Detailed Look on Drafting a Safety

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by ZifanQ, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. ZifanQ

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    After the initial wave of free agency, everyone seems to agree that the two biggest needs on the Bears roster are safety and defensive tackle. Naturally there has been a lot of discussion about what Emery should do with the #14 overall pick. Now most people tend to be leaning toward DT, but I am thinking back to an /r/nfl thread.

    How important is an elite safety?

    Now I approve of Emery's decision to target the defensive line in free agency, it wouldn't matter if we had an elite safety with the state it was in. But Conte, Mundy and Jennings is not a group fit to enter the season with, so Emery will absolutely need to draft a safety. Thinking back to how important an elite safety can be to winning championships, I wanted to know where these players were drafted. So I put together a list of the top 12 safeties of the last decade, and where they were drafted. Note: All Pro selections includes first and second team selections.

    • Ed Reed - FS, #24 draft pick, 8 Time All Pro

    • Brian Dawkins - FS, #61 draft pick, 6 Time All Pro

    • Darren Sharper - FS, #60 draft pick, 6 Time All Pro

    • Troy Polamalu - SS, #16 draft pick, 5 Time All Pro

    • Eric Weddle - FS, #37 draft pick, 4 Time All Pro

    • Adrian Wilson - SS, #64 draft pick, 4 Time All Pro

    • Nick Collins - FS, #51 draft pick, 3 Time All Pro

    • Earl Thomas - FS, #14 draft pick, 3 Time All Pro

    • Jarius Byrd - FS, #42 draft pick, 3 Time All Pro

    • Bob Sanders - SS, #44 draft pick, 2 Time All Pro

    • Antrel Rolle - FS, #8 draft pick, 2 Time All Pro

    • Eric Berry - SS, #5 draft pick, 1 Time All Pro
    Average Position - 35.5

    1st Rounders - 5

    2nd Rounders - 6

    3rd Rounders - 1

    Other - 0

    Out of the 12 best safeties of the last decade, all of them were drafted in the three rounds. Adrian Wilson was only two picks away from making them all drafted in the first two rounds!

    Looking at the success rate of drafting a safety in the first two rounds over the last 10 years, I was blown away by the success rate.

    • 2013 - 1st Kenny Vaccaro, Eric Reid, Matt Elam, 2nd Johnathan Cyprien, D.J. Swearinger

    • 2012 - 1st Mark Barron, Harrison Smith, 2nd Tavon Wilson

    • 2011 - 1st None, 2nd Rahim Moore, Jaiquawn Jarrett

    • 2010 - 1st Eric Berry, Earl Thomas, 2nd Nate Allen, T. J. Ward, Taylor Mays

    • 2009 - 1st None, 2nd Louis Delmas , Patrick Chung , Jairus Byrd, Michael Mitchell, William Moore

    • 2008 - 1st Kenny Phillips, 2nd Tyrell Johnson

    • 2007 - 1st LaRon Landry, Michael Griffin, Brandon Meriweather, 2nd Eric Weddle, Gerald Alexander, Sabby Piscitelli

    • 2006 - 1st Michael Huff, Donte Whitner, Jason Allen, 2nd Daniel Bullocks, Danieal Manning, Roman Harper, Bernard Pollard

    • 2005 - 1st None, 2nd Brodney Pool, Josh Bullocks, Nick Collins

    • 2004 - 1st Sean Taylor, 2nd Bob Sanders, Michael Boulware, Madieu Williams, Sean Jones
    There were a few duds obviously, but most of them developed into at least solid starters. There averages 4.3 safeties through the first 2 rounds over the last 10 years, so if I am Emery, I am looking at the top 5 or so guys and don't go home without one.

    • Haha Clinton-Dix, Alabama Height: 6-1. Weight: 208. 40 Time: 4.58. Projected Round: 1.

    • Calvin Pryor, Louisville Height: 5-11. Weight: 207. 40 Time: 4.58. Projected Round: 1.

    • Terrence Brooks, Florida State Height: 5-11. Weight: 198. 40 Time: 4.42. Projected Round: 2.

    • Deone Bucannon, Washington State Height: 6-1. Weight: 211. 40 Time: 4.49. Projected Round: 2.

    • Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois Height: 5-11. Weight: 193. 40 Time: 4.59. Projected Round: 2.

    Credit goes to dmfaber1 from Bears Reddit - http://www.reddit.com/r/CHIBears/comments/20ms62/detailed_look_on_drafting_a_safety/
    Thought it was interesting to look at.
     
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  2. Grizzblue

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    Ima be honest, and I may be in the minority but I like Pryor over Dix. True SS and that's a bigger need than FS as of now. I think both are good players tho.
     
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  3. strockrocks

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    Thanks for the post.

    So I am interpreting this as, Emery needs to grab a safety with the #14 pick, otherwise risk the chance that none of these 5 will be available in the 2nd round. (if he wants one of these five)...

    correct?
     
  4. Grizzblue

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    That's the way I see it I think this heavily depends on if Donald is there or not. If he is taken before we pick I expect Dix or Pryor to be the selection.
     
  5. Jimmors

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    Im a fan of Clinton-Dix. I really hope we draft him.
     
  6. soulman

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    Great workup Zif! I don't think there's any doubt that a DT and FS are the two biggest needs heading into the draft.

    I still like Donald or Jernigan in one and I like Jimmie Ward in two. Playing at NIU I think he's kind of a hometown boy and although he's a little smaller than the others he's been a very productive player in college and a guy who can really give Conte a run for his money. He's also got enough size and speed to play NB and eventually we may need to replace or upgrade that spot too.

    If Izzy returns it gives Tucker some options as far as using Houston at the 3 tech DT position and if Melton returns too them DT drops behind FS for sure and they'll probably be looking at Ha Ha or Pryor. The other need is at CB but it's less of a must now that Peanut is signed but if Gilbert is still there at #14 (doubtful) then he's probably in the mix as well and he's a good return guy so they'd have a use for him even if he doesn't start at CB.
     
  7. BSBEARS

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    There is definetely a drop in talent after Dix and Pryor. Mundy appears to be a SS. Tough call a Good SS can cover some issues with the DL and a good DL can make the Safeties look much better. If I knew there was a cant miss stud at DT I would go that way, but really undecided and trusting Emery on this one.
     
  8. soulman

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    One thing I do like about Ward is that he's small, but not that small, but he's probably as good a cover guy as any of them. I have to assume that by resigning and picking up DL and a MLB and SS who are able to play the run pretty well again I'd like a FS who can cover those deep routes correctly and play centerfield and Ward has some talents in that regard.

    So if we decide to go DT in one there's at least one good FS prospect in round two and if we go with a FS in one then maybe Quarles comes into play in two and then maybe a CB in three. The best thing that can be said is that there are options. Although the talent at some positions falls off the overall talent even down into the middle rounds is good. There are guys there who can make teams and play.
     
  9. BearJim

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    If we don't go safety in Rd 1 there are few out there that I like you can probably get later.

    Bucannon, Loston, Dixon, Brooks, Reynolds & Bailey to name a few. Just remember these experts who rate these guys aren't always right. These guys might need a little time to adjust to the NFL but they could certainly end up be better pros. Who knows?
     
  10. BearDownUnder

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    I think we've got it all wrong. We need to stop looking at what position to draft and think who is the ELITE talent. Look at all those Pro Bowl safeties some of whom played in great defenses in great teams. But the same can be said for DT.

    Grade out the defensive players:
    Future elite: Is it Clowney/Mack/Barr?
    Probable high end talent: Clinton-Dix, Donald, Gilbert
    Nice prospect: Prior, Mosely etc

    Regardless of what happens in the second round I think for the long term future of the team you take the guy who fits at pick 14. If no one is there you trade back and you get 2 in the second round and a bonus somewhere if the trade is right.

    No point drafting just to get a perfectly even draft so you can fit players in based on some magical best defense as by the time players develop other holes open up. Take the best talent, get them playing well and maybe you'll get some surprises in FA/late draft picks/UDFA.

    A lot of people were keen for a TE or tackle last year. We took a (versatile) guard, put him in and he played great. Our free agent TE who had some questions about him played great and our 5th round RT played great as well.

    Of course you consider needs and definitely scheme. But we've got to get at least 1 high quality starter in and we've got DT, Safety, CB and even DE and CB that all are worth long term investments of an elite rookie.
     
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