2016 SAF Prospect Grades (FINAL)

*The free and strong safety percentages are computer model suggestions of their best fit in the NFL. 

We have Sean Davis graded ahead of Jalen Ramsey as both a cornerback prospect, and as a safety prospect – Davis has it all, elite speed-agility with safety toughness. No 'knock' on Ramsey…we just like Davis better.

Karl Joseph has a very shaky 8+ rating. Without reliable pre-draft details/measurables to work with we’re flying a little blind. Jeremy Cash -- the same with his rating…he has more upside with our grade, where Joseph has downside pressure on his grade. I’d take the sure thing, non-Combine invite, Kevin Byard over Joseph or Cash…just because of the pre-existing injury issues with Joseph and Cash. Byard might also work as a cornerback if needed.

Derrick Kindred and Peni Vea are very interesting safety prospects…how guys like this are ‘nowhere’ as prospects, and people are talking about a Vernon Hargreaves as a/the top safety in all the draft…I don’t get it. Not at all.

Justin Simmons is intriguing…razor-thin body, especially his legs, but pretty talented.

You can have Vonn Bell…he’s a nickel or dime coverage guy to me. He's not really a prospect who teams should target with a draft pick…but he’ll go top 50 because ‘Ohio State’.

 

The prospect we’re probably wrong about: Peni Vea, UNLV

He has the size-athleticism of a highly ranked safety prospect, but his tape is up and down. He makes some hard-hitting plays…and then a little too many sloppy efforts – tackles too high, and tries to wrestle ballcarriers to the ground way too much to be totally comfortable. He can be coached out of that, but it is an issue he brings to the NFL.

 

The prospect graded under 6.0 who could become a star in the NFL: Keanu Neal, Florida

There are times when Neal looks like a classic, great strong safety…a guy who hits like a ton of bricks. He is OK/solid with his athleticism, but his power-strength is above-average…his game is as a hitter. He moves better on tape than his measurables show. The biggest thing we see is his low output/impact in games, his non-existence on tape a lot of the time. For a guy to be a great NFL prospect, you’d hope he’d shine in games…he really didn’t.

*The ratings are based on a 1–10 rating scale, but a prospect can score over 10.0+ and less than 0.0.

OVERALL RATING -- We merge the data from physical measurables, skill times/counts from the NFL Combine/Pro Days, with college performance data available on pass coverage/tackles, etc. and grade it compared to our database history of all college SS/FS prospects, with a focus on which SS/FS prospects went on to be good-great-elite in the NFL. We found characteristics/data points that the successful NFL SS/FS's had in common in college, that most other SS/FS prospects could not match/achieve.

Scoring with a rating over a 7.0+ in our system is where we start to take a SS/FS prospect more seriously. Most of the future NFL-successful college SS/FS prospects scored 8.0+ in our system, and most of the NFL-superior FS/SS's pushed ratings more in the 9–10.0+ levels overall. Future NFL busts will sneak into the 8.0+ rating range from time to time.

TACKLE/STRENGTH METRIC -- A combination of physical measurables and college performance, graded historically for future NFL profiling. In the simplest of terms, this is an attempt to classify the SS/FS as one more likely to be involved in a heavy amount of tackles, forced fumbles, and physical hits to separate a WR from the ball. It also gives some insight into the "toughness" of a player, if it is possible to quantify that (this is our attempt to).

SPEED/COVERAGE METRIC -- A combination of several speed, agility, size measurements as well as college performance. A unique measuring system to look for SS/FS prospects that profile for superior coverage skills and abilities.

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2016 SAF Prospect Grades (FINAL)

Date:
April 24, 2016

*The free and strong safety percentages are computer model suggestions of their best fit in the NFL. 

We have Sean Davis graded ahead of Jalen Ramsey as both a cornerback prospect, and as a safety prospect – Davis has it all, elite speed-agility with safety toughness. No 'knock' on Ramsey…we just like Davis better.

Karl Joseph has a very shaky 8+ rating. Without reliable pre-draft details/measurables to work with we’re flying a little blind. Jeremy Cash -- the same with his rating…he has more upside with our grade, where Joseph has downside pressure on his grade. I’d take the sure thing, non-Combine invite, Kevin Byard over Joseph or Cash…just because of the pre-existing injury issues with Joseph and Cash. Byard might also work as a cornerback if needed.

Derrick Kindred and Peni Vea are very interesting safety prospects…how guys like this are ‘nowhere’ as prospects, and people are talking about a Vernon Hargreaves as a/the top safety in all the draft…I don’t get it. Not at all.

Justin Simmons is intriguing…razor-thin body, especially his legs, but pretty talented.

You can have Vonn Bell…he’s a nickel or dime coverage guy to me. He's not really a prospect who teams should target with a draft pick…but he’ll go top 50 because ‘Ohio State’.

 

The prospect we’re probably wrong about: Peni Vea, UNLV

He has the size-athleticism of a highly ranked safety prospect, but his tape is up and down. He makes some hard-hitting plays…and then a little too many sloppy efforts – tackles too high, and tries to wrestle ballcarriers to the ground way too much to be totally comfortable. He can be coached out of that, but it is an issue he brings to the NFL.

 

The prospect graded under 6.0 who could become a star in the NFL: Keanu Neal, Florida

There are times when Neal looks like a classic, great strong safety…a guy who hits like a ton of bricks. He is OK/solid with his athleticism, but his power-strength is above-average…his game is as a hitter. He moves better on tape than his measurables show. The biggest thing we see is his low output/impact in games, his non-existence on tape a lot of the time. For a guy to be a great NFL prospect, you’d hope he’d shine in games…he really didn’t.

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*The free and strong safety percentages are computer model suggestions of their best fit in the NFL. 

We have Sean Davis graded ahead of Jalen Ramsey as both a cornerback prospect, and as a safety prospect – Davis has it all, elite speed-agility with safety toughness. No 'knock' on Ramsey…we just like Davis better.

Karl Joseph has a very shaky 8+ rating. Without reliable pre-draft details/measurables to work with we’re flying a little blind. Jeremy Cash -- the same with his rating…he has more upside with our grade, where Joseph has downside pressure on his grade. I’d take the sure thing, non-Combine invite, Kevin Byard over Joseph or Cash…just because of the pre-existing injury issues with Joseph and Cash. Byard might also work as a cornerback if needed.

Derrick Kindred and Peni Vea are very interesting safety prospects…how guys like this are ‘nowhere’ as prospects, and people are talking about a Vernon Hargreaves as a/the top safety in all the draft…I don’t get it. Not at all.

Justin Simmons is intriguing…razor-thin body, especially his legs, but pretty talented.

You can have Vonn Bell…he’s a nickel or dime coverage guy to me. He's not really a prospect who teams should target with a draft pick…but he’ll go top 50 because ‘Ohio State’.

 

The prospect we’re probably wrong about: Peni Vea, UNLV

He has the size-athleticism of a highly ranked safety prospect, but his tape is up and down. He makes some hard-hitting plays…and then a little too many sloppy efforts – tackles too high, and tries to wrestle ballcarriers to the ground way too much to be totally comfortable. He can be coached out of that, but it is an issue he brings to the NFL.

 

The prospect graded under 6.0 who could become a star in the NFL: Keanu Neal, Florida

There are times when Neal looks like a classic, great strong safety…a guy who hits like a ton of bricks. He is OK/solid with his athleticism, but his power-strength is above-average…his game is as a hitter. He moves better on tape than his measurables show. The biggest thing we see is his low output/impact in games, his non-existence on tape a lot of the time. For a guy to be a great NFL prospect, you’d hope he’d shine in games…he really didn’t.

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About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics, and a football projections analyst and writer for Fantasy Football Metrics. 

Learn more about RC and the College Football Metrics system >>