4 Down Territory Draft Guide: Free Safeties

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Free Safeties

1. Calvin Pryor                        5’11” 207 Louisville

2. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix              6’1″ 208 Alabama

3. Terrence Brooks                 5’11” 198 Florida State

4. Marqueston Huff               5’11” 196 Wyoming

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5. Brock Vereen                   6’0″ 199 Minnesota

6. Ed Reynolds                     6’1″ 207 Stanford

7. Daniel Sorensen             6’1″ 205 BYU

8. Kenny Ladler                  6’0″ 207 Vanderbilt

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9. Alden Darby                   5’10” 192 Arizona State

10. Dezmen Southward     6’0″ 211 Wisconsin

11. Hakeem Smith              6’0″ 186 Louisville

12. Daytawion Lowe          5’11” 196 Oklahoma State

 

Best in Class- Calvin Pryor

Pryor is good in both coverage and run support.  He reacts to the ball in the air well, and while he isn’t an elite man defender, he uses his body well to break up passes.  He doesn’t have elite speed, but he does have above average closing speed.  The strength of Pryor’s game though is that he is an extremely hard hitter.  His playing style would actually be well suited to joining the “Legion of Boom”, but I doubt he will last long enough for the Seahawks to draft him and they don’t exactly need him with Earl Thomas.  Some film analysts have criticized this, saying that his propensity for the big hit will make him susceptible to targeting penalties in the NFL.  Those people either don’t understand helmet-to-helmet rules or haven’t watched his film closely enough, because he is excellent at leading with the shoulder rather than the head and will be able to deliver big hits at the next level without drawing too many penalties.  He will be a playmaker at the next level, with the reaction time to intercept passes and the big hit ability to force fumbles.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

Probably the only other free safety to hear his name called on Day 1 of the draft, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is probably the most versatile safety in the class.  He doesn’t excel at any particular facet of the game, but he is good-to-very good at everything.  He won’t blow you away with his strength or speed, but he is a smart player, has good instincts, and a knack for being around the ball.

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Marqueston Huff

Huff could potentially be a value pick on Day 2 of the draft.  The Wyoming product played a fair amount of corner, as well as safety.  Due to this, he is better in coverage, particularly in man, than most safeties.  He is probably the best pure coverage safety in the draft.  He also displays good speed and leaping ability, allowing him to compete for jump balls with bigger receivers and run down ball carriers in the open field.  The only question mark in Huff’s game is his open-field tackling and help in run support.  If he can pack on some muscle, he could be a very valuable asset for an NFL team.

Daniel Sorensen

Daniel Sorensen will probably hear his name called on Day 3 of the draft, and could potentially be a steal.  He isn’t as straight-line fast as some of the other corners, but he might be the most agile safety in the class, as evidenced by his finishing tops of all safeties in the 3-cone drill, 20-yard shuttle, and 60-yard shuttle at the Combine.  His quickness gives him better range than most, and allows him to break up very quickly to help in run support.  He will need to improve his open-field tackling to be a big impact at the next level, however. 

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Kenny Ladler

Ladler is also a potential Day 3 value-pick, although his playing style could not be more different than Daniel Sorensen.  Kenny is not gifted with exceptional speed or quickness, but he is stronger than most safeties and a very sure tackler.  His lack of speed and quickness make him susceptible to juke moves, and being exposed when he misreads plays.  Expect him to start out his first few years in the NFL as a specialist on punt and kick coverage, but if he can improve his agility he has the potential to be a starting safety in the NFL.

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