2006 Draft Preview: S Michael Huff

It goes without saying the Seahawks will be looking at defensive back's during April's NFL Draft. Seahawks.NET's Ryan Rigmaiden, following up on his preview of the cornerbacks, now takes a look at the safety prospects that teams will be looking at throughout the selection process. First up -- Texas' Michael Huff.

1. Michael Huff, S Texas 6-0, 204 (4.39)

NFL Comparison - Ed Reed, Baltimore Ravens

Overview -

A very versatile DB, Huff has played both corner and safety for the Longhorns. Is a playmaker, tackles well and has great man-to-man skills. Some teams will try him at cornerback, but I feel he's a much better fit at free safety. Started since he was a redshirt freshman and had an impact at both positions. Has solid range vs. the run and pass and makes plays all over the field. Doesn't have elite size for a safety, but hits hard and is a reliable tackler. Really throws his body into ball carriers when he hits them, but despite his hard hitting ability his range makes him a better fit at free safety rather than strong safety.

Against the Pass -

Has good range and is very, very instinctive. Seems to always know where the ball is going to be or where receivers are running to. Good anticipation. Is always around the ball and can jump, but doesn't get a lot of interceptions. Hits hard and jars the ball loose often. Great man-cover skills vs. running backs and tight ends and takes good angles to the ball.

Against the Run -

Is all over the field and hits hard. Is a reliable tackler and will sacrifice his body. Has had considerable time near the line-of-scrimmage and has the mentality of a linebacker vs. the run. Is relentless and takes great angles to the ball-carrier.

Roster Impact for Seattle -

Huff has the talent to start at either safety position as a rookie, but would be a much better fit as a free safety. However, Huff's a lock to be off the board by the 10th overall pick and with FS Ken Hamlin's recent medical clearance and SS Michael Boulware only scratching the surface of how good he can be, it's extremely doubtful that Huff will have even a small chance of being a Seahawk.

Final Analysis -

Huff's playmaking ability, experience and instincts make him an elite safety prospect. I don't have him rated as high as I had Ed Reed or Sean Taylor, but he's not too far behind. His versatility makes him very attractive to teams and some, especially those employing Cover-2 defenses, will view him as a corner. He's at his best, however, when making plays in pursuit and anticipating where the ball's going, so I believe he's a much better fit as a free safety. Huff is worthy of a Top-15 pick and should be off the board by the 10th overall pick this year.

As usual, any questions or comments can be sent to rlrigmaiden@hotmail.com. Thanks for taking the time to write in.


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