Here are the top 10 safety prospects for the NFL draft (with their draft-round projections):
1. Xavier McKinney, Alabama, 6-foot and 201 pounds (first round): He was named second-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association, Sporting News and Walter Camp. He selected as a third-team All-American at safety by the Associated Press and Pro Football Focus. He finished last season 10th in the SEC in tackles, with 95 over 13 games.
» MORE: Roswell's Xavier McKinney has range
2. Antoine Winfield Jr., Minnesota, 5-9, 203 (first round): He is the son of former NFL cornerback Antoine Winfield, a first-round pick in 1998, who went on to play 14 seasons in the NFL and make three Pro Bowls. Son is a chip off the old block. He was the boundary safety in Minnesota's man-to-man defensive scheme.
3. Grant Delpit, LSU, 6-3, 213 (first round): This season he became the third player in LSU history to win the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back. He joined NFL first-round draft picks Patrick Peterson (2010) and Morris Claiborne (2011).
4. Ashtyn Davis, California, 6-1, 201 (second round): He was a three-year starter for the Bears. He played mostly free safety in their 3-4 defensive scheme. He had seven career interceptions.
5. Kyle Dugger, Lenoir-Rhyne, 6-1, 217 (second/third round): Intriguing big hitter who won the Cliff Harris Award as the nation's top small-college defensive player. He was named a Division II All-American. When Dugger arrived at Whitewater High as a freshman, he stood 5-foot-6 and looked nothing like a future NFL prospect. By the time he was a senior, Dugger stood 6-1 and went on to play Division II football at Lenoir-Rhyne. After a stellar college career, the strong safety caught the collective eye of NFL scouts and was invited to the Senior Bowl.
6. Jeremy Chinn, Southern Illinois, 6-3, 221 (second/third round): Chinn ran well at the scouting combine and flashed range in his play to go along with good hands. He had a 41-inch vertical jump and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds. He played strong safety in the Salukis' 4-3 scheme.
7. Terrell Burgess, Utah, 5-11, 202 (third round): He started 17 of 45 games over his career. After playing most of his career on special teams, he had a breakout season after moving to safety from nickel back.
8. Brandon Jones, Texas, 5-11, 198 (third/fourth round): He was a three-year starter for the Longhorns and was a team captain last season.
9. K'Von Wallace, Clemson, 5-11, 206 (fourth/fifth round): He started 36 of 59 games over his career with the Tigers. He played mostly strong safety in Clemson's hybrid 4-3 scheme. He had 81 tackles and 12 pass breakups last season.
10. J.R. Reed, Georgia, 6-1, 202 (fourth/fifth round): The son of Jake Reed, a former Grambling and Minnesota Vikings/New Orleans Saints wide receiver, J.R. Reed started his career at Tulsa before transferring to play for the Bulldogs. He was selected first-team All-SEC by the coaches and was named one of Georgia's captains last season. He was one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back.
Best of the rest. Middle Tennessee's Jovante Moffatt, West Virginia's Kenny Robinson, Iowa's Geno Stone, Michigan's Josh Metellus, Utah's Julian Blackmon, Maryland's Antoine Brooks, Notre Dame's Alohi Gilman, Ohio State's Jordan Fuller, Auburn's Daniel Thomas, Notre Dame's Jalen Elliott, Michigan's Khaleke Hudson and Arkansas' Kam Curl, Mississippi State's Brian Cole, Alabama's Jared Mayden and North Carolina's Myles Dorn.
Here's a look at the top 10 safeties in the 2016 draft.
Teams in need. Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Miami and Jacksonville.
Need area for Falcons. Yes, but a secondary need. Strong safety Keanu Neal (knee/achilles) and free safety Ricardo Allen (achilles/shoulder) are coming off surgeries for the second consecutive season.
Top 5 seniors for 2021 draft. Georgia's Richard LeCounte, Syracuse's Andre Cisco, Cincinnati's James Wiggins, Texas' Caden Sterns and Florida's Donovan Stiner.
AJC’s 2020 POSITION BY POSITION DRAFT SERIES
Quarterbacks: Joe Burrow leads class | Top 10
Running backs: Cam Akers' life lesson | Top 10
Tight ends: Harrison Bryant top prospect | Top 10
Guards/Centers: Solomon Kindley a late-rounder | Top 10
Offensive tackles: Austin Jackson's life lesson | Top 10
Wide receivers: Jeudy or Lamb | Top 10
Defensive tackles: Brown, Kinlaw stand out | Top 10
Defensive ends: A 'generational' talent | Top 10
Linebackers: Simmons a position-less LB | Top 10
Safeties: Loaded with Georgia talent | Top 10
Part 11: Special Teams
Part 12: Cornerbacks
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