Veteran NFL Scout Chris Landry serves as consultant to NFL teams so here is your chance to get information from a scouting professional who has set up draft boards as opposed to those bloggers and talking heads who have never worked in the league or seen the insides of a draft room.
Here is the SAFETY draft board along with Scouting Reports based on film grades.
Keep in mind that this is not a projection of where players will be drafted necessarily but rather where their grade value is. Supply and demand at each position has a tremendous affect on where players are drafted.
So here is a look at how I have them graded and ranked after you have a better understanding of how as scouts we evaluate SAFETIES.
SAFETY EVALUATION CRITERIA
NFL SAFETIES have changed in their value and skill set somewhat in that no longer is there a big difference in skill set between FS & SS in that both must be able to cover the deep half of the field, cover TE’s down the seam and defend the run in the tackle box. With TE’s becoming a bigger and bigger factor in the passing game and more athletic, the same requirement is there for safeties to cover them. Even though, FS’s and SS’s are more interchangeable , FREE SAFETIES are still generally a tad more athletic and have greater range to play center field. STRONG SAFETIES have a tad more physical strength to match up with on-line TE’s and defend the run.
AVERAGE NFL PHYSICAL TRAITS:
HEIGHT= 6001 (min ) WEIGHT= FS-206 SS-212
40 (speed over distance) = FS- 4.58 SS-4.64 10 (initial quickness) = 1.55 20 (maintain burst) = 2.60
BP x 225 (upper body strength) = 18
VJ (explosiveness, lower leg strength) = 36 BJ (explosiveness, hip strength) = 10-0
20yd shuttle (flexibility, burst, balance) = 4.05 60yd shuttle (flexibility, balance, endurance) = 11.2
3 cone = (agility, body control, cod) = 7.10 (min- ) 4 square = 8.65
ARM= 31 1/2 HAND= 9 1/4
TEST= 24 BACKPEDAL DRILL= 15 yards (shoulder over knees) = 2.7-2.8
BACKPEDAL-RECOVERY DRILL = (10 yd BP, then 10 yd forward sprint) = 3.86-4.00
BACKPEDAL & SPRINT DRILL = (10 yd Bp, then turn & sprint 20 yds) =
DS CRITICAL FACTORS: . The most important qualities for SAFETIES are INSTINCTS, TACKLING, and RANGE. FREE SAFETIES must be able to make coverage calls and quarterback the secondary when offenses are in motion. They must know where everyone is fitting in front of them, which zones will be occupied and which areas need the most help. The exceptional FS’s do a good job of reading the QB’s eyes like Ed Reed. They must be able to anticipate and quickly diagnose and they are most often the last line of defense so they must be able to tackle well. From a range standpoint, they must be able to sink into deep halves coverage and adjust to vertical receivers down the hash as the best safeties cover the most ground with the ball in the air. STRONG SAFETIES have to be even a bigger factor as a tackler and run defender overall. Yet they have to be athletic enough to cover a TE, X receiver, or even a slot. He will have to be instinctive enough to direct a linebacker to his side.
1. ATHLETIC ABILITY— initial quickness in pedal, quick feet, hip flexibility, ability to turn, acceleration short & deep, ability to run with receivers in short to deep coverage, closing on man after he makes final move both short & deep.
2. STRENGTH/EXPLOSION— toughness, effectiveness in run support,, physical tackler, ability to play through blocks,
3. PLAYING SPEED— ability to cover man to man, distance covered after ball is in air, pursuit ability in run support,
4. RANGE— area covered with ball in air,
5. BACK PEDAL— smoothness, quickness, explosion, balance, staying low,
6. COBP—burst coming out of his pedal,
7. COMPETITIVENESS— CLUTCH—win at all costs, desire to be best, plays with confidence & aggression, wants game on line pressure, WORK ETHIC— committed to being best on & off field. PRODUCTION—grade film effectiveness,
8. SIZE— size requirements, type of build, growth potential or fully bulked,
DS POSITION SPECIFICS:
9. (1) KEY & DIAGNOSE— recognition, ball reactions—how he plays the ball as it get close to him in flight, discipline/awareness in zone coverage, ability to read/recognize combo routes, locate abll on misdirections.
10. (2) COVERAGE CALLS— ability to recognize formations and adjustments quickly and then quickly and effectively communicate those to defensive mates.
11. (3) RUN SUPPORT—END RUN & INTERIOR RUN— ability to play off blockers, toughness/effectiveness as a hitter & tackler, speed/pursuit ability. Can he squeeze lane.
12. (4) TACKLING— drag or hard tackler, open field ability, leverage/explosion,
13. (5) MAN TO MAN COVER ABILITY— back pedal, feet, hip & body turn, ability to accelerate short & deep, ability to run with receivers.
14. (6) JAM/COVER TE—physical strength to control at los,
15. (7) ZONE COVER ABILITY— adjustments to zone, discipline & awareness in zone, range, closing quickness, man cover principles within zone, how much cushion does he have to play with.
16. (8) BALL SKILLS— ability to track the ball in flight, timing of jumps, play the ball at high point,
17. (9) HANDS— soft or hard, body catch/trapped balls or catch out of frame, eye/hand coordination, concentration,
18. (10) CLOSE— closing on man after he makes his final move—both short and deep.
SPECIAL TEAMS FACTORS
SEQUENCIAL ORDER OF EVALUATING A DS ON A PLAY:
1. READ & INSTINCTS
2. FOOT QUICKNESS
4. BACK PEDAL
11. BALL REACTIONS
12. MAN COVERAGE
13. ZONE COVERAGE
14. CONTAIN RUN
15. WARD OFF BLOCKS
<FOR OUR MEMBERS, HERE IS HOW OUR SAFETY DRAFT BOARD STACKS UP. If you are not yet a member, take advantage of this limited time offer through the draft——By joining today, you get a 50% discount on the first month by using the code = LandryFootball. To get 25% off for a year, use the code = WarRoom——and get your own NFL Scouting Department for less than a magazine subscription.