Prospect Profile: Eric Berry's NFL Draft Analyst Chris Steuber profiles the top prospects eligible for the 2010 NFL Draft. Learn about Tennessee safety Eric Berry inside.

Eric Berry
School: Tennessee
Position: Safety
Height: 5-11
Weight: 203
Projected 40-Time: 4.38

Star Rating: Grade: 99
Draft Projection: 1st Round

Star rating is based on a prospects standing (as of March 5th) in the 2010 Draft Rankings. A prospects grade is measured on the following scale:

85-100 = 1st - 2nd Round
_70-84 = 3rd - 4th Round
_55-69 = 5th - 6th Round
_40-54 = 7th Round - UDFA

Berry is one of the premier prospects in the draft and could be selected in the top 3.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Strengths: Berry is a versatile defender who has the playmaking ability and cover skills to be a dynamic force at the next level. A gifted all around player, who can control a game in the secondary, at the line of scrimmage and in the backfield, Berry is unique in the respect that offensive coordinators have to game plan for his every move. He plays with a great degree of suddenness and has the instincts and awareness to make plays all over the field. He’s a solid tackler in space and is an effective blitzer. He diagnoses the action well, possesses good cover skills and has the uncanny ability to track a ball at any location. He plays with a high motor, a mean streak, and amazingly he finds a way to harness his aggression and be disciplined.

Weaknesses: He doesn’t always take the best angles in coverage. He’s occasionally indecisive and gets caught out of position on play-action passes.

Steuber Says: A three-year starter for Tennessee and one of the nation’s premier playmakers, Berry is truly a once in a decade type of defender. He is a complete safety who has the athleticism and quickness to be a cornerback, the ball skills to change the complexion of a game and leadership qualities that will have an immediate impact at the next level. The 2010 safety class is very special and is loaded with many talented players. But Berry is the phenom, and is considered to be a top-two prospect in the draft. It’s unlikely that Berry will become the first safety ever to be selected with the top pick, since the St. Louis Rams hold the No. 1 selection. However, he has a chance to be taken with the second pick by the Detroit Lions, which would make him the second safety in the history of the draft to be selected with the No. 2 pick. The other safety taken with the 2nd overall pick was Eric Turner, who was drafted out of UCLA by the Cleveland Browns. The worst case scenario for Berry, if he’s not taken with the first two picks in the draft, is that he falls to No. 3, where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would be happy to install him in their secondary.

A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. Steuber’s features are published across the network and on If you wish to contact Chris Steuber, email him at: You can also now follow Chris Steuber on Twitter.

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