The top prospects:
is the top strong safety prospect in the draft. He has good size and was stout against the run for the Crimson Tide. Notre Dame's
projects as a safety who can do a little bit of everything. He is fast enough with good instincts and cover skills. There doesn’t appear to be a consensus top free safety in April’s draft, but that could change once someone steps up at the combine.
Other intriguing names:
McNeese State's Janzen Jackson, who used to play at Tennessee, is an intriguing prospect with good range and cover skills. He's a guy to watch at the combine. Oklahoma State's
has good speed, too, for his size and can cover a lot of ground. Kentucky's Winston Guy, Wisconsin's
are three guys I plan to keep an eye on when watching the combine on TV.
Grading the class:
Other than Barron, there doesn’t appear to be any other elite prospects who could go in the first round. There are some solid strong safety prospects, but no free safeties stand out heading into the combine. Given the underwhelming top-end talent and a lack of depth, I’d grade the safeties as a D-plus.
Fitting the Ravens:
The Ravens expect
to play in 2012, so finding a replacement isn’t an immediate need. But it’s something they should soon take care of given Reed’s injuries and his past statements about retirement.