1. Landon Collins (Alabama)- He’s a well-built athlete with very light feet and shows the fluidity in his hips to turn and change direction quickly. Collins is more of the type to stay in the box and is a very reliable tackler in the open field. He always attempts to rip the football out of the hands of the guy he’s bringing down to the ground. He’s slowly improving in pass coverage because there were many times when he was attacked in the opposing teams passing game. He moves very well in space and shows cornerback like skills in his footwork. He’s at his best when it comes to stopping the run and being placed in the box and when he reads and reacts. He has the speed to attack downhill and get to where he wants.
2. Ibraheim Campbell (Northwestern)- He could be the most physical guy on this list. He attacks the line of scrimmage, shows quickness to the football and succeeds when it comes to tackling in the open field. He displays excellent hand-eye coordination and timing on each play. Campbell plays with a lot of passion which is a huge plus. He’s known for forcing fumbles and lowering his shoulder to spark a collision. He can improve in pass coverage. He may not be the biggest or fastest player on the field, but he’s the smartest guy and can see what’s going to happen before the play starts.
3. Jaquiski Tartt (Samford)- He can attack the line of scrimmage well in run defense and can defend the middle when receivers run crossing routes. He’s a very aggressive defender that prides himself on making a big hit. He likes to lower that shoulder into ball-carriers which often results in some explosive collisions. He shows good athleticism and body control while on the field. He can adjust himself in space to make a play on the ball when necessary. He has an NFL frame for the position.
4. James Sample (Louisville)- He looks to follow another good safety from Louisville into the league in Calvin Pryor. at 6’2, he uses his length to his advantage along with his strength to power through blockers at the line of scrimmage and bring down the ball-carrier. He can make plays on the football in pass coverage and brings somewhat of a linebackers mentality to the position because he’s able to play sideline to sideline and covers ground in the secondary.
5. Clayton Geathers (UCF)- When you look and breakdown his game, he’s at his best when it comes to stopping the run and being a force in the box than he is in pass coverage. He’s a very productive and durable player with the frame to play at the next level, good speed and a big time hitter. He shows good vision and knows where to be to make a play. He must improve his skills in pass defense.