2017 NFL Draft- Free Safeties

1. Malik Hooker (Ohio State)– He’s another former basketball player that decided to make the transition from one sport to the other. He’s a very gifted athlete with a triple combination of burst, body control and reflexes. He has outstanding play speed and covers a lot of green. He’s a magnet to the football due to his awareness, vision, and range. He plays with great lower body explosion and above average leaping skills. He shows unique timing and anticipation that most defensive backs don’t. To some scouts, he’s been compared to Ed Reed and that’s saying a lot to be mentioned in the same sentence as a legend.

2. Budda Baker (Washington)– He’s a state champion sprinter and that speed has helped him become a very successful free safety. He’s a rangy guy with the instant accelerator to cover a lot of green. He has “twitchy” reflexes to stay in phase in man coverage, showing suddenness when flipping his hips and changing directions. Instinctive and quick to click-and-close on plays in front of him. Secondary burst to recover in coverage or chase down ballcarriers. Plays with a “my ball” mentality, always looking for the turnover. Good timing and burst as a Blitzer to create violent collisions. Physical tackler, staying low and driving his feet as a tackler. Understands pursuit angles and field leverage to find the quickest path to the ball, avoiding blocks. Plays with a little bit of crazy to him and teammates feed off his energy. Earned All-Conference Academic honors twice and stays focused on and off the field. Undersized, but boasts trademark toughness.

3. Desmond King (Iowa)– I really enjoyed watching this kid play during his time in Des Moines. He’s a very instinctive and passionate defender that can handle responsibilities in the coverage department in the NFL. He also displays the physicality and open-field tackling skills to bring down the ball-carrier. He has light feet and a nice fluid change of direction to hold his own at corner. He’s quick with backpedaling and accelerates smoothly to keep up with vertical routes.

4. Marcus Sanders-Williams (Utah)– He has an excellent feel for what an offense is trying to do and has the skillset to bait and make quarterbacks think twice about throwing the football in his area. He displays smooth action in his hips, acceleration, and vision to track the football down while in the air. Sanders-Williams shows good timing to disrupt passes and force incompletions and shows good hand-eye coordination to swipe the football out the ball-carriers hands. He also puts the work into prepare off the field for games. Utah coaches have stated he was a very dedicated player.

5. Marcus Maye (Florida)– For a safety, he’s extremely active and whatever direction the football is headed, you’ll see Marcus Maye. He’s patient in the backend and allows the play to develop before he runs in for the tackle and in pass coverage, he has the footwork, vision, and speed to stay with the receiver on top of the route and tip the pass away. He can also sit on the line of scrimmage, come into the box and blitz and we all know blitzes from the secondary are almost impossible to block because those are the fastest guys on the field. Maye is a sure-handed guy that can get you an interception when necessary. Even when he doesn’t have the angle to make the interception, he still finds a way to make a play nonetheless.