Safety; The Quarterback Of The Defensive Unit

With a number of corners being projected inside to safety, the position has been upgraded tremendously. Look for a number of these athletes to upgrade a number of clubs within the league.

I really appreciate the skills athletic ability and versatility of Ohio State senior Malcolm Jenkins, but like many coaches and scouts within the league, I am concerned by his lack of true speed and or a burst. He is an even cut athlete with long arms, a muscular upper and lower body. He was particularly adept in press coverage, re-routing receiver off the go. I liked his feet, hips, awareness and zone cover skills. He is very bright and experienced. Can flip his hips naturally, but I somewhat question his turn and go speed when playing off or ability to run with the race horses consistently. Has top special teams and return ability. There is no question that in the right defensive scheme, Malcolm could be very effective corner, but the lack of quick speed and deep bust bothers me greatly.

Missouri safety William Moore had a disappointing 2008 season, but in spite of his uneven play, I thought there was no finer safety in the land than this Missouri Tigers' product. He has excellent size, athletic ability, can come off the hash effectively in half coverage and based on his play as a junior (if you can do it once, you can do it) he had excellent ball skills. I liked the way he came up under control and fill the running lane. Good take on skills (physical with his hands). Needs to wrap with more consistency, but I thought he was a big hitter. Felt his hands were good (will high point the football – natural firm hands). Based on his 07 season, I thought he was a lottery pick, but injuries early in this past season caused him to play far more tentative. Has the ability to play quickly at the professional level.

Oregon safety Patrick Chung is a very good athlete with playing smarts and instincts. I felt he was quick to read and fill the running lanes. He makes all defensive adjustments. His hips and feet were more than adequate as was his man cover ability. In zone coverage I though he sorted things out very quickly and was particularly effective reacting to the thrown ball. A former top prep running back, he made an easy transition to the defensive side of the football. He has an extensive return and special team's background, but I really didn't think he was exceptional in either area. I believe he's going to be a solid professional player and eventual regular, based on his versatility and overall playing skills.

Jairus Byrd, the son of former Chargers great corner Gil Byrd, might well be the classiest young men; I have come in contact with in all of my years in professional football. Very often when I or other members of the Rams scouting staff took the time to view some extra tape on a week end, it was not unusual to see Jairus and his dad studying game tapes and cutups. He really understood the game and even as a prep athlete, was working to improve his overall game. I was certainly impressed with his play this past season for the Ducks. He understands coverage's, has the intelligence to make game time adjustments, showed excellent zone awareness and had good ball skills (I like the way he high pointed the football). His only negative in my opinion at the cornerback position was his lack of real speed (just not a race horse). In a cover two scheme he may well flourish, but for long range potential, I believe he would be better served to project inside. Teams play and punt return background is a real plus.

Rashard Johnson was one of the most pleasant surprises of the 2008 college football season. I was really impressed with his ability to sort things out and react. He is not what I consider a thug inside, but he consistently got people off their feet. I liked the way he filled the ally, his angles away, playing range and playing effort. Versus the pass, I thought he showed very good instincts, was not often fooled by play action and did a particularly good job of playing the deep ball. Maintained good position when covering the tight end and was alert to react to check downs in the flat. This player in my opinion will start and contribute quickly at the professional level. He has a great deal of savvy, ball skills and playing instincts. Wish he were bigger, but this is one very good football player.

Defensive Safeties

RK Name School HT WT 40 GR
1 Jenkins, Malcolm Ohio St 6003v 204v 4.55v 1.15
2 Moore, William Missouri 6001v 221v 4.47v 1.18
3 Chung, Patrick Oregon 5112v 212v 4.52v 1.25
4 Johnson, Rashad Alabama 5112v 201v 4.56v 1.26
5 Byrd, Jairus Oregon 5101v 207v 4.64v 1.35
6 Delmas, Louis W Michigan 5113v 202v 4.54v 1.36
7 Cook, Emanuel So Carolina 5096v 197v 4.61v 1.37
8 Harris, Victor Virginia Tech 5112v 198v 4.66v 1.40
9 Vaughn, Chip Wake Forest 6013v 221v 4.47v 1.41
10 Brooks, Dominique Tulsa 6006v 200v 4.50v 1.46
11 Williams, Bryan Akron 5107v 195v 4.39v 1.47
12 Spillman, C.J. Marshall 6000v 197v 4.49v 1.48
13 Bruton, David Notre Dame 6020v 219v 4.44v 1.49
14 Martin, Sherrod Troy 6010v 198v 4.51v 1.62
15 Sanford, Jamarca Mississippi 5097v 214v 4.52v 1.50
16 Greene, Courtney Rutgers 6002v 212v 4.56v 1.56
17 Nolan, Troy Arizona St 6005v 206v 4.65v 1.58
18 Hamlin, Michael Clemson 6020v 214v 4.61v 1.63
19 Afalava, Al Oregon St 5110v 207v 4.46v 1.64
20 Clemons, Chris Clemson 6001v 208v 4.38v 1.65

Free Agents

RK Name School HT WT 40 GR
McClinton, Marcus Kentucky 6002v 210v 4.55v 1.80
Taylor, Curtis LSU 6022v 209v 4.64v 1.80
Goddard, Trimane North Carolina 5091v 198v 4.69v 1.80
Wiley, Otis Michigan St 6010v 213v 4.73v 1.80
Mitchell, Michael Ohio U 6005v 221v 4.51v 1.80
Holmes, Lendy Oklahoma 6000v 206v 4.69v 1.80
Hodge, Stephen TCU 5115v 234v 4.59v 1.80
McBath, Darcel Texas Tech 6002v 198v 4.58v 1.80
Hall, Devon Utah St 6025v 212v 4.56v 1.80
Lewis, Trey Ball St 5113v 194v 4.67v 1.90
Akins, Kevin Boston College 6020v 218v 4.86v 1.90
Anderson, Vincent SE Missouri St 5114v 209v 4.53v 1.90
Anderson, Victor SE Missouri St 5115v 211v 4.55v 1.90
Campbell, Brock So Dakota St 6007v 205v 4.53v 1.90

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