2023 Senior Bowl Preview: Safeties

One of the vital necessary occasions on the Nationwide Soccer League calendar is the Senior Bowl. Held the week after the convention championship video games, it’s the true starting of the NFL draft cycle.

Not solely do scouts and analysts like us get to see over 100 draft prospects in a single place competing in opposition to one another, but it surely’s additionally a possibility for analysts and personnel alike to get collectively and have discussions about plenty of matters.

As we sit up for this 12 months’s Senior Bowl, each managing editor Tyler Forness and columnist Matt Anderson might be there in individual to interrupt all the pieces down.

We might be breaking down every place group and what to search for all through the week. Right here is the sting rusher place.


Running backs
Wide receivers
Tight ends
Offensive tackles
Interior offensive line
Interior defensive line
Edge rushers

Alabama’s DeMarcco Hellams

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Hellams is a flexible defensive again, lining up in several alignments for Alabama. There have been snaps in deeper security seems and conventional sturdy security alignments. His greatest match within the NFL will possible come within the latter. Hellams has some limitations together with his athleticism and placing him as a deep security might expose these limitations. As an alternative, permitting Hellams to play as a powerful security will assist maximize his tackling potential and put him in one of the best spot to succeed. Hellams versatility will nonetheless permit him to discover a spot on the protection.

Boise State’s JL Skinner

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It’s not exhausting to take a look at Skinner and get enthusiastic about him. Skinner is listed at 6-foot-4 and 218 kilos, making him a bodily specimen for any NFL workforce. He combines that body with nice athleticism, giving groups a body that may’t be replicated simply. With that body, it shouldn’t be a shock that Skinner is without doubt one of the most bodily gamers on the sector. That physicality comes out greatest in opposition to the run, the place Skinner can ship hits to ball carriers. When it comes to alignment, Skinner ought to discover himself enjoying close to the road of scrimmage on the subsequent degree. These seems would permit him to maximise his bodily presents and influence the sport in quite a lot of methods.

Cal’s Daniel Scott

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Scott is without doubt one of the oldest prospects within the class, and that may restrict his upside, however there might be a pathway to vital enjoying time. Scott has an amazing construct for the protection place, and he pairs that with nice versatility.

At Cal, he noticed snaps at deep security, two-high seems, and nickel cornerback seems. Scott can contribute to all these points together with his fluidity and protection abilities. His tackling struggles are a priority, but when he can clear them up, there might be a number of pathways to play instantly on the subsequent degree.

Florida State’s Jammie Robinson

Wealthy Storry-USA TODAY Sports activities

Though Robinson has lined up in several spots, placing him nearer to the road of scrimmage will maximize what he’s greatest at. Robinson has nice instincts that permit him to react to performs that develop in entrance of him. When he sees the performs, Robinson has the athleticism and motor to make these performs and influence the sport.

He’s not an ideal tackler, however there’s lots to love from Robinson from this standpoint. With these traits, placing him within the field will give him loads of profitable performs that may influence the sport.

Georgia’s Christopher Smith

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports activities

Activate the tape, and also you’ll see a participant with some unbelievable vary. Smith showcased the required vary to play in deeper alignments over his time with Georgia. That vary, nevertheless, additionally permits him to play in several spots relying on matchups. He possible has the protection abilities to play nickel cornerback, can play within the field at instances, and may play in several excessive security alignments. His body will restrict what he can do on the subsequent degree (he’s simply 5-foot-11 and 195 kilos), however his versatility will help him discover methods to cover that. General, Smith feels just like the jack-of-all-trades form of participant.

Illinois’ Sydney Brown

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports activities

If Brown sees a ball provider in his path, he’ll possible win the matchup. Brown is a bodily security that pairs his instincts with an athletic profile that scouts will like. He’s fast out of the gate, closes performs rapidly, and has performed in several seems. Illinois requested Brown to drop into the field to play as a linebacker and play deep security at instances and succeeded in each.

He has some issues as a tackler, which can restrict his potential to play within the field on a regular basis, however he nonetheless finishes performs together with his athleticism. Admittedly, projecting a task for Brown on the subsequent degree is just a little difficult. He gives scouts a variety of selection, and his position within the NFL would possibly differ with the scheme. 

Iowa’s Kaevon Merriweather

221112 Wisc Iowa Fb 034 Jpg

Merriweather received’t wow you on tape, however he’s nonetheless a highly-efficient participant. Merriweather is robust in each man and zone protection, enjoying his position with the duty required from a security. He’s a bodily participant with the athleticism to play as a security on the subsequent degree. Merriweather has had his struggles in opposition to the run, however there’s a baseline to work with for NFL groups. His soccer IQ is robust, permitting him to see performs as they develop and react accordingly. Nevertheless, he feels a step slower when reacting.

LSU’s Jay Ward

Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports activities

Whereas at LSU, Ward switched from cornerback to security, which shouldn’t come as a shock if you watch him play. Ward made a number of performs in protection, showcasing the instincts and ball abilities of a cornerback. These performs got here in several roles, too. He’s had high-level reps in each man protection and zone protection seems, giving NFL groups a baseline for versatility.

The swap from cornerback to security has left Ward with some limitations. At simply 180 kilos, Ward is gentle for the protection place, and he’ll want time to construct a pro-ready body. If he does that, Ward can carve out a singular position within the NFL, however till that occurs, he may be restricted.

Ohio State’s Ronnie Hickman

Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports activities

Some won’t name Hickman a security, however that doesn’t matter as a result of he’s a superb soccer participant. Whereas he performs the ball inconsistently, his physicality makes him a gifted run defender for the place. Hickman combines that physicality with an amazing understanding of the sport, permitting him to make performs in several spots. He received’t be a single-high security on the subsequent degree, however as a field security or second security, there’s a lot to love, and he’ll discover a position. If he can carve out a task on particular groups, he’ll keep on the sector for many performs.

Virginia Tech’s Chamarri Conner

Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports activities

Like different safeties on the Senior Bowl, Conner is a flexible participant able to enjoying in several spots. Conner performed within the slot and as a deep security at Virginia and impressed at each. Along with his potential as a slot participant, Conner is sound in protection. Conner, nevertheless, doesn’t have elite ball abilities for the place. Though he could make performs on the ball, he’s inconsistent for the variety of reps he has. He’s additionally a strong tackler and accountable within the run sport, which means that NFL groups can play him on the line of scrimmage. 

Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire

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