.NET Draft 2007: Florida S Reggie Nelson

In our continuing series of the best players at each position, .NET's Ryan Rigmaiden resumes his preview of the top safeties in this year's NFL Draft. Today he takes a look at Florida's ballhawking free safety Reggie Nelson who had a tremendous Pro Day on March 7th posting a blazing 4.35 in the 40-yard dash, wowing the scouts and coaches on hand in Gainesville.

2. Reggie Nelson, S Florida 6-0,195 (4.45)

NFL Comparison - Brian Dawkins, Philadelphia

Overview -

The definition of a playmaker, Nelson was one of the best defenders in the college ranks last season. Great deep speed, showing excellent ability to play center field and cover from sideline-to-sideline. Really jumps out at you on film. Good hands. Isn't afraid to sacrifice his body, but he's a bit lighter than ideal. Very good instincts and is the best pure cover safety in the class.

Against the Pass -

Really excels in this area. Flies around and has good recognition skills. Catches the ball like a receiver at its highest point and with his hands. Good man-to-man ability and can cover a ton of ground. Gets deep in a hurry and has good hips. Reads the quarterback well and makes very few mistakes in coverage. Plays the ball and goes up for it like he owns it.

Against the Run -

Can hit. Despite his lack of elite size, Nelson smacks ballcarriers without hesitation. Takes on blockers, but blows them up instead of trying to stack and shed. Tackles sideline-to-sideline and comes up immediately from his spot. Doesn't wrap up enough, which leads to missed tackles. Is only adequate in this area.

Roster Impact for Seattle -

Has the talent to start immediately. In a perfect world, you'd line him up at free safety and move Ken Hamlin to strong safety, but there's virtually no chance the Seahawks will be able to move up high enough to get him.

Draft Projection -

Like LaRon Landry, Nelson has the talent to go as high as 10th overall, but because safeties tend to drop a bit, it's hard to predict where he'll end up. He's definitely a first round pick – the only question in where. Expect teams like Dallas, Atlanta and Carolina to take long looks at him as their first selection.

Final Analysis -

Nelson has all the tools to be a Pro Bowl free safety at the next level. Outside of ideal size, he has it all and plays with the fire that teammates gravitate towards. He and Landry will be the first safeties off the board and whoever selects him will get a great playmaker for their defense.

Here's our other safety preview...

LSU S LaRon Landry

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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