2. Harrison Smith 6'1 ¾" 213 pounds SS Notre Dame 4.57. While Smith does not show the same kind of close to elite athletic ability on tape that he did at the Combine, He's rarely beat deep, not because of his speed, but because he knows he has to be the deepest player on the field. It seems like a simple concept, but it rarely happens during the course of the game. He isn't an explosive tackler who makes a big hit, but he's reliable enough to trust in the open field. He does a good job disguising what coverage he is in, and rolling at the last second, at times putting him in position to come up with big hits and deflections. Still I find him to be a very linear athlete who struggles to stay in the ‘hip pocket’ of quick receivers. He had an excellent 2010 season with 91 tackles, seven interceptions then last year as team captain, he added 90 tackles, one forced fumble and 10 pass breakups but no interceptions. Harrison Smith is probably a better strong safety than free safety depending on the scheme, but you always know what you're going to get from him. He's solid, a leader an above average athlete he puts me in mind of a more talented version of Andrew Shanle.
3. Antonio Allen 6‘1 5/8" 208 40 Time: 4.58 SS | South Carolina Allen is a ‘Spur’ he plays a hybrid linebacker/safety role for South Carolina and rarely lines up as a traditional safety. He will have to adjust to new position and playing deeper down the field. Can match up with most tight ends and likes to be very tough in mixing it up, he saw time at strong-side linebacker early in his career at SC. Involved in a minor incident on campus in his first year at SC. Has no major injury history and no other off-field issues. He’s a bit of a tweener who will have to find a place in the NFL. Allen plays like a linebacker but has the body of a safety. Effective on the blitz, consistently defeats blocks and has no problems taking down the runner once he locks on to the opponent, he ended the season with 35 tackles and a pair of pass break-ups, he’s a football player who you want out on the field because he simply makes plays. An NFL comparison is Will Demps.
4. Markelle Martin 6’0 ¾" 207 FS, Oklahoma State 11am, is a safety with good size, functional speed and a pension for getting injured. With his ability to play both free and strong safety, he’ll need to continue to sharpen his awareness and diagnostic abilities from the safety position. He's not a big hitter, but he's an aggressive player and his capable of knocking balls loose. He's shown that he's rangy and can cover as well as or better than most of the safeties in this class. He's fairly slick footed with a smooth backpedal. His football IQ does at times seem to cause him to struggle with zone concepts, he is an athletic prospect but he has shown a propensity to be unsure not only where to go, but when. He is scheduled graduate with a degree in economics, served as a mentor to younger freshman who experienced problems similar to his own, and ultimately grew into a solid two year starter for OK State. Though he eventually grew into a leadership capacity and learned from his off-field mistakes, Martin is an undisciplined player that deals with mental errors and penalties. At times he tries too hard to make the big play, instead of making the smart play. He was hotly recruited and originally committed to Oklahoma, before de-committing and enrolling early at Oklahoma State. As an alternative admissions student he seemed unhappy at 1st and rarely saw the field as a freshman, except for special teams. He became academically ineligible towards the latter portion of freshman season; Martin was suspended for OSU's bowl game; fathered a child back home Wichita Falls, TX and considered transferring or even giving up playing. But, with the aid of his mother, academic advisor, and coaches, Martin began to mature, worked much harder in the classroom and on the practice field, and fought through a difficult start to his collegiate career. His raw athletic ability is somewhat blunted by his hesitation. Martin’s versatility will help his stock; his size and speed produce impressive numbers at the April 17th pro day he’s doing on campus should help to improve Martin’s stock. Martin isn’t Ed Reed and he isn’t complete enough to be a future star, Martin’s Pro comparison Ken Hamlin.
5. Brandon Taylor, 5' 11 1/8" 209 FS/SS LSU, 4.58 On the hoof you can tell he’s a former cornerback who stays pretty low in his back pedal and can flip his hips, his football IQ, work-ethic, dedication to the film room all improved and he became more of a student of the game in the past year. Still most teams want more of a physical presence than he provides. His brother Curtis played on LSU's national title team in 2007 and was drafted in the 2008 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers and another brother Jhyryn spent two years at LSU before transferring to a junior college in the spring of 2010. He is productive and his film work pays off he finished his career with 160 tackles (11.5 for losses), 15 passes broken up and four interceptions, compiling 71 tackles and two interceptions as a senior, NFL comparison Reggie Nelson.
6. Winston Guy 6'0 ½" 218 SS/OLB Kentucky 4.61 [4.69 at the Combine 4.53] at his pro day Guy was All-SEC Conference Second Team for the 2011 college football season as voted on by The Associated Press. Guy was just behind his teammate in tackles, ranking second in the SEC with 120 stops. The native of Lexington, Ky., also ranked tied for 22nd in the nation in tackles, averaging 10 per game. Guy had eight games of double-figure tackles this season, including a high of 14 at South Carolina and against Tennessee. The senior was named National Defensive Back of the Week for the Western Kentucky game when he had 10 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and two interceptions. Guy was made a made first All-SEC selection by league coaches, although he was a second-team pick last year by CollegeFootballNews.com. Guy finishes his career at Kentucky with 297 tackles after recording back-to-back seasons of 100 tackles or more the past two seasons. He is seen by some as a “tweener” he is a better pass defender than most think, but clearly he’s still more effective close to the line of scrimmage, his NFL comparison Willie Offord.
7. Trenton Robinson Michigan State FS 5'9 3/4" 195 4.52 [4.46-4.43 at his pro day] Key stats: Robinson started 32 of 46 career games he ranked third on the team with 80 tackles (5.7 avg.) in 2011 he started 13 games at free safety in his career he has 229 tackles, nine interceptions and 12 pass break-ups in his career; his nine interceptions are tied for 12th in MSU's record book. He is also a two-time All-Big Ten honoree with 27 tackles in his four bowl games (6.8 avg.). He had six tackles in the win over No. 18 Georgia in the 2012 Outback Bowl, seven tackles, including a TD-saving stop against running back Mike Shaw, against Michigan in 2010. He also intercepted QB Denard Robinson's third-down pass into the end zone. Some have noted he's on the small side and it's true he's no Atwater as a tackler. Still he has the kind of coverage skills that are highly prized and he will even get consideration as a Cover-2 CB. A two-time Big Ten honoree at free safety for Michigan State, Robinson improved on his 40-yard dash time during his pro day. After running a 4.52 during the NFL combine, Robinson improved to run a 4.43, according to a scout, NFL comparison Antoine Bethea.
8. Sean Cattouse | 6'2 3/8" 211 pounds | SS | California 4.71 [4.61-4.70 at his pro day, 4.74 at the combine], He is a long-levered, straight line safety best defending the run, he shows average quickness up field, displays a good head for the ball and sifts through the trash to get to the action, he breaks down well, uses his hands to protect and plays with an aggressive streak. He is judicious and disciplined with assignments and works to keep the action in front of him. Cattouse did not see too much playing time during his freshman campaign, but he did earn two starts in California’s biggest two games. Filling in for an injured safety, Cattouse started the Big Game against Stanford and recorded a season high five tackles. He also earned a start in the Emerald Bowl. His impressive play late in 2008 led to higher expectation in 2009, but he did not begin the year in the starting lineup, but worked his way there by the end of the campaign. He started with 13 tackles as a redshirt freshman that season, working his way up to a career-high 59 stops last season. Cattouse also has 7 career interceptions. There is a lot to like about Sean but unlike fellow Bear DeCoud it's not his coverage ability, he’s a hard hitting tough run defender; he has tallied: 24 pass defenses and 7 interceptions in 4 years at Cal shows that he can drop back into coverage and make a play on the ball but he does need to develop his skills in this area, especially staying low in his backpedal. He finished his senior season with 76 tackles, 3.5 for a loss, 1 sack and 2 interceptions to go with 4 PBUs, NFL comparison Glenn Earl.
9. George Iloka, SS/OLB Boise State, 6'3 5/8" 225 4.66 Iloka goes beyond looking the part with arm length that would be elite for a DE: 34 1/2" despite that he had 20 Reps on the bench Vertical: 34.5" Broad 10'4" impressive specimen He only had 7 career interceptions including just one over the last two years as well as only 6 pass break-ups over that same time period. he started his final 45 games, lined up as both a safety and a cornerback and finished his career with 231 tackles and seven interceptions. He is much like VPI's Aaron Rouse who certainly looked the part but struggled to find a position in the NFL. 2011 Season totals: 58 Tackles, 3.0 TFL, 1 PBU, Fumble Forced 2010 Season totals: 63 Tackles, 3 TFL, 2 INT, 5 PBU, 1 Fumble Forced. NFL comparison Aaron Rouse of VPI who was taken 2007 with the Packers' 3rd round pick.
10. Christian Thompson SS/FS S.C State 6'0 3/8" 211 4.47, this former Auburn Tiger transferred to South Carolina State and became an impact player right away for the Bulldogs. He is a versatile secondary player who can move between strong and free safety as the need arises. While some may question his instincts and football IQ, the fact that he played like a LB, FS, and SS at SC. State allays that concern a bit for me; after transferring from Auburn in 2008. Thompson was a tackling machine in the MEAC, racking up six tackles for a loss and one sack in 2010.In 2011, Thompson played SS and recorded 46 tackles (one for a loss), one interception and seven passes broken up. Only two HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) prospects were invited to the combine, and Thompson was one of them. He is a team leader but his aggressiveness can, at times lead to some mistakes, he'll need time but he as definite starter potential in the NFL. His physical play earned him the nickname C.T. Scan from his college teammate; he can deliver jarring hits, NFL comparison Marvin White of TCU, the Bengals, Cowboys and Lions.