FanPost

Scouting Reports 2014: Safeties

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via extras.mnginteractive.com

It's that time again!!!!!!!!!!!! Scouting reports are my one of my favorite pastimes, and have been for a very long time, since I was about 15 to be exact!

Scouting reports to me are so much better when you do it yourself rather going by what someone else says and/or a players stats. You learn so much more by taking the time to watch the tape and really study each position and the players that come with it. Remember the film NEVER lies.

Moving right along aren't we. So far we have covered the receivers and cornerbacks. Both classes were are very deep. This safety class is deep as well, but it may not be as deep as those positions and others. Know this, while those positions may very well produce a few 4th round starters, this position group is not that far behind as I believe it will provide some true quality players all the way through the third round. I see about 7-8 day one starters here. Just like the other posts, I did not forget "this guy (insert name)" because I didn't list him. I listed the prospects I would not mind seeing in the horns but also would be a nice fit and/or brings something different or extra to what we already have.

Calvin Pryor

Louisville 5'11" 207lbs

Ultimate Calvin Pryor Highlights | HD (via TheFootballman175)

GOOD

  • Very Physical
  • Run Support
  • Quick
  • Comfortable in the open field
  • Good ball skills
  • Good breaks
  • Awareness
  • Tough
  • Instinctive
  • Good blitzer
  • Versatile

BAD

  • A hitter not a tackler
  • Can take bad angles
  • Does not always breakdown
  • Very average speed
  • Could bring a lot of penalties
  • Drops head far to often/whiffs

Player comparison: Dashon Goldson. Like Goldson, Pryor is a big time hitter who can play really good run support, but also has the skills to play the deep middle and protect the back end. Pryor has a complete skillset, but just needs to play smarter. Once he realizes not every tackle has to be the BOOM, and starts playing a little more under control he will be a problem for years to come.

Deone Bucannon

Washington State 6'1" 211lbs

Deone Bucannon Highlights 2014 (via gokai15)

GOOD

  • Very explosive and powerful
  • Above average speed
  • Very good ball skills
  • Very Physical
  • Versatile
  • Size to cover tighends
  • Plays very smart
  • Very good awareness
  • Good hands
  • Has a frame that will last a long time

BAD

  • Inconsistent angles
  • Needs to wrap up on tackles
  • Very average lateral agility
  • Will probably struggle with quick twitch receivers

Player Comparison: Sean Taylor. No he does not have the top end speed of Taylor, but like Taylor he is a very big athlete playing safety. His speed is nothing to shrug at, and his over athletic ability and explosiveness is near the top. Like Taylor is a very physical ball hawk. He plays fast, angry, and furious. Bucannon has all of the skills and size needed to be an upper echelon safety.

Hasean Clinton-Dix

Alabama 6'1" 208

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Alabama Highlights ᴴᴰ (via Harris Highlights)

GOOD

  • Very good ball skills
  • Arguably the best in the zone
  • Very instinctive
  • Makes good reads
  • Breaks on the ball well
  • Smart player
  • Fluid hips

BAD

  • Not very physical
  • Toe tackler/drag down guy
  • Man coverage could be better
  • Very average speed
  • Run support

Player Comparison: Rahim Moore. When Moore came out of UCLA he was pegged as a good deep middle safety who needs to get more physical and tougher. When I watch Dix, this is what I see. He has a little bit of Ed Reed to his game with his ability to play deep. But unlike Reed his run support is none existent, and he is not very physical. He does this sort of let you run by and then jump on you and drag you down, or the toe tackle. His ball skills are some of the best, and his ability to read the QB is very impressive. He shows a high football IQ when playing at a more traditional depth (12 yards) with reading and reacting when he is more involved in some of the traffic.

Jimmie Ward

Northern Illinois 5'11" 193lbs

Jimmie Ward Best Highlights # 15 - SS - Junior - NIU - Video By: Nova Nickk (via Nova Nickk)

GOOD

  • Very instinctive
  • Physical
  • Great ball skills
  • Good tackler
  • Plays smart
  • Plays fast
  • Very fluid
  • Quick feet
  • Good acceleration
  • Above average speed
  • Very explosive
  • Versatility
  • Good blitzer
  • High Motor
  • Very competitive

BAD

  • Size
  • Needs to gain weight
  • Lacks strength
  • Played lesser competition

Player comparison: Earl Thomas. When Thomas came out there was nonstop size rumblings. The big difference between Thomas and Ward is that Thomas was without question faster (very rare speed for a safety, cornerback type of speed). The ONLY real knock on Ward is his size. He will fill out his frame over time, but right now, the fear is that he might get pushed around by tightends and bigger receivers. Size limitations excluded, he has the film of the BEST safety in this class. His game is very complete. The best part about him is his competitiveness and motor.

Terrence Brooks

FSU 5'11" 199lbs

FSU S Terrence Brooks Senior Season Highlights (via RayFoye Combo)

GOOD

  • Smart player
  • Very good speed
  • Leadership
  • Very good burst
  • Great closing speed
  • Tough
  • Good instincts
  • Very aware
  • Fundamentally sound

BAD

  • Not the most physical
  • Good at a lot, but great at nothing
  • Needs to get stronger
  • Below average ball skills
  • Only average explosion
  • Very average man coverage

Player comparison: Rashad Jones. Brooks is a Jones clone. Very similar size and build, and a guy that is very very solid. Jones is a top ten safety, and Brooks has that ability as well. He plays with his head more than his physical skill. He moves smoothly and has very good burst, but needs to improve overall explosiveness.

Ahmad Dixon

Baylor 6' 212lbs

Ultimate Ahmad Dixon Highlights | HD (via TheFootballman175)

GOOD

  • Very quick
  • Physical
  • Amazing blitzer
  • Above average ball skills
  • Above average speed
  • Fearless
  • Explosive
  • Good breaks
  • Good burst
  • Run support

BAD

  • Lacks fluidity in hips
  • Gets caught flat footed too often
  • Needs to take better angles
  • Does not like to wrap
  • Man coverage needs work
  • Awareness

Player comparison: Eric Berry. Dixon is a poor man's Berry. Not quite as athletic but not far behind. There are a lot of similarities in the game, skill, and build. Dixon needs to learn to play with smarter and more aware. He loves to strike and is a hell of a blitzer. His speed and burst are ingredients for a player that can become a very good ball hawk.

Jerry "BooBoo" Gates

Bowling Green 5'11" 223

Jerry "Boo Boo" Gates Highlights Tape (via Anthon Samuel)

GOOD

  • Physical specimen
  • Tough
  • Physical
  • Ball hawk
  • Return skills
  • Amazing instincts
  • Quick
  • Good speed
  • Versatile
  • Turnover machine
  • Good tackler
  • Can cover deep middle
  • Fluid hips
  • Run support

BAD

  • Played terrible competition
  • Probably will be asked to shed some weight
  • Sort of a maverick
  • Not the most explosive

Player comparison: Jairus Byrd. Gates is a ball hawk with loads of upside, and is very physical. Like Byrd, Gates does it all, but does it all quietly. They both show the ability to cover a lot of ground, plays the ball, and can tackle anyone.Both players are fundamentally sound, but also tends to do their own thing but it works for them. Gates most impressive skill set is his return ability. He has a knack for scoring whether it be from interception, fumble, kick, or punt returns.

My top ten safeties (entire class) are:

  1. Calvin Pryor
  2. Deone Bucannon
  3. Jimmie Ward
  4. Hasean Clinton-Dix
  5. Terrence Brooks
  6. Ahamd Dixon
  7. Dion Bailey
  8. Jerry Gates
  9. Dontae Johnson
  10. Isaiah Lewis

Most pro ready:

Jimmie Ward

Most potential:

Calvin Pryor

Most explosive:

Deone Bucannon

Biggest bust potential:

Ahmad Dixon

Sleeper:

Jerry "BooBoo" Gates

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