2023 NFL Draft Prospects: Safety



The top 2023 Safety prospects available for the 2023 NFL Draft. * - denotes 2023 prospect. ** - denotes 2026 prospect.

This page was last updated Sept. 17, 2022. Follow Walter @walterfootball for updates.

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2022 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

2023 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

2024 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

Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame
  • '21 - Trevon Moehrig, TCU
  • '20 - Xavier McKinney, Alabama
1. Texas A&M image Antonio Johnson, S/CB, Texas A&M
Height: 6-3. Weight: 200.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2023): 1-2.
View Ranking History

9/17/22: Johnson recorded four tackles and a sack taking versus Sam Houston State and then had 13 tackles taking on Appalachian State. Johnson has 17 tackles and a sack so far in 2022.

6/30/22: Johnson is a massive corner who broke out for the Aggies in 2021. The sophomore recorded 79 tackles, an interception and five passes defended on the year. Johnson has phenomenal length and size to match up against NFL receivers. If he does well against speed receivers in the SEC, he could be a high riser for the 2023 NFL Draft. Some evaluators are concerned Johnson could be too tall and leggy to run with pro receivers, so they will be watching closely how he does against top receivers during the 2022 season.





Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Lewis Cine, Georgia
  • '21 - Jevon Holland, Oregon
  • '20 - Kyle Dugger, Lenoir-Rhyne
2. Florida image Trey Dean III, S, Florida
Height: 6-3. Weight: 206.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2023): 1-3.
View Ranking History

9/17/22: On the year, Dean has 21 tackles and one pass broken up. He has played well for Florida and has cleaned up breakdowns downfield.

7/1/22: Dean has been a steady contributor for the Gators over the past four seasons. He had modest tackle totals in 2018 (26), 2019 (26), and 2020 (34) before breaking out in 2021 with 88 tackles, an interception and eight passes defended. Dean forms a nice tandem with Rashad Torrence, but Dean needs to produce more splash plays to rise as a senior.



Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Daxton Hill, Michigan
  • '21 - Andre Cisco, Syracuse
  • '20 - Jeremy Chinn, Southern Illinois
3. Ohio State image Josh Proctor, S, Ohio State
Height: 6-1. Weight: 194.
Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
Projected Round (2023): 1-3.
View Ranking History

9/17/22: Proctor has three tackles thus far this year.

7/1/22: Proctor was solid for the Buckeyes in the first two games, but in Week 2, he fractured his leg and went out for the year. Proctor has the potential to rise in 2022 because of a good skill set. It has taken a while for him to earn playing time given the Buckeyes' roomful of future NFL defensive backs. Proctor flashed during the 2020 season and could be a riser leading up to the 2023 NFL Draft.



Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Jaquan Brisker, Penn State
  • '21 - Richie Grant, Central Florida
  • '20 - Grant Delpit, LSU
4. Florida image Rashad Torrence II*, S, Florida
Height: 6-0. Weight: 205.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2023): 1-3.
View Ranking History

9/17/22: Torrence has seven tackles so far this season. While he hasn't played poorly, he hasn't been as impactful as he was in 2021.

7/1/22: Florida fired Dan Mullen in large part because the Gators had not recruited good talent, as evidenced by their pathetic defense in 2021. The one exception was Torrence. He was very impressive, doing a good job in coverage, putting up quality run defense, and showing solid instincts. Torrence notched 87 tackles, three interceptions and two passes defended in 2021. He is a versatile safety who has upside.





Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Nick Cross, Maryland
  • '21 - Joshuah Bledsoe, Missouri
  • '20 - Antoine Winfield Jr., Minnesota
5. Alabama image Malachi Moore, S/CB, Alabama
Height: 6-0. Weight: 190.
Projected 40 Time: 4.45.
Projected Round (2023): 1-3.
View Ranking History

9/17/22: So far this season, Moore has four tackles and a pass broken up.

7/1/22: Moore is a versatile defensive back who plays the STAR position that was previously manned by the likes of Minkah Fitzpatrick and Xavier McKinney. Moore has quality size to go with speed and instincts.

Moore had a phenomenal freshman season in 2020, totaling 44 tackles, one forced fumble, three interceptions and six passes broken up. Moore had 16 tackles and an interception in 2021. He missed the final four games with an injury.



Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Jalen Pitre, Baylor
  • '21 - Talanoa Hufanga, USC
  • '20 - Ashtyn Davis, California
6. Notre Dame image Brandon Joseph*, S, Notre Dame
Height: 6-1. Weight: 192.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2023): 1-3.
View Ranking History

9/17/22: Joseph has 12 tackles thus far this season.

6/30/22: Joseph was one of 2020's breakout stars, putting together a dominant season for Northwestern. He was a ballhawk who helped the Wildcats to get to the Big Ten Championship and produced a lot of splash plays with six interceptions, two passes broken up and 52 tackles. In 2021, he collected 79 tackles, four passes defended and three interceptions. Joseph has good size, instincts, quickness and athleticism.



Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Bryan Cook, Cincinnati
  • '21 - Ifeatu Melifonwu, Syracuse
  • '20 - J.R. Reed, Georgia
7. Florida State image Jammie Robinson, S, Florida State
Height: 5-11. Weight: 193.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
Projected Round (2023): 1-3.
View Ranking History

9/17/22: So far in 2022, Robinson has two passes broken up and eight tackle.

7/1/22: Robinson has been a steady contributor and run defender over the past three seasons. He recorded 62 tackles in 2019 and followed that up with 74 of them in 2020. In each of those seasons, he notched an interception and four passes defended. Robinson put together his best season in 2021 with 84 tackles four interceptions, two forced fumbles and three passes defended. Robinson is short and light, so he could stand to add some weight for the NFL.



Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Kerby Joseph, Illinois
  • '21 - Damar Hamlin, Pittsburgh
  • '20 - Darnay Holmes, UCLA
8. Florida State image Akeem Dent*, S, Florida State
Height: 6-1. Weight: 203.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
Projected Round (2023): 2-3.
View Ranking History

9/17/22: Dent has seven tackles and two passes broken up so far this year.

7/1/22: Dent (6-1, 203) really came on in the back half of the 2021 season, showing improved tackling to go with solid pass-coverage skills. In 2021, he collected 44 tackles, an interception and four passes defended. He recorded 35 tackles and seven breakups in 2019. For the Seminoles, he's played both cornerback and safety, but the latter looks like his best position for the next level.



Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Yusuf Corker, Kentucky
  • '21 - Caden Sterns, Texas
  • '20 - Terrell Burgess, Utah
9. LSU image Jay Ward, S, LSU
Height: 6-1. Weight: 180.
Projected 40 Time: 4.45.
Projected Round (2023): 3-4.
View Ranking History

9/17/22: This year, Ward has made eight tackles.

7/1/22: Ward flashed in 2020, showing some ball skills at cornerback. He recorded 29 tackles, three passes interceptions and nine broken up on the year, which was his first season of serious playing time. In 2021, Ward moved to free safety, and playing in coverage on the back end was a better fit for him. On the year, he collected 69 tackles, two interceptions, four passes defended and one forced fumble. Ward has potential and also needs to fill out his frame for the NFL.





Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Verone McKinley III, Oregon
  • '21 - Hamsah Nasirildeen, Florida State
  • '20 - Antoine Brooks, Maryland
10. Alabama image Jordan Battle, S, Alabama
Height: 6-1. Weight: 210.
Projected 40 Time: 4.54.
Projected Round (2023): 3-5.
View Ranking History

9/17/22: Battle has recorded eight tackles thus far in 2022.

7/1/22: Battle notched 85 tackles, three interceptions and three passes broken up in 2021. He played solid football for Alabama, but he was not overly impressive. Battle is more of a strong safety type for the NFL. He was a tough defender for Alabama in 2020, totaling 58 tackles, an interception and four passes defended. Over the course of the season, Battle illustrated that he has a good skill set and upside to improve as he gains experience.



Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Nick Grant, Virginia
  • '21 - Paris Ford, Pittsburgh
  • '20 - Khaleke Hudson, Michigan
11. Houston image Gervarrius Owens, S, Houston
Height: 6-0. Weight: 208.
Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
Projected Round (2023): 4-6.
View Ranking History

9/17/22: Owens has 13 tackles, an interception and two passes defended so far in 2022.

7/1/22: Owens was a quality defender for the Cougars as a junior, recording 52 tackle, two interceptions and three passes defended. He had 28 tackles and 54 stops in the previous two seasons, respectively. Owens needs to improve his ball production and splash plays to rise as a senior.



Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Joey Blount, Virginia
  • '21 - Ar'Darius Washington, TCU
  • '20 - Jordan Fuller, Ohio State
12. Ohio State image Ronnie Hickman*, S, Ohio State
Height: 6-1. Weight: 205.
Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
Projected Round (2023): 4-6.
View Ranking History

9/17/22: On the year, Hickman has seven tackles.

7/1/22: Hickman assembled a respectable season for the Buckeyes in 2021, recording 99 tackles, a sack, forced fumble, two passes defended and two interceptions. It was his first season as a starter, so Hickman could rise if he builds off that and shows more coverage ability.



Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Daniel Wright, Alabama
  • '21 - Richard LeCounte, Georgia
  • '20 - Jalen Elliott, Notre Dame
13. Virginia Tech image Chamarri Conner, S, Virginia Tech
Height: 6-0. Weight: 211.
Projected 40 Time: 4.56.
Projected Round (2023): 4-6.
View Ranking History

9/17/22: Conner has 12 tackles thus far this season.

7/1/22: Conner has been a quality run defender for the Hokies over the past two seasons, recording 85 tackles in 2021 after notching 81 stops in 2020. His junior year in 2021 was his best season, as he also had two sacks, two forced fumbles, an interception and five passes batted. Conner is a strong safety type who needs to show more coverage skills in 2022.



Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Isaiah Pola-Moa, USC
  • '21 - Divine Deablo, Virginia Tech
  • '20 - Reggie Floyd, Virginia Tech
14. Alabama image Demarco Hellams, S, Alabama
Height: 6-1. Weight: 208.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
Projected Round (2023): 4-6.
View Ranking History

9/17/22: Hellams has 12 tackles and two passes defended at this point in 2022.

7/1/22: Hellams first saw the field in 2020, recording 62 tackles and three passes broken up. He produced more in 2021, totaling 87 tackles, three interceptions and three passes defended. Hellams needs to show improvement in pass coverage to rise as a senior.





Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Brad Hawkins, Michigan
  • '21 - Shawn Davis, Florida
  • '20 - Julian Blackmon, Utah
15. Minnesota image Jordan Howden, S, Minnesota
Height: 6-0. Weight: 210.
Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
Projected Round (2023): 4-6.
View Ranking History

9/17/22: Howden has six tackles and an interception at this point in 2022.

7/1/22: Howden has not had big production in college, but has played well enough to get onto NFL teams' preseason watchlist. In 2021, Howden notched 43 tackles and five passes batted. His best season came in 2019 when he recorded 57 stops, an interception and six passes defended.



Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Kenderick Duncan, Louisville
  • '21 - Marcus Murphy, Mississippi State
  • '20 - K'Von Wallace, Clemson
16. Iowa image Kaevon Merriweather, S, Iowa
Height: 6-0. Weight: 211.
Projected 40 Time: 4.56.
Projected Round (2023): 5-7.
View Ranking History

9/17/22: Merriweather has nine tackles and a forced fumble on the year.

7/1/22: Merriweather collected 42 tackle, an interception and four passes batted in 2021. He has quality size to him, but needs to show more pass-coverage skills as a senior.



Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Percy Butler, La.-Lafayette
  • '21 - Darrick Forrest, Cincinnati
  • '20 - Kamren Curl, Arkansas
17. Minnesota image Tyler Nubin, S, Minnesota
Height: 6-2. Weight: 210.
Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
Projected Round (2023): 5-7.
View Ranking History

9/17/22: Nubin has two tackles thus far this season.

7/1/22: In 2021, Nubin was a decent defender for the Gophers, recording 49 tackles, three interceptions and two passes defended. For the NFL, Nubin would have to fit as a backup strong safety and special teams contributor to start out his career. Then he may be able to grow beyond that role.



Previous Seasons

  • '22 - J.T. Woods, Baylor
  • '21 - Tariq Thompson, San Diego State
  • '20 - Brandon Jones, Texas
18. San Diego State image Patrick McMorris, S, San Diego State
Height: 6-0. Weight: 210.
Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
Projected Round (2023): 6-FA.
View Ranking History

9/17/22: Thus far in 2022, McMorris has 16 tackles and a pass broken up.

7/1/22: McMorris was a really good defender for the Aztecs in 2021, recording 90 tackles, four interceptions and nine passes broken up. McMorris could rise as a senior, and he would be rated higher if it weren't for some limitations.



Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Leon O'Neal Jr., Texas A&M
  • '21 - Christian Uphoff, Illinois State
  • '20 - Geno Stone, Iowa
19. LSU image Mekhi Garner, S, LSU
Height: 6-2. Weight: 212.
Projected 40 Time: 4.59.
Projected Round (2023): 7-FA.
View Ranking History

9/17/22: Garner has seven tackles and two passes broken up so far in 2022.

7/1/22: Garner is a transfer from La.-Lafayette who also logged some time at cornerback. In 2021, he had 31 tackles and eight passes defended. Garner made it onto NFL teams' preseason watchlist as a safety.





2022 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

2023 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

2024 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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