and is explosive with those hits
– Navigates traffic and finishes
– Physical player but plays with control
– Plays and reads the backfield while disrupting throwing lanes
– Great Ball skills to track the ball even over the shoulders
– Can play man zone and at the line of scrimmage
– Alpha when attacking the ball
– Ball hawk
– Good blitzer

Cons:
– Injuries in both 2017 and 2018 that made him miss the whole season after playing in limited games
– Overall average athlete
– Height

Overall:
Winfield Jr when healthy could arguably be the best safety in this class and he keeps rising and rising. He is a ball hawk and plays powerful when he hits you. What he lacks in height and athletic ability, he makes up with anticipation and instincts. His play on the field shows you he’s a guy that you can look past his flaws cause he just has a feel for the game and ball I wouldn’t be shocked if he sneaks late first

Grant Delpit – 6-3 201

LSU S Grant Delpit

Pros:
– Man and Zone ability
– Can mirror in man coverage well
– Drives on the football with good closing quickness
– Great length and attacks the ball
– Good range
– Smart player who processes the play fast
– Hitting power is there with good balance
– Quick feet
– Navigates traffic
– Athletic for his size and can play all over as a DB

Cons:
– Though improved tackler in 2019. Being a sure tackler in the open field is still a work in progress
– Can give up a tad to much space in zone coverage
– Early in 2019 seemed to be trying to hard to showcase skills and being the elite safety and it backfired

Overall:
– After a great 2018, Delpit came into 2019 as arguably the best safety prospect for the 2020 draft. His season started off kind of rough but finished well second half of the season. He claims he was trying to hard and you can tell that to an extend when he finally relaxed and let his game speak for itself. He’s a long athletic prospect who can do it all that you can steal late first early 2nd

Ashtyn Davis – California 6-1 195

California S Ashton Davis

Pros:
– Has played both Safety and Corner depending on what the opposing teams offense presented
– Versatile player
– Great high safety ability to cover a lot of ground
– Downhill closing burst is great
– Can hit with some pop
– Shows good awareness in zone
– Reads QBs eyes well and closes on the ball
– Tough player
– Flexibility to play man

Cons:
– Though he plays physical he isn’t the surest of tacklers
– He won’t be a run stopper at the line like some of the other prospects
– He can hold his own in man coverage but you want him covering ground has a high safety

Overall:
Davis is more of a scheme fit prospect for a defense that needs a center field type player. He has the ability to cover a lot of ground. He will give it his all and play as physical as he can but needs to work on his Tackling technique

Kyle Dugger – Lenoir-Rhyne 6-1 217

Lenior-Rhyne S Kyle Dugger

Pros:
– Explosive athlete with great size
– Competitive and physical player
– Loves to attack the ball down hill
– Secure tackler with balance and power
– Short zone defender who reads the backfield well
– Range to play deep zone and sideline to sideline
– Brings return ability
– Plays the ball well and has ability to make plays on ball
– Can play any scheme

Cons:
– Improve processing – see and chase type of guy at times
– At times took plays off as he knew he can be beaten in competition
– DII competition, can he and is he ready to step up from such a jump in competition

Overall:
Dugger is a fun prospect to watch as he dominates on tape, but it is D2 competition. His athletic ability and size will translate to the next level but will his processing and play speed catch up as quick. His ceiling is being able to play in any defense and do anything in coverage or as a linebacker at the line. At worst he beings great special team ability and great returner ability early on as well. He will be a fun prospect to watch develop in the next year or 2.

Jeremy Chinn – Southern Illinois 6-3 219

Southern Illinois S Jeremy Chinn

Pros:
– Physical muscular frame with explosive ability
– Tall frame
– Good burst and long speed to track ball or play downhill
– Balance and hitting power
– Makes some incredible athletic plays on the ball
– Nice fluid back pedal with impressive smooth change in direction ability
– Offers coverage versatility

Cons:
– Processing needs to improve
– Few plays where he takes it easy
– Spacial awareness

Overall:
Another small school prospect that dominates on tape. He has the size and ability to translate at the next level. He can be used in a multitude of positions almost like a poor man’s Isaiah Simmons. He can be a sub linebacker in some packages and cover the deep zones. He will need to learn to process plays faster than relying on being more athletic than most people he faced in competition.

Terrell Burgess – Utah 5-11 192

Utah S Terrell Burgess

Pros:
– Converted corner who has a strong understanding of coverages
– Good understanding of spacing and route anticipation
– Trusts his ability and doesn’t panic
– Diagnosis routes well, allows him to be in good spots
– Fluid hips with good change of direction ability
– Ability to play strong man to man coverage
– Solid tackler who takes good angles

Cons:
– Length is an issue
– Does not bring much in terms of making plays on the ball
– Get stronger to be a more impactful tackler and shedding block
– Limited starting time till 2019

Overall:
Burgess bring good agility and range to cover deep zone and come up and play many to man. He may have a versatile role as a sub package nickel corner and play safety too. His lack of plays on the ball is why he isn’t going higher for his versatility.

K’Von Wallace – Clemson 5-11 199

Clemson S K’Von Wallace

Pros:
– Versatile player who played both Safety and Big Nickel
– Quick burst
– Solid frame that brings some good hit power with it
– Good Blitzer
– Ball skills and attacks the ball well
– Physical tackler
– Shows some good ability at man coverage
– Competes and goes hard every play

Cons:
– Hips arnt fluid
– Recovery speed
– Has some athletic restrictions

Overall:
Wallace is best for sub packages and can help being a downhill tackler with his physical play. He can handle zone coverage when he keeps the play in front of him but lacks speed if anything gets behind him. He plays physical to handle some man to man ability. He plays hard and goes every down something teams will love and allow him to make an impact on a team

Julian Blackmon – Utah 6-1 204

Utah S Julian Blackmon

Pros:
– Converted corner who uses this skill to match the slot and TEs
– Good range to handle the 1 high safety role
– Good size and speed
– Shows ability to make plays on the ball
– Shows good zone awareness
– Physical player and will come down and make a play if needed

Cons:
– Late knee injury kept him out of senior bowl and combine
– Failed at corner in 2018 and made the switch to safety
– Inconsistent on tape and can look lost at times
– Can become stronger to be a better force near the line

Overall:
Blackmon brings all the physical traits a team will covet in a safety prospect but need to feel comfortable developing his skill set. He is still raw to the safety positions but brings a good motor and football character to the locker room

Alohi Gilman – Notre Dame 5-11 202

Notre Dame S Alohi Gilman

Pros:
– Always looking for the football
– Fires downfield and works around blocks
– Physical with good hit power
– High motor
– Quick processor
– Experience play deep and at the line
– Solid tackler
– Attacked the ball in the air

Cons:
– Modest range
– Speed and quickness is average
– Not the best in man coverage
– Avoid having his back to the line of scrimmage

Overall:
Competitive player who enjoys seeking contact and making a play on the ball. He brings good zone ability but lacks great man to man skills. He’s a hard worker and has a high motor that teams will love but must use him right at the next level.

Thank you for reading! Any questions or comments?

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