2018 NFL Draft Prospects: Safeties



By Charlie Campbell.
Send Charlie an e-mail here: draftcampbell@gmail.com
Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell for updates.

The top 2018 Safety prospects available for the 2018 NFL Draft. * - denotes 2019 prospect. ** - denotes 2020 prospect.

This page was last updated Nov. 11, 2017. Follow Walter @walterfootball for updates.
2017 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2018 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2019 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P


  1. Derwin James*, S, Florida State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 211.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
    Projected Round (2018): Top-20.

    11/11/17: In 2017, James has 53 tackles with nine passes batted and an interception. James has been able to display good instincts and rare combination of size, speed, physicality and versatility. He has played all over the field and made his presence felt on a weekly basis. Missed tackles have been an issue in 2017, but James is still a rare talent. James is more natural and best as a strong safety, but he has the ability to cover and could use some development there for the NFL.

    While James didn't have a flawless performance against Alabama, it was good overall with six tackles and .5 sacks. Except for a missed tackle on a 70-yard touchdown run, James played well against N.C. State. He has been dynamic on special teams, including having a kick return for a touchdown called back. Against Syracuse, James snatched his second career interception and could have had three more including some drops.

    Prior to the season, scouting sources said that they had James as an overall top-three talent for the 2018 NFL Draft - regardless of position. Sources from around the league feel that James is a stud defender who has transcendent ability for what he can do for a defense.

    7/24/17: Entering the 2016 season, there was hype that James was an elite player and perhaps the best defensive player in college football. James totaled 11 tackles through two games in 2016 before suffering a season-ending knee injury. As a freshman in 2015, James had a strong debut with 91 tackles, 9.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, four passes broken up, two forced fumbles and zero interceptions. He has a great athletic skill set.






  2. Minkah Fitzpatrick*, S, Alabama
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 203.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
    Projected Round (2018): Top-20.

    11/11/17: Fitzpatrick has 38 tackles, one interception, four passes broken up and a forced fumble in 2017. He has played well, covering receivers downfield, staying around the ball, and helping out his cornerbacks. Fitzpatrick notched five tackles in the season opener.

    Versus Texas A&M, Fitzpatrick was all over the field with a lot of clutch tackles, cleaning up plays for his defense, and making a critical fourth-quarter interception near the end zone. He also recovered the onside kick attempt to secure the win for Alabama. In Week 1, he was beaten for a jump ball in the end zone by Florida State wide receiver Auden Tate. The 6-foot-5 wideout jumped above Fitzpatrick to make the short touchdown catch in the corner of the end zone.

    7/24/17: In 2016, Fitzpatrick recorded 66 tackles with seven passes broken up and six interceptions. He was dominant at times for Alabama, splitting time between corner and safety. Fitzpatrick had a superb 2015 season for the Crimson Tide. The freshman totaled 45 tackles with two sacks, 11 passes broken up and two interceptions - both returned for a touchdowns.

    The 6-foot-1, 203-pounder has excellent size and some natural cover skills. He has a ton of upside to develop. It sounds as if his preference and natural position is safety.


  3. Justin Reid*, S, Stanford
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 204.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
    Projected Round (2018): 1-2.

    11/11/17: Reid has played really well in 2017 and has impressed NFL scouts. Sources who are tough graders said they think Reid has first-round potential for the 2018 NFL Draft. They say that Reid doesn't have Earl Thomas-like range as a free safety or Kam Chancellor-like size as a strong safety, but he does everything well. Reid is a good free or strong safety with the ability to run and tackle. They say that he is a polished, clean, good all-around safety similar to HaHa Clinton-Dix coming out of Alabama.

    In 2017, Reid has 61 tackles with three passes broken up and five interceptions. He had 57 tackles with seven breakups as a sophomore. Reid is the younger brother of 49ers safety Eric Reid, a first-round pick out of LSU in 2013.


  4. Ronnie Harrison*, S, Alabama
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 216.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.59.
    Projected Round (2018): 1-2.

    11/11/17: In 2017, Harrison has 50 tackles with three sacks, three interceptions and two passes batted. He has played really well this year as an enforcer in the middle of the field. Harrison is a tough run defender who has the athletic skills to cover, but he has issues covering receivers in man coverage. Team sources have said an example of that is Clemson's Hunter Renfrow really abusing Harrison in the past, and that is why Minkah Fitzpatrick is the coverage safety for the Crimson Tide. Playing zone in the middle of the field is a better fit for Harrison. Because of some coverage limitations, Harrison is a strong safety type for the NFL.

    7/24/17: Harrison had a strong 2016 season for Alabama with 86 tackles, seven passes broken up and two interceptions. He notched two interceptions and six breakups as a freshman in 2015. As a junior, Harrison could take his game to another level. Scouting sources say that Harrison's physical talent is incredible.




  5. Terrell Edmunds*, S, Virginia Tech
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 220.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
    Projected Round (2018): 2-3.

    11/11/17: Edmunds hasn't gotten as much attention as his brother Tremaine Edmunds, but NFL sources have told WalterFootball.com that Terrell Edmunds has really impressed them as well. Edmunds has good size to be an NFL safety and has shown coverage skills the past few seasons. Edmunds has played well in 2017 with 56 tackles, two interceptions and three passes broken up. As a sophomore, he totaled 89 tackles, four interceptions and three passes broken up. Sources say they see Terrell Edmunds grading out as a second-day prospect for the 2018 NFL Draft.


  6. DeShon Elliott*, S, Texas
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 210.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
    Projected Round (2018): 2-3.

    11/11/17: Elliott is enjoying a breakout junior season as one of the nation's leaders in interceptions this season with six. He also has 45 tackles and three passes broken up.

    Elliott has NFL size with good instincts. He fits as a free safety for the pro game, and sources have told me that they've given him a second-day grade. They say that Elliott lacks elite athletic ability and speed to be a first-round pick, but he makes plays in coverage and is a willing participant against the run. It will be hard for Elliott to duplicate this production if he returns for his senior year, so it probably is in his interest to enter the 2018 NFL Draft after this season.


  7. Jordan Whitehead*, S, Pittsburgh
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 190.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.45.
    Projected Round (2018): 2-3.

    11/11/17: Whitehead had a three-game suspension to start the 2017 season. That suspension really hurt his team in Week 2 as the Panthers really missed him against Penn State. For his year, Whitehead has 38 tackles with three passes broken up and one interception. Pittsburgh has also used Whitehead on offense as a running back, and he has 147 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries this year.

    7/24/17: Whitehead is a physical safety who has good instincts. He broke out as a freshman with 108 tackles, six passes broken up, one interception and one forced fumble. In 2016, Whitehead had 65 tackles with two breakups and an interception while missing multiple games with an arm injury. Scouting sources like Whitehead, and if he were bigger, he might be a sure-fire first-rounder.




  8. Armani Watts, S, Texas A&M
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 195.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
    Projected Round (2018): 3-5.

    11/11/17: Watts has 71 tackles with four passes broken up, four interceptions and one forced fumble thus far in 2017. One of his picks was in overtime to beat Arkansas. Watts is an instinctive defender who around the ball and covers a lot of ground even though he lacks speed. He makes a lot of clutch plays.

    Watts has problems in man coverage, and that was exposed by UCLA tight end Caleb Wilson. In the open field, offensive players can run away from Watts, and sources say that lack of foot speed can be seen him timing slow in the 40.

    Sources say that Watts has good reaction on plays underneath, struggles in man coverage on tight ends, gets caught flat footed and jumps any initial moves. They feel that he is smaller, lacks speed, and misses too many tackles. Those sources graded him in the fourth round.

    7/24/17: Watts made a lot of clutch plays for the Aggies in 2016. He had 56 tackles with six for a loss, two forced fumbles, three passes broken up and two interceptions on the year. Watts totaled 126 tackles with two passes broken up and one interception in 2015. Like teammate Myles Garrett, Watts was an impressive freshman who was impossible to ignore in 2014. He totaled 59 tackles with nine passes broken up and three interceptions that season.

    Watts has displayed some instincts and play-making skills with free safety potential for the NFL with his ability to contribute in pass coverage. He could stand to improve his tackling, but has flashed the ability to make tackles in space.


  9. Marcus Allen, S, Penn State
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 205.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.63.
    Projected Round (2018): 3-5.

    11/11/17: So far in 2017, Allen has 56 tackles with three passes broken up, two forced fumbles and an interception.

    7/24/17: Allen was a really good run defender for Penn State in 2016 as he totaled 110 tackles with six for a loss and three passes broken up. He did have zero interceptions and will need to change that as a senior or a lack of ball skills will be part of his draft report. Allen had 81 tackles as a sophomore and 58 tackles as a freshman. He didn't snag any interceptions in either of those seasons.


  10. Damon Webb, S, Ohio State
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 195.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
    Projected Round (2018): 3-5.

    11/11/17: Webb has 44 tackles with two interceptions and a pass broken up thus far this year.

    7/24/17: Webb broke into the starting lineup for Ohio State in 2016 and had a solid season as the strong safety next to Malik Hooker. Webb totaled 57 tackles with three passes broken up and one interception on the season. It will be interesting to see if Webb can show the versatility to play free safety with Hooker in the NFL.


  11. Jamar Summers*, S/CB, Connecticut
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 190.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.56.
    Projected Round (2017): 3-5.

    11/11/17: Summers has 47 tackles with five passes broken up, one interception and a forced fumble on the season.

    9/1/17: During 2016, Summers totaled 59 tackles with nine passes broken up and two interceptions while splitting time between cornerback and safety. Summers had a big 2015 season for Connecticut with eight interceptions, three passes broken up and 39 tackles. Given his position flexibility, Summers may end up being a coverage free safety in the NFL who also can play some man coverage on receivers.




  12. Van Smith, S, Clemson
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 195.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
    Projected Round (2018): 3-5.

    11/11/17: In 2017, Smith has 30 tackles. He injured his knee in the season opener against Kent State, and that caused him to miss some time.

    7/24/17: Smith was the best safety for Clemson in 2016 as the program had to replace both of its starting safeties from the 2015 season. He totaled 96 tackles with 5.5 for a loss, two passes broken up and two interceptions. Smith could be even better in 2017 now that he has a year of experience.


  13. Cole Reyes, S, North Dakota
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 215.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.54.
    Projected Round (2017): 3-5.

    11/11/17: Reyes had 25 tackles across his four games this season.

    7/24/17: Scouting sources say that Reyes is on their watch lists for the 2018 NFL Draft. He is said to have received a 5.7 grade from National, and that translates to an estimation of a high fourth-round grade heading into his senior year. 2016 was a productive season for Reyes and the Fighting Hawks. He totaled three interceptions, two forced fumbles, eight passes broken up, 1.5 sacks, 6.5 tackles for a loss and 70 tackles on the year. Reyes is said to have a starter's combination of size and speed for a NFL safety.


  14. Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 210.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.56.
    Projected Round (2018): 3-5.

    11/11/17: Last week in speaking with multiple area scouts who cover the Southeast, Abram received a lot of praise for helping himself this season. Abram has been a physical defender and around the ball consistently for the Bulldogs. Abram would help himself by making more plays on the ball down the stretch of this season, but he has really helped put his draft stock on the map this fall. He has 37 tackles with two passes broken up on the season.


  15. Jarrod Franklin, S, Tulane
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 205.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.57.
    Projected Round (2018): 4-6.

    11/11/17: Another player who I've heard about from team scouts is Franklin. The senior has 56 tackles with five passes broken up and an interception so far this season. In 2016, he recorded 78 tackles with a pass broken up, an interception and a sack. The 6-foot, 205-pounder will need to impress at the Senior Bowl or East-West Shrine, but scouts see him as draftable and think he is a player on the rise.




  16. Siran Neal, S, Jacksonville State
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 205.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.57.
    Projected Round (2018): 4-6.

    11/11/17: Neal is a small-school prospect who scouts have said has impressed them this fall. The senior is a a quality run defender with 31 tackles and some coverage skills with eight passes broken up and an interception this season. As a junior, he had 80 tackles with 11.5 tackles for a loss, .5 sacks, four passes batted, one forced fumble and an interception.

    Jacksonville State has Neal playing corner this year, but for the NFL, he projects to safety as he is kind of tight, though he is a physical and aggressive defender. They think he could be at least a good backup and special teams contributor. Neal could further improve his draft stock by excelling at an all-star game in January.


  17. Dominick Sanders, S, Georgia
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 189.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
    Projected Round (2018): 4-6.

    11/11/17: Sanders has 19 tackles with three passes broken up and three interceptions in 2017. Sources say that Sanders has improved his tackling this year, but it still is an issue for the NFL. They like his instincts and cover skills though. Some teams are grading him late, though they wouldn't be surprised if a team takes him earlier.

    7/24/17: In 2016, Sanders totaled 34 tackles, seven passes broken up and three interceptions. Sanders had a huge 2015 season in pass coverage. On the year, the sophomore had six interceptions with six passes broken up. He also chipped in 48 tackles. Sanders showed his ball skills as a freshman with three picks and five passes broken up.

    Sanders flashes but lacks consistency. Getting stronger and improving his tackling production could help him as a senior.


  18. Godwin Igwebuike, S, Northwestern
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 200.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.59.
    Projected Round (2018): 4-6.

    11/11/17: Thus far in 2017, Igwebuike has 59 tackles with seven passes broken up, one forced fumble and two interceptions.

    7/24/17: In 2016, Igwebuike totaled 108 tackles with seven passes broken up and two interceptions. Igwebuike was a good contributor in 2015 for a tough Northwestern defense. On the year, he totaled 87 tackles with five breakups. Igwebuike had three interceptions and 51 tackles as a freshman.


  19. Quin Blanding, S, Virginia
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 215.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.62.
    Projected Round (2018): 4-6.

    11/11/17: Blanding has 86 tackles with an interception and three passes broken up this season. He is a good run defender, but he faces some limitations in pass coverage for the NFL.

    7/24/17: Blanding had 120 tackles with six passes broken up and two interceptions in 2016. In 2015, he recorded 115 tackles with an interception and three passes batted. Blanding had the most tackles of any freshman in college football in 2014 with 123 stops. He also notched three interceptions and six passes defensed.

    For the NFL, Blanding is more of a strong safety type. He has issues with taking some poor angles and pass-coverage limitations.


  20. Trey Marshall, S, Florida State
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 210.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
    Projected Round (2018): 4-6.

    11/11/17: Marshall has 34 tackles with one for a loss on the year.

    7/24/17: In 2016, Marshall totaled 58 tackles with four passes broken up and zero interceptions. He had 21 tackle as a sophomore and 12 as a freshman backup. Marshall has the skill set to produce more.


  21. Steven Parker, S, Oklahoma
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 201.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.63.
    Projected Round (2018): 5-7.

    11/11/17: In 2017, Parker has 44 tackles with four passes broken up.

    7/24/17: In 2016, Parker totaled 63 tackles with two interceptions and four passes broken up. He recorded 60 tackles with four passes broken up in 2015 after contributing 31 tackles with six breakups as a freshman.


  22. Nick Washington, S, Florida
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 197.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
    Projected Round (2018): 5-7.

    11/11/17: Washington has 29 tackles thus far in 2017.

    7/24/17: Washington replaced Keanu Neal for the Gators in 2016 and was a solid defender for Florida. He notched 45 tackles with one interception and a pass broken up. The Gators will need him to improve as a senior with Marcus Maye having moved on to the NFL.


  23. Tyree Robinson, S, Oregon
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 205.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.64.
    Projected Round (2018): 5-7.

    11/11/17: On the season, Robinson has 34 tackles with three passes broken up and an interception.

    7/24/17: Robinson recorded 53 tackles, one interception and six passes broken up in 2016. In 2015, he notched 64 tackles with three interceptions and five passes broken up. Robinson has good length to him.


  24. Jaleel Wadood*, S, UCLA
    Height: 5-10. Weight: 175.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
    Projected Round (2017): 5-7.

    11/11/17: Wadood has 62 tackles with three passes broken up and two forced fumbles thus far in 2017.

    7/24/17: Wadood totaled 77 tackles with four passes broken up in 2016. He had an impressive 2015 season for UCLA with 72 tackles, four breakups and two interceptions. Wadood needs to add more size to his frame for tackling in the NFL.


  25. Drue Tranquill, S, Notre Dame
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 225.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
    Projected Round (2018): 5-7.

    11/11/17: So far this year, Tranquill has 54 tackles with an interception, forced fumble and two passes broken up.

    7/24/17: Notre Dame's defense had a horrible 2016 season, but Tranquill held his own as he totaled 80 tackles with two passes broken up and an interception. He has the skill skill set and upside to produce more in 2017.


  26. Ed Paris, S, LSU
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 210.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.54.
    Projected Round (2018): 7-FA.

    11/11/17: On the year, Paris has eight tackles and four passes broken up.

    7/24/17: Paris has been a backup and rotational defender who should take on a bigger role with Jamal Adams and Tre'Davious White moving on to the NFL. Paris could rise as a senior. Paris has 17 tackles in his career and also is a contributor on special teams.


  27. Donnie Miles, S, North Carolina
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 210.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.62.
    Projected Round (2018): 7-FA.

    11/11/17: Miles has 37 tackles and an interception so far in 2017. Sources say he is a limited player and have given him a free agent grade.

    7/24/17: Miles notched 102 tackles and two passes broken up on the season in 2016. He put together a huge 2015 season for the Tar Heels in terms of run defense and was one of their best players. Miles totaled 128 tackles on the season, but had zero interceptions and two passes broken up. He notched one breakup, zero picks and 53 tackles as a freshman.


  28. Evan Berry, S, Tennessee
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 207.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.62.
    Projected Round (2018): FA.

    11/11/17: Berry only had four kick returns for 143 yards this season before going down with a season-ending injury.

    7/24/17: Berry notched just 12 tackles in 2016, but performed really well on kick returns. He averaged 32.9 yards per kick return with one touchdown. Unless he has a breakout year as a safety, for the NFL, he looks like just a return specialist. Berry was a phenomenal kick returner in 2015 for Tennessee with three touchdowns and a ridiculous average of 38.3 yards per kick return. As a freshman and sophomore, he combined for 23 tackles on defense.


2017 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2018 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2019 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P




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