2021 NFL Draft Prospects: Safety



The top 2021 quarterback prospects available for the 2021 NFL Draft. * - denotes 2021 prospect. ** - denotes 2024 prospect.

This page was last updated Sept. 19, 2020. Follow Walter @walterfootball for updates.

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2020 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2021 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2022 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

  1. Andre Cisco*, S, Syracuse
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 203.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.5.
    Projected Round (2021): 1-2.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: In the 2020 season opener against North Carolina, Cisco notched his 13th career interception and added three tackles.

    Cisco is a true ballhawk in pass coverage, and that is the first thing that stands out when watching him. Aside from his interceptions, Cisco is always going for the strip on tackles and when breaking up passes. Cisco's ball awareness is terrific, and he is very cognizant to punch the ball while making tackles. Cisco is superb in zone coverage in the middle of the field. He has very good instincts and is fast to read offenses to get in position to make plays on the ball. With good vision, Cisco has nice route recognition, anticipation, and reads the eyes of quarterbacks. Cisco closes quickly and is tremendous at jumping routes to break up passes.

    While Cisco is not the biggest of safeties, he is better than one would expect in the ground game. He flies downhill and doesn't show fear to dish out a hard hit or crash into the tackle box. Cisco has quality tackling technique with an advanced ability to get low to take the legs out of the ball-carrier.




  2. Paris Ford*, S, Pittsburgh
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 190.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.56.
    Projected Round (2021): 1-2.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: Ford had three tackles and an interception in the 2020season opener against Austin Peay.

    The first thing that jumps about Ford is how he is always around the ball, and the primary reason for that is his instincts. Ford has excellent anticipation and is very fast at reading his keys. That leads to him disrupting plays and flying around the field to get to the ball-carrier.

    Ford is a superb run defender who can come downhill or fly to the perimeter to make tackles. Generally, Ford does a nice job of getting ball-carriers to the ground, and he shows the ability to take their legs out from underneath them.

    In pass coverage, Ford is excellent in zone. He covers a ton of ground and uses his instincts to disrupt passing lanes. Ford does a nice job of breaking up contested catches by going for the ball rather than taking out the receiver. He shows impressive ball skills for a physical safety and is a threat to create turnovers.

    Ford could help himself in 2020 by displaying some man-coverage skills on tight ends and slot receivers. But that might not be seen, as last year Pittsburgh had him playing zone so much of the time.

    In the NFL, Ford could be an interchangeable safety who plays free or strong safety. He has the speed to cover ground on the back end and plays the ball well downfield. However his mentality, aggressiveness, and physicality could make him a better fit at strong safety but he should gain some weight for the NFL.


  3. Jevon Holland*, S, Oregon
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 200.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.56.
    Projected Round (2021): 1-2.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: If Holland were larger, I would have him as the top safety for the 2021 NFL Draft, as he is a tremendous coverage safety with the ability to play some cornerback. His listed numbers, however, could be inflated according to team sources, and those who have seen him in person say he is small for the NFL.

    Holland is a real weapon in pass coverage. What will get NFL evaluators really excited is his ability to run with receivers in coverage. Holland shows the ability to pick them up downfield and blanket them in the deep part of the field. Holland is fast and has the speed to run with wideouts vertically. In zone coverage, Holland displays good instincts and quality route-recognition. Holland has good vision to read the eyes of the quarterback and sees receivers well to pick them up coming into his area.

    Holland is a willing run defender who uses his speed to come downhill in a blur and make tackles. While Holland is not the biggest of safeties, he does not hesitate to get physical and will deliver some hard hits. For the NFL, it would help him to gain some weight and strength to tackle pro backs. That weight could also help him with durability.

    For added value, Holland is an excellent special teams player who has been a dangerous returner and a good contributor on coverage units. It could help ease size concerns if Holland can add some weight leading up to the 2021 NFL Draft while maintaining fast running times in pre-draft workouts.


  4. Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 212.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.59.
    Projected Round (2021): 2-3.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: Nasirildeen missed the 2020 season opener with a knee injury.

    Florida State had a rough 2019 season, so some good players like Nasirildeen went under the radar. He was a really good defender for the Seminoles, making over 100 tackles and some plays on the ball. It was the second straight season in which Nasirildeen contributed well in the tackling department for the Seminoles.

    For the NFL, Nasirildeen might fit best as a strong safety, provided he can fill out. Nasirildeen has good length for the pro game to help defend tight ends and tall receivers. It would help him for the next level to add some weight to his frame.




  5. Richard LeCounte, S, Georgia
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 190.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.57.
    Projected Round (2021): 2-3.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: Team sources told me that LeCounte stood out to them at times for being a gifted player with upside. He totaled 61 tackles with four interceptions, three passes defended and two forced fumbles in 2019. For 2018, he had 74 tackles with two forced fumbles, an interception and three passes defended.


  6. Trevon Moehrig*, S, TCU
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 208.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
    Projected Round (2021): 2-4.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: Moehrig had an impressive 2019 season, demonstrating had excellent ball production to go along with a solid tackle totals. It was his first season as a starter after being a good special teams contributor in 2018 as a freshman. Moehrig has good size to him, and it will be interesting to see how he performs as a junior.


  7. Caden Sterns*, S, Texas
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 205.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.54.
    Projected Round (2021): 2-4.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: Sterns had four tackles and a pass broken up against UTEP in the 2020 opener. Sterns had an excellent 2018 season with four interceptions, four passes broken up and 62 tackles. The freshman looked like he could end up being a star, but his sophomore season was mildly disappointing with just 59 tackles, one pass defended and zero interceptions. It will be interesting to see which version of Sterns shows up as a junior.


  8. Richie Grant, S, Central Florida
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 194.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.56.
    Projected Round (2021): 2-4.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: Grant jumped out with a massive 2018 season, totaling 108 tackles with six interceptions, two forced fumbles and three passes broken up. He looked like he could be a first-round pick with a huge presence all over the field. In 2019 though, Grant came down to earth with 78 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble.


  9. Marcus Murphy*, S, Mississippi State
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 200.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.57.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-4.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: Murphy only played in five games in 2019, but he was very productive in them with a couple of interceptions and 26 tackles. He flashed well enough for advance scouts to place him on preseason watch lists for the 2021 NFL Draft. Murphy could stand to get stronger, but he has a lot of upside with speed and instincts.




  10. Kolby Harvell-Peel, S, Oklahoma State
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 210.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.56.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-4.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: Harvell-Peel had a really good 2019 season for Oklahoma State, contributing well in run defense and pass coverage. He had a lot of production and splash plays for the Cowboys while showing a big improvement over his sophomore season. Harvell-Peel could stand to get stronger for the NFL, but if he stays consistent with his 2019 season, he could be a riser.


  11. Donovan Stiner*, S, Florida
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 203.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.56.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-5.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: Stiner could be a riser if he illustrates more consistency in run defense and pass coverage, as he showed a knack for creating big plays during the 2019 season. The sophomore had four interceptions with 30 tackles and a pass broken up on the year.


  12. Darrick Forrest, S, Cincinnati
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 200.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-5.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: Forest had an impressive junior year, stepping up and playing well for the Bearcats after James Wiggins went out for the season. Forrest was a good tackler who also made some plays on the ball. For the NFL, it would help him to add some weight to his frame.


  13. Shawn Davis, S, Florida
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 185.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.5.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-5.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: Davis could rise if he is able to gain some weight and fill out his frame. He was a solid defender for the Gators in 2019, making some plays on the ball and contributing well in coverage downfield. He also was a decent tackler for a smaller safety. Davis could boost his stock for the 2021 NFL Draft as a senior.


  14. Ar'Darius Washington, S, TCU
    Height: 5-8. Weight: 179.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-5.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: Washington would be rated a lot higher if he weren't so vastly undersized. While he is very small, Washington was a quality tackler for TCU, and he was very good in coverage in 2019. Washington showed good instincts and ball skills with the ability to create interceptions or break up passes downfield. He can't do anything about his height, but he needs to gain 10-20 pounds to become a more viable prospect to get selected in the top half of the 2021 NFL Draft.




  15. Tre Sterling*, S, Oklahoma State
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 202.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.59.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-5.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: Sterling had a solid debut as a starter for the Cowboys in 2019, showing some ability to tackle and contribute in coverage. He has upside to develop and could improve as he gains experience. Sterling should add weight for the NFL, and it would help him to make more splash plays in coverage as a junior.


  16. Tariq Thompson, S, San Diego State
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 200.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.59.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-5.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: Thompson showed quality ball skills and pass coverage ability as a junior. He needs to stronger for the NFL. Thompson had a strong debut as a freshman and was alreaady a solid 3-year starter for San Diego State entering his final season.


  17. Damar Hamlin, S, Pittsburgh
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 195.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-5.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: Hamlin was a good tackler for Pittsburgh over the past two seasons, and as a junior, he really improved his ability to break up passes downfield. Hamlin is a solid tackler with some instincts. He could stand to get stronger for the NFL.


  18. Jamien Sherwood*, S, Auburn
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 204.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.57.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-5.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: Auburn had some veteran safeties in 2019, so Sherwood was a rotational backup, but he still flashed with some good plays in his limited opportunities. The NFL advance scouts saw the potential and included Sherwood on their preseason watch list for the 2021 NFL Draft. Sherwood could take over as a starter in 2020 and has the upside to rise.


  19. Dwayne Johnson Jr., S, San Diego State
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 215.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.6.
    Projected Round (2021): 4-6.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: Johnson was a dependable strong safety in 2019 and formed a good tandem with Tariq Thompson. It was only his first season as a starter, so Johnson could do better as a senior. He could stand to improve his pass coverage and plays on the ball in his final season.


  20. Jay Lenard, S, San Jose State
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 207.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.59.
    Projected Round (2021): 4-6.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: Lenard was a steady defender for San Jose State over the past two seasons, coming close to 100 tackles each year. As a senior, he needs to make more splash plays in coverage.


  21. James Wiggins, S, Cincinnati
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 205.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
    Projected Round (2021): 5-7.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: Wiggins missed the 2019 season due to a torn ACL suffered in practice a few days before the season opener. He had an impressive 2018 season in which he displayed the ability to tackle and made some plays on the ball. Staying healthy and being productive will be vital for Wiggins to have a shot of being selected in the 2021 NFL Draft.


  22. Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 205.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
    Projected Round (2021): 5-7.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: Brisker did not make a lot of stops for Penn State in 2019, but he flashed some ability to make plays on the ball downfield and has upside to improve as a senior. It was only his first season with Penn State after starting out his career at Lackawanna College.


  23. Marcelino Ball, S, Indiana
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 220.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
    Projected Round (2021): 5-7.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: Ball was a tough strong safety for Indiana over the past few seasons. He is strong and a quality run defender, but he needs to make more plays in pass coverage and show more cover ability in 2020 to rise for the 2021 NFL Draft.


  24. Yusuf Corker*, S, Kentucky
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 198.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
    Projected Round (2021): 5-7.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: Corker was a solid tackler and run defender for Kentucky in 2019. As a junior, it would help his draft stock if he showed more skills in coverage and improved his ball production. The 2019 season was only his first year as a starter, so Corker could be better as he gains experience.


  25. Tyree Gillespie, S, Missouri
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 210.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.57.
    Projected Round (2021): 5-7.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: Gillespie was a solid safety for Missouri in 2019, tackling decently well while showing some ball production to break up passes. He has not, however, recorded an interception so far, despite over two years of serious playing time. Showing coverage ability and making some splash plays would help him as a senior.


  26. Christian Uphoff, S, Illinois State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 195.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
    Projected Round (2021): 5-7.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: Uphoff has starred on special teams and defense for Illinois State. He is a long safety who needs to fill out his frame for the next level. It would help him to show more cover skills as a senior, and if he can get to an all-star game and perform well there, that could boost his stock for the 2021 NFL Draft.


  27. Deontay Anderson, S, Houston
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 217.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.6.
    Projected Round (2021): 5-7.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: Anderson is a big strong safety who was a solid tackler for Houston over the past two seasons. He showed improved coverage skills as a junior, but he still could stand to improve his coverage while making more splash plays on the ball.


  28. Leon O'Neal Jr., S, Texas A&M
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 210.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.59.
    Projected Round (2021): 5-7.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: O'Neal could become a strong safety prospect for the NFL. He had a decent sophomore season for the Aggies, but he needs to improve his coverage skills as a junior to rise.


  29. Brad Hawkins*, S, Michigan
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 218.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.59.
    Projected Round (2021): 6-FA.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: Hawkins is a well-built strong safety who could stand to improve his pass coverage as a senior. Even though Hawkins has a strong build, he did not put together a big tackle total as a junior. Hawkins has some upside, but he needs to be more productive to rise.


  30. Mark Webb, S, Georgia
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 200.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.59.
    Projected Round (2021): 7-FA.
    View Ranking History


    9/19/20: After serving as a backup for two years, Webb became a starter as a junior and had a respectable first season. His run defense is ahead of his pass coverage. Over his senior year, Webb needs to illustrate improved pass coverage.




2020 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2021 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2022 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P





 








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