2017 NFL draft rankings: Safeties

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Defining a player as a safety these days—even when adding the “free” or “strong” designation—rarely tells the whole story. Safeties obviously have to be able to cover ground deep against the pass, but more than ever they also have to be forceful against the run and be able to handle any offensive position in coverage. This position will have a significant impact in the draft’s first round.​

Rank Player School Measurables
1 Jabrill Peppers Michigan 6' 1″, 205 lbs.
2 Jamal Adams LSU 6' 1″, 213 lbs.
3 Malik Hooker Ohio State 6' 2″, 205 lbs.
4 Justin Evans Texas A&M 6' 1″, 195 lbs.
5 Budda Baker Washington 5' 10″, 192 lbs.
6 Marcus Maye Florida 6' 0″, 216 lbs.
7 Armani Watts Texas A&M 5' 11″, 200 lbs.
8 Eddie Jackson Alabama 6' 0″, 194 lbs.
9 Marcus Williams Utah 6' 1″, 195 lbs.
10 Quin Blanding Virginia 6' 2″, 215 lbs.

Where do you play Peppers? How about: Anywhere. O.K., he’s not going to line up along the D-line, but the worries about finding an exact position fit for him are overblown—he’s an out-of-this-world athlete that can be a matchup buster for a defense. Hooker is cut from a similar cloth, maybe not quite as dynamic as Peppers but a Swiss Army knife safety. Adams is another potential Pro Bowler at the next level. He is outstanding playing high coverage, but like Hooker and Peppers he’s capable of stepping into the box. Evans and Watts will have Texas A&M well-represented—their draft position will flip-flop depending on team. The Deone Bucannon comp has been a popular one for Peppers. There’s some of his game in Baker, too. 

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