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2011 NFL Draft Predictions – Safety Rankings

2011 NFL Draft Coverage – Safety Preview

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The NFL draft moves to primetime for the second time in 2011. The first round will be in PRIMETIME, and is scheduled to take place Thursday, April 28, 2011; the second and third rounds on Friday, April 29; and the final four rounds on Saturday, April 30, 2011.

The Panthers with the worst record for 2010 have the right to the 1st pick in 2011.

Note: A provision in the current NFLPA-CBA ensures that this draft will still take place even with the current labor dispute.

Safety Rankings

AARON WILLIAMS, Texas
6”0, 205 lbs

Williams galloped a 4.52 forty at the Combine, which isn’t too bad at 205 lbs, but he doesn’t possess the most electric mobility or instincts. Draft gurus like Mike Mayock and his ilk believe that Williams may move to free safety in the NFL and I tend to agree. He was projected as a more utilitarian defensive back in his early days at Texas, and I’m not sure he fits as an NFL corner. Williams can doubtlessly accomplish all the things needed of an NFL free safety; it helps that as a corner, one of his bright spots was his willingness and ability to lay a big lick. Williams will be snapped up somewhere between Rounds 1 and 2.

May remind you of: Ryan Clark, Steelers

RAHIM MOORE, UCLA
6”0, 202 lbs

Moore was a three-year starter for the Bruins, and never missed a game. Experience isn’t an issue for this junior. He had outstanding freshman and sophomore campaigns, but tailed off a bit in 2010, yet that was due to attrition on the UCLA defense rather than Moore’s skills, however. He is a smallish safety, but he has the versatility to play corner if absolutely necessary. Moore has shown that he is a ballhawk and has all the pedigree athleticism needed. The Bruin will probably be a second-rounder in this year’s Draft.

May remind you of: Charles Godfrey, Panthers

QUINTON CARTER, Oklahoma
6”1, 208 lbs

The Sooners product projects as a free safety in the pros who excels in coverage; Carter has fluid hips and can turn and run with anyone. He’s a multiple Big 12 All-Conference player and he has a nose for the ball and an affinity for reading plays, as evidenced by the times he snuffed out ballcarriers in the backfield in his time at OU. It took him a while to crack Oklahoma’s loaded depth chart as a freshman and sophomore, but good things come to those who wait. He is a pure free safety with the tools to be a respectable second-rounder.

May remind you of: Chris Harris, Bears

TYLER SASH, Iowa
6”1, 211 lbs

Sash possesses good speed and adequate size for the SS position in the pros, though adding a little more bulk wouldn’t hurt. He is an underclassmen coming out that excels in zone coverage and will almost always make a sure tackle. Early in his career, Sash relied on violent collision tackling; he has progressively learned that there’s no shame in wrapping or grabbing an ankle. Most importantly, Sash has a zen-like awareness for being in the right place at the right time. He could go in the second or the third round.

May remind you of: Eric Weddle, Chargers

Honorable Mention: DeANDRE McDANIEL, Clemson Throughout his collegiate career, many predicted that McDaniel had an exquisite pro future. Yet his momentum has been slipping somewhat; he did not impress with his speed and shows poor instincts and awareness. He still has tools, but looks more like a fourth-rounder now.

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