My 2018 NFL Draft Safety Rankings

I  always have to mention this, these are not projections of where these players will go, rather where I personally think they should go. Unlike my prospect breakdowns, these round grades DO take into account positional importance, so you may notice Josh Allen is graded as 1st to 2nd round prospect rather than a 2nd to 3rd round grade.

#1 – Derwin James, Florida State

A rangy, versatile, safety who could step into any NFL locker room and instantly gain the respect of his peers. James is a good tackler, and can play man coverage or play a traditional deep zone. He can blitz, and when he does he can create turnovers either by forcing a fumble or a bad throw.

Grade: Round 1

#2 – Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama

Another guy with a good shot to go in the top ten is Minkah Fitzpatrick, who was the leader of an Alabama defense that always shows up on the top of leaderboards. He is one of the most versatile players in this draft, and could fit on any team.

Grade: Round 1

#3 – Justin Reid, Stanford

Reid is great as a traditional high safety, but he can play man coverage against tight ends and running backs. He is a big hitter, but does sometimes sacrifice form for that, which could lead to missed tackles against good ball carriers.

Grade: Round 1-2

#4 – Ronnie Harrison, Alabama

Incredible speed and agility, Harrison could thrive as a run stopping safety who occasionally comes down to blitz. He can be a little too aggressive at times, and does sometimes miss tackles.

Grade: Round 2

#5 – Jessie Bates, Wake Forest

Great athlete, a big hitter, and extremely rangy with a nose for the football, I see Bates as an early day two sleeper for everybody to keep an eye on. He could play either safety position.

Grade: Round 2

#6 – Kyzir White, West Virginia

White is pretty versatile and is decent coverage, run support, and the pass rush game. He could sometimes slide down t0 play nickelback because of his fantastic versatility.

Grade: Round 2-3

#7 – Marcus Allen, Penn State

A day three sleeper if he happens to fall there, Marcus Allen could play as a nickel or dime linebacker because of his consistent tackling and great zone coverage over the middle.

Grade: Round 2-4

#8 – Tarvarius Moore, Southern Mississippi

Moore is very athletic and has a chance to play as a single high free safety at the NFL level, but because of that athleticism he could slide down and play in man coverage. Lack of experience is an issue.

Grade: Round 3-4

#9 – Terrell Edmunds, Virginia Tech

He could play at corner, safety, or as a linebacker in pass-heavy formations. Edmunds has great sideline-to-sideline speed, but injuries that popped up in 2017 drop his grade a bit.

Grade: Round 3-4

#10 – Dane Cruikshank, Arizona

Cruikshank is a day three sleeper for your team. He is rangy, has fantastic speed at 4.41, while not sacrificing strength (25 reps). He is a good hitter and could play safety, corner, or as a nickelback.

Grade: Round 3-5

#11 – Quin Blanding, Virginia

Blanding put up incredible production at Virginia, great tackler, and certainly a ball hawk. However, he sometimes can struggle in man-to-man coverage, and is not very scheme-versatile.

Grade: Round 3-5

#12 – Godwin Igwebuike, Northwestern

Grade: Round 4-5

#13 – DeShon Elliot, Texas

Grade: Round 4-6

#14 – Jordan Whitehead, Pittsburgh

Grade: Round 4-6

#15 – Armani Watts, Texas A&M

Grade: Round 4-6

#16 – Jeremy Reaves, South Alabama

Grade: Round 5-6

#17 – Van Smith, Clemson

Grade: Round 5-6

#18 – Siran Neal, Jacksonville State

Grade: Round 5-7

#19 – Damon Webb, Ohio State

Grade: Round 5-7

#20 – Dominick Sanders, Georgia

Grade: Round 5-UDFA

#21 – Trayvon Henderson, Hawaii

Grade: Round 6-UDFA

#22 – Tray Matthews, Auburn

Grade: Round 6-UDFA

#23 – Tracy Walker, Louisiana-Lafayette

Grade: Round 7-UDFA

#24 – Tre Flowers, Oklahoma State

Grade: Round 7-UDFA

#25 – Kameron Kelly, San Diego State

Grade: Round 7-UDFA

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