• Travis Tyler

2021 NFL Draft- Safeties

Trevon Moehrig, JR, TCU

Moehrig is the top safety in this class. He could go anywhere from the late first round to early second round. I think he will be a great back-end player for a secondary and has a nose for being around the ball. He's not shy about playing the run like some are either. A lot can still happen, but this guy is a PLAYER.


Jacoby Stevens, SR, LSU

After losing a few players in the secondary, LSU asked Stevens to fill in the Grant Delpit role in 2020. He did pretty well filling in and showed professional attributes. He projects best to me as a strong safety because of his speed and slightly stockier build. Could also become a coverage linebacker down the line--a good fit for nickel and dime defenses.


Jevon Holland, JR, Oregon

Holland could also be the first safety off the board. He led Oregon in interceptions as a freshman in 2018 and again as a sophomore in 2019. Sat out the 2020 season due to COVID but had an overly productive college career. His nine career interceptions in two years ranked third among active FBS players entering 2020. Holland is a ball-hawk and will make a difference for some defense.


Christian Uphoff, SR, Illinois State

Uphoff was invited the Senior Bowl despite not having a fall season at Illinois State. He's a taller, long safety who will intrigue many teams. Some may have concerns about the level of competition, but don't be surprised if he comes off the board earlier than expected.


Talanoa Hufanga, JR, USC

Sure tackler for the back end of a defense and has good size and physicality. Only started 15 college games, so experience may be a concern to some. Not terribly fast and best suited as a strong safety. Can be good enough to carve out a role but never a high-end starter. Likely a Day 3 player.


Andre Cisco, JR, Syracuse

Three-year starter who a few have as the No. 1 safety. Finished his career with the most interceptions of active college players. His recovery from a season-ending injury will need to be cleared with teams. That will intrigue teams, but his floor is very low. May be better suited for a zone defense. The upside is there to warrant a Day 2 selection but it's a high risk, high reward situation.


Caden Sterns, JR, Texas

Sterns was a three-year starter and the most consistent performer in the Longhorns' secondary. Fell off during sophomore year but recovered enough to raise his stock as a junior. Needs to stay consistent in tackling and be more aware of receivers running past him. Should be a mid-round pick.


Tyree Gillespie, SR, Missouri

Mid-round prospect with plus physicality and athleticism. Instinctive but not overly quick. Can play deep if needed but better suited as a strong safety near the box. Program reputation may have hindered his exposure to fans. Day 2 guy who may last until Day 3.


Richard LeCounte, SR, Georgia

I've watched LeCounte for a couple years and was disappointed by the finish. He had always been a key playmaker on the back-end for the Bulldogs, coming up with timely plays and big hits despite his smaller size. He also has very good speed and ball skills. In his final year, when healthy, he didn't quite seem like the same player. He luckily avoid permanent injuries in an accident that caused him to miss the rest of the season, and teams will have to investigate the circumstances around that. I think the skill is still there, but LeCounte will have to show it is.


James Wiggins, SR, Cincinnati

A bit older than most prospects but an excellent player. All-AAC performer with prototypical safety traits. Tore his ACL in 2019 and recovered well enough to make an impact on one of the best defenses in the country. Athletic and strong with good instincts and ball skills. Great in run support. Really like him as a middle round prospect.


Paris Ford, R-JR, Pittsburgh

A lead tackler and interceptor at sefty for the Panthers over two seasons as a starter. Some concerns have arisen about his speed, and they may be valid. Regardless, Ford plays hard and physical and makes the big plays. He may get beat in coverage, but you're not drafting him to cover deep. May struggle to start his career but could get picked on Day 3 thanks to his ball-hawking ability.


Damar Hamlin, R-SR, Pittsburgh

Physical guy who was recruited as a corner and moved to safety. Shined with physicality and solid coverage skills. Constantly among team's top tacklers. Like Ford, not a deep cover guy and not that fastest at the position. Overruns plays occasionally and better suited for zone, where he can see the ball in front of him. Look for him on Day 3.


Joshuah Bledsoe, SR, Missouri

Good-sized safety who is physical and can cover. Those traits might make him a fit for a nickel or even "coverage linebacker." In that role, he needs to cover bigger receivers and tight ends or else he will get burned by faster, more fluid players. Rotational guy who should be taken in the later rounds and could carve out a niche role. Not a feature player.


Brady Breeze, R-SR, Oregon

Breeze broke out in 2019, earning several conference awards and the Rose Bowl Defensive MVP. Much more athletic and smooth on the field than he looks at first glance. Breeze has solid ball skills and can be a plus strong safety. Also can play nickel linebacker for coverage. High floor, low ceiling player who should only be expected to contribute on special teams at first.


Richie Grant, R-SR, Central Florida

Grant is one of the best secondary players in this draft. He flies around to the ball and is solid in coverage. Nothing ever really looks too difficult for him and he hits hard. Once thought of as a 3rd or 4th rounder, I can see him being taken in the 2nd or even sliding into the late first if someone likes him enough.


Divine Deablo, R-SR, Virginia Tech

Deablo is a big guy for a safety. He could play the strong safety position he played in college or possibly slide into a coverage linebacker role. Whoever takes him will get a physical player with some upside in the late rounds.


Hamsah Nasirildeen, SR, Florida State

Nasirildeen is the epitome of size at the safety position. He's built much more like a linebacker at 6'4" 220 and may be used in that role as a pro. Only played in two games in 2020 but had 13 tackles. Great fit for teams who struggle to make tackles at first point of contact. Will need to show that injuries are behind him and he is the same athletic player. Nasirildeen has extremely high upside and may last until Day 3.


Jamar Johnson, JR, Indiana

Johnson is a later riser. it was easy to see his impact on the back end of the Indiana defense during 2020. He seemed to always be around the ball and not miss many tackles. He was also the first Hoosier DB to earn back-to-back first team All-Big Ten selections since the mid-1990s. Johnson can be used many different ways and will be selected rather early. He compares favorably with recent, underrated mid-round players at his position.


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