There were twenty-two SAFs taken in the 2020 draft. While none went in Round 1, a whopping five went in Round 2, and another four in Round 3. It was a very deep draft, as talent could be found in every round. We should see much of the same with the 2021 draft class, as the talent pool is deep yet again.
1) Jevon Holland | 6'1 | 196 | S | Oregon - (Opting Out)
Holland is an alpha male, one player who's hard to miss when flipping on the tape. He's shown the ability to cover the slot, as well as manning single-high duties . While not big, he's great in the box and takes on blocks and TEs with the best of them. He plays very fast, comes down hill in a hurry. He posted 66 tackles, 4 INTs. He has all the skills to be a very good if not great all-around player. He also flashes in the punt return game.
2) Trevon Moehrig | 6'1 | 208 | S | TCU
9/26 - Iowa State - Moehrig had a very good game. He was very aware and sticky in coverage, wasted no time closing in on the ball. He was solid and reliable in run support, posted 6 stops. He looked like a complete SAF prospect in this one.
10/3 - Texas - This was a very quiet game for Moehrig, but less is more in this instance. He provided great coverage and wasn't tested. Ehlinger picked on others.
10/10 - Kansas State - KSU only passed for 117 yards, and Moehrig did his part in limiting that production. He stayed with his man well, was tight in coverage. He broke off of coverage quickly to provide tackle support. He had 6 stops in this contest.
10/24 - Oklahoma - Moehrig had a very good game, was credited with 3 pass break-ups. He provided great coverage and asserted himself well as a tackler, rarely out of position in either regard. He looked to be one of the best SS in the nation today.
10/31 - Baylor - Moehrig technically gave a up a TD at the end of the 1st half, but this kid played an amazing game. He provided excellent pass coverage, was very tight when 1:1 and was great helping out over the top. He missed a couple tackles, but he was constantly having to step up and cover for others' mistakes. He had 8 tackles, 2 PBU's.
3) Caden Sterns | 6'0 | 210 | S | Texas -
9/12 - UTEP - Sterns simply wasn't tested, quiet night. This is no indictment on his play, but more of a compliment to all other who shut don the Miners. All said, 4 tackles and .5 TFLs isn't shabby.
9/26 - Texas Tech - Tech did bomb away for 325 yards, but many of their receptions were balls that didn't travel very far, at least not in the direction of Sterns. He kept plays in front of him and locked down his responsibilities well. He had 4 tackles, 1 PD on the day.
10/3- TCU - Sterns had a couple hiccups, but he still paced his team in tackles and was seldom away from the action. Despite a couple meh reads and not being positioned well, he showed a lot.
10/24 - Baylor - Sterns had a solid game overall. He kept plays in front of him in pass coverage, was reliable coming up to make tackles. He had 5 tackles on the day.
10/31 - OK State - Sterns looked the part today. While the Cowboys had success passing the ball, their success wasn't at the fault of Sterns. He was quick to diagnose plays and work to the ball. He played with good range in pass coverage and in run support. He posted 8 tackles.
After logging 4 INTs in 2018 and looking like the total package, his play fell off a bit in 2019, falling to notch a single take away. While he dealt with an injury and missed some time, he still posted 59 tackles and made an impact often. He has adequate size and wheels to match. He has unlimited potential, could certainly be one of the first SAF's off the board. That said, his medical flag may be waving high after having already suffered two knee injuries in back to back years.
4) Andre Cisco | 6'0 | 203 | S | Syracuse -
9/12 - North Carolina - Cisco was very solid in pass coverage, came away with one INT. However, he took one very bad angle on a tackle and wasn't an enforcer on the back end.
9/19 - Pittsburgh - Cisco showed coverage skills and range, and was good tackling when he had a bead on his man and could take an angle. He finished the game with 8 tackles, but was somewhat maligned in doing so.
Cisco is a ball-hawking machine with great range and production to match. He had 60 tackles, 7 INTs in 2018, then 65 tackles and 5 INTs in 2019. He reads QBs very well and has the wheels to cover a ton of ground. He's excellent cutting across the field to make plays on the ball. While not overly big, he's a striker who can and does lay the boom.
5) Ar'Darius Washington | 5'8 | 175 | S | TCU
9/26 - Iowa State - This was an up and down game for Washington. Speed-wise, he showed that he can stray close in coverage and eliminate plays. Despite being small, he played strong. On the flip side, he whiffed on a couple tackles and was hemmed up at the second level due to his lack of girth.
10/3- Texas - Washington flashed a number of times, showed a strong skill set. While he did allow a TD and had a missed tackle, he was hard to miss out there. He provided good coverage as a whole and asserted himself as a tackler.
10/24 - Oklahoma - Washington provided very good pass coverage , played with range as a whole. When Rattler bombed away, it wasn't at Washington.
10/31 - Baylor - Washington lost the size battle on one ball that ended up being a TD, but he was otherwise very sticky, dependable. He played with good range and speed. He had 5 tackles, 2 PBU's.
6) Richard LeCounte | 5'10 | 190 | S | Georgia -
9/26 - Arkansas - As a whole LeCounte had a very solid day. One can't overlook his 2 INTs, largely in part of his ability to hold down the back half of the field and keep plays in front of him. On the down side, he did allow a TD reception on a crossing route where he simply couldn't keep a lock on the WR working across and away from him. It was clear that he's much better suited for a cover-2 or a single high assignment vs. having outright slot coverage duties.
10/3 - Auburn - Was ejected early for targeting, looked the part up top that point.
10/10 - Tennessee - LeCounte had a great game. He sat on the roof of the defense and performed his assignments quite well. He was a fierce tackler.
10/17 - Alabama - LeCounte posted 5 tackles, proved to be a great striker. He was excellent on intermediate to short plays, couldn't do much as a single high against 'Bama's speed.
LeCounte lacks size, but the guy simply has a knack for being in the right place at the right time. Georgia has some ridiculous talent at the CB position, so LeCounte does draw benefit from as much. However, he's a good field general in his own right and does a good job of picking on opposing QBs.
7) Paris Ford | 6'0 | 190 | S | Pittsburgh
9/12 - Austin Peay - Ford had a very good game, showing his ball skills with an INT, as well as swarming the LOS and blitzing. While not challenged, he looked like a do-it-all prospect, albeit against an FCS program.
9/19 - Syracuse - Ford was explosive in this one, posting 4 tackles, 1 TFL and an INT. He always seemed to be swarming, around the ball.
10/3 - NC State - Ford was impactful with his 6 tackles, but his inability to provide consistent coverage over the top when going head up against a receiver was noticeable. He was beaten a few times but WRs as well as TEs.
10/10 - Boston College - Ford provided good tackling support, had 8 stops on the day. He was also good in over the top pass coverage support.
10/17 - Miami - Ford posted 6 tackles and 1 INT. He was quick to recognize the run and came up in support soundly. He was solid over the top, butn didn't show great range in getting to outside patterns.
10/24 - Notre Dame - Ford somewhat quietly led his team in tackles with 8. While he had one pass defended, he was up and down in pass coverage.
Ford lacks ideal size, but he plays with good functional range and is one of the hardest strikers the nation has to offer at the position. He does a good job of reading QBs and typically shows a nice break on the ball whether he's in pass defense and coming down hill to make a play on the ball carrier. He will play a little loose with his technique at times and can't always be trusted in 1:1's. All said, he brings a lot at the position and is the type of guy you want out there.
8) James Wiggins | 6'0 | 205 | S | Cincinnati
10/24 - SMU - Wiggins, like his teammate Forrest, had a good game. Wiggins posted just 1 tackle, 1 PBU. His stat line was low because he was steered clear of a lot of the game. Wiggins provided great over the top, single high support on many pass plays. Buechele only passed for 216 yards, was limited to perimeter throws due to coverage over the top.
10/24 - Memphis - Wiggins had a very good game. He was excellent in over the top pass coverage, came downfield as a tackler when needed. He played with good speed an instincts, read the QB well.
11/21 - UCF - Wiggins had a great outing. He was very stingy in pass coverage, often blanketed his man like a CB. When there was a play in his proximity, he was quick to close on the ball. He had 5 tackles, all solo stops. His play speed was impressive.
9) Richie Grant | 6'0 | 195 | S | UCF
9/26 - East Carolina - Grant had a solid game. While he was quiet at spots throughout, it was largely because ECU didn't test him deep with anything over the top. He came down in support as needed, posted 3 tackles.
11/21 - Cincinnati - Grant had an amazing game. While he did blow coverage on one ball, he otherwise carried out his assignments very well. He was everywhere today, constantly around the ball. He provided good pass coverage, was a tackling machine. He posted 16 tackles, 10 of which were solo. He also had 1.5 TFLs.
10) Kolby Harvell-Peel | 6'0 | 210 | S | OK State
9/19 - Tulsa - Had a solid game, asserting himself mostly as a tackler, but did provide adequate coverage in the back half.
10/24 - Iowa State - Harvell-Peel had a very good game. He was often lined up against Charlie Kolar, one of the nation's best TEs. While Kolar went 5/54, 25 yards came on one ill-advised throw from Purdy. He otherwise eliminated targets or reduced them to very short receptions.
10/31 - Texas - Harvell-Peel unfortunately left the game early with an injury, looked the part until that point.
11/21 - Oklahoma - Harvell-Peel had a good outing himself, but could do little to help his team overall. He did post 5 tackles and showed good play awareness.
11) Hamsah Nasirildeen | 6'4 | 215 | S | Florida State -
Nasirildeen is a rangy prospect with great size and excellent production. As a tackler, there's very little that gets by him. He posted at least 90 tackles in each of his past two seasons. With that said, there are question marks as to how well he could thrive in a true safety capacity. More times than not, he's used in the box, functions like an extra LB.
12) Joey Blount | 6'0 | 190 | S | Virginia
10/3 - Clemson - Blount had a great game. Whether covering the slot WR or the TE, he was very good and allowed next to no separation. He diagnosed plays very well and was very quick to come up in run support. He was very effective as a blitzer, notched a sack.
13) Jamien Sherwood | 6'1 | 220 | S | Auburn
14) Talanoa Hufanga | 6'1 | 210 | S | USC
11/7 - Arizona State - Hufanga was productive with 10 tackles, pacing his team in that regard. However, he took a couple bad angles at times and was slower than ideal with his play recognition. A lot of yards were given up before he closed in on the ball carrier.
11/14 - Arizona - Hufanga missed a chunk of the 1st half with an injury but returned later. He posted 4 tackles, 1 INT. Despite grabbing the INT that was thrown right to him, he showed decent but not great pass coverage skills.
11/21 - Utah - Hufanga had a very nice game. He posted 10 tackles on the night, always seemed to be atop of plays and quick to close in on the ball. This was also his second game in a row where he got a pick.
15) Divine Deablo | 6'2 | 223 | S | Virginia Tech
10/31 - Louisville - Deablo had a great game. Cunningham threw for 350 yards, but it wasn't on this kid. Deablo tracked the ball well and was a rock in pass coverage. He had 7 tackles, all of which were solo.
11/7 - Liberty - Deablo had a good game. He was never out of position, always read plays well and responded accordingly. He stepped up as a tackler throughout the game, eliminated his man in pass coverage.
11/14 - Miami - Deablo had 6 tackles, showed sound play on the back half, keeping plays in front of him.
16) Bubba Bolden | 6'2 | 200 | S | Miami
9/12 - UBA - Bolden only posted 2 tackles, but I was impressed with how he locked down his back half of the field, kept plays in front off him. He looked to play with good range, covered ground.
9/19 - Louisville - Bolden paced his team with 11 tackles. Overall, this was a good game for him. While he got beat a few times in coverage against the speedster Atwell, or was just out of position, he generally did well. Against the run, he was very sure and was only bested a few times by another speedster in Hawkins.
10/17 - Pittsburgh - Bolden was a bit up and down in this one. While he looked very adept and aware on some plays, his coverage skills lacked on others. He posted 6 tackles overall and did more good than not.
10/24 - Virginia - Bolden had a down night. he allowed a TD to Tony Poljan and was iffy at best in the tackling department. He did post 5 stops but was out of position a few times.
17) Shawn Davis | 5'11 | 185 | S | Florida
9/26 - Ole Miss - Davis was kicked out early for targeting.
10/3 - South Carolina - Davis had a nice game, paced his team with 8 tackles. While he was dependable in coverage, his value really showed up in the tackling department. He was quick to recognize plays and come up in support.
11/7 - Georgia - Davis was adequate at times, but was spotty in coverage. I can't rate his play as good or bad.
11/21 - Vanderbilt - Aside from a missed tackle that allowed a TD, Davis was generally solid as a tackler and in coverage.
18) Darrick Forrest | 6'0 | 200 | S | Cincinnati -
10/24 - SMU - Forrest had a very good game. He got credited with 5 tackles, all of which were solo. However, he was always around the ball. While he was quick to come up in run support, his coverage skills were very good as well. Buechele only passed for 216 yards, was limited to perimeter throws due to coverage over the top. Forrest provided a lot of said coverage. He played fast, was able to cover a lot of the field.
10/24 - Memphis - Forrest had an up and down game. While he was very good in pass coverage, he underwhelmed as a tackler. He whiffed on one play badly, then didn't wrap up on two others.
11/21 - UCF - Wiggins was the best SAF on his squad today, but Forrest often looked the part as well. While he got trucked on one play, he was otherwise solid as a tackler and generally good in pass coverage.
19) Donovan Stiner | 6'1 | 210 | S | Florida
20) Jaquan Brisker | 6'1 | 210 | S | Penn State
10/31 - Ohio State - Brisker did post 8 tackles, but he was slow on a few reads and underwhelmed as a striker. Most his hit came after heavy yards were surrendered.
1/14 - Nebraska - Brisker did nothing definitive to stand out as good or bad. Most of Nebraska's success came on short plays outside of his play assignment.
21) Smoke Monday | 6'1 | 196 | S | Auburn
22) Brady Breeze | 6'0 | 200 | S | Oregon (Opting Out)
23) Delarrin Turner-Yell | 5'10 | 190 | S | Oklahoma
9/26 - Kansas State - Turner-Yell was quite active in this game, pacing his team with 7 tackles. While he wasn't dynamic in his efforts, he was seldom away from the ball.
10/3 - Iowa State - Like his teammates, he struggled with size and couldn't cleanly defend the pass. He looked good at times, was taken to the task on others.
10/24 - TCU - Turner-Yell had a decent game, not great. He was adequate in pass coverage and run support. Against the run, he had a couple false reads, but was ok otherwise.
11/21 - Oklahoma State - Just 2 tackles, challenged infrequently.
24) Damar Hamlin | 6'0 | 194 | S | Pittsburgh
10/10 - Boston College - Hamlin posted 6 tackles, was solid overall. He didn't stand out in any regard, however.
10/17 - Miami - Hamlin paced his team with 11 tackles. While he was spotty in coverage on a couple balls, he was solid for the most part.
10/24 - Notre Dame - Hamlin posted 5 tackles, was adequate in doing so. He was inconsistent in pass coverage however, drew a bad P.I. when he was torched on one play.
11/7 - Florida State - Hamlin had a great game. While his INT is noteworthy, he was sticky in coverage all night and played with good physicality in the tackling department. He had 5 stops on the night.
25) B.J. Foster | 6'1 | 210 | S | Texas
9/26 - Texas Tech - Foster had a solid afternoon. He led his squad with 7 tackles, always seemed to be around the ball. He was late on a couple balls that I saw, but the reception was mostly due to errant CB play, not Foster.
10/3- TCU - Foster left the game after making a big tackle, but he was very solid up to that point. He eliminated his man often, causing the QB to look elsewhere.
10/24 - Baylor - Foster technically allowed a TD on a crosser, but he nearly made an INT on another ball and was generally very sound in pass coverage and in run support, posting 6 stops.
10/31 - OK State - Foster had a solid game. While he did allow a couple receptions, he performed well given the match ups he drew.
22) JaCoby Stevens | 6'1 | 228 | S | LSU -
9/26 - Miss. State - Stevens had a good, not great game. On the plus side, he was very effective within the box, posting 6 tackles, 2 sacks. He showed off very good blitzing skills. In pass coverage, he didn't contribute much toward slowing anything down in the middle of the field. While I'm not sure what his exact assignments were, he wasn't a factor against the pass, which was disappointing.
10/10 - Missouri - Stevens may have had the most disappointing out of any LSU defender today. What stood out above all was he lack of hustle. On a few receptions in particular, he seemed to be jogging after the receiver instead of blowing ang going to make the tackle. If he was going full speed, then that poses another issue...meaning he's slow or has stamina issues. Based on how he covered today, it may be the former. He was a liability in the back end, and even when sitting on the roof of the defense he wasn't dependable over the top. His 5 tackles often came after yards were allowed in chunks.
10/24 - South Carolina - This was another bad outing for Stevens, dare I say dreadful. He was beaten in pass coverage and missed a slew of tackles. He was slow to diagnose and close on perimeter runs, lacked toughness. He looked out of position throughout the night, almost confused as to what his assignments were.
10/31 - Auburn - Stevens continues to look like a tweener with no set position. He played more in the box than he did deep coverage, but was bodied too often by releasing O-linemen. He was late on reads and did play with the physicality of a LB.
26) Marcelino Ball | 5'11 | 223 | S | Indiana
27) Nasir Greer | 6'0 | 200 | S | Wake Forest
9/12 - Clemson - Greer posted just 2 tackles and wasn't a force in this game as I've seen him be in other contests. He too often looked disengaged.
28) Brendan Radley-Hines | 5'9 | 185 | SAF | Oklahoma
9/26 - Kansas State - Radley-Hines had a strong game. He provided sticky coverage and was very active and physical in the tackling department. He played with leveled aggression, was hard to miss.
10/3 - Iowa State - Radley-Hines had his struggles covering bigger targets and did get penalized. However, he was always right on his man providing sticky coverage. Despite giving up size, he didn't back down an inch.
10/24 - TCU - This kid continues to be an enigma. He seems to draw a penalty every game, as he did in this contest. His pass coverage was great on short to intermediate balls, but he was suspect on anything 12+ yards downfield. He paced his team in tackles, certainly played in the same feisty demeanor we've always love. He had 8 solo stops.
11/21 - Oklahoma State - Another game, another penalty. That was the highlight for him on this night.
29) Greg Eisworth | 6'0 | 195 | S | Iowa State
9/12 - Louisiana - Eisworth paced the team with 6 tackles, was active but unspectacular.
9/26 - TCU - Eisworth provided good tackling support over the top, never looked bad or taken to the task while in coverage.
10/3 - Oklahoma - Eisworth looked the part as an in-the-box prospect, was quick to provide intermediate run support. However, he was beaten over the top badly on at least 2 balls. He looked like a very scheme specific SAF.
10/24 - Oklahoma State - Eisworth had a solid game, showed some coverage skills while stepping up with 6 tackles. He kept plays in front of him, didn't get beat over the top.
30) Brad Stewart Jr. | 6'0 | 200 | S | Florida
9/26 - Ole Miss - DNP
10/3 - South Carolina - DNP
10/31 - Missouri - Was limited in back end support, allowed WRs to get atop of him in the long game.
11/7 - Georgia - Stewart got beat a few times, was out of position too often.
11/21 - Vanderbilt - Stewart was picked on at times, didn't do well as a whole.
31) Aashari Crosswell | 6'0 | 195 | S | Arizona State
32) Reed Blankenship | 6'0 | 195 | S | Middle Tennessee State
9/5 - Army - Blankenship was tested mightily against the run. He led his squad with 9 tackles and handled his duties, at times. He showed discipline, read his wing-back key and reacted accordingly. He took on and did his best to fight through blocks. He was hemmed up quite a few times, lacking size and physicality. He took some bad angles at times and was out of position to make a play on the ball. He gave up a big run early in the 3rd, evidencing as much. He wasn't tested against the pass, so more has to be seen yet. Based on this game, he didn't look like a draft-worthy prospect.
33) Tariq Thompson | 6'0 | 200 | S | San Diego State
10/24 - UNLV - The Rebels came out firing in the 2nd half, often targeting their slot WRs. Thompson had said responsibility and didn't handle his assignment well. He gave up a TD and passes down the stretch, wasn't tight in coverage.