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2013 Draft
Strong Safeties
This page will be a work in progress and updated frequently. Come back often and watch it develop.

39 *Matt Elam SS 1 Florida Jr 5097 208 1st-2nd

Big Red Sheet (Gollin) - Short and it costs him in jump ball situations. A big hitter who needs to curb some of his aggressiveness and play under better control. But does make big plays at key moments. Team captain, but there are off the field issues.

Pre-Combine Forty - 4.53. Combine - Forty: 4.54. Reps: 17. VJ: 35.5. BJ: 9-10. 20S: DNP. 60S: DNP. 3C: DNP.

Pro Day (Brandt) - He had a good, solid workout.

PFW Audibles - "I hear the talk about Matt Elam being one of the top safeties, but I was not overly enamored with him. He would start looking attractive to me in the fourth round. That's where I think he belongs. He plays the ball well but he's more of a box guy to me.

Based on - Athletic, instinctive and quite physical - can walk up into the box and be a force near LOS while also dropping back into coverage as a single-high safety. Drops down to cover slot receivers, getting a strong initial jam on them and riding them throughout the first few yards aggressively. Good vision and anticipation when fighting through blocks near the LOS and is generally a reliable, physical tackler. Brings his hips as a hitter, with the closing speed and raw power to generate explosiveness. Savvy complemenst his physical talents - uses his hands to knock away passes at the last moment and avoids blocks with patience and vision rather than simply attempting to out-physical his opponents. High-effort player who seems to love the game. Quality special teams performer. Voted a team captain in 2012.

Lacks preferred size for the position. Too often loses jump ball battles, being forced to attempt to rip away at the hands of the receiver after he comes down with the catch. Highly aggressive downhill tackler who can come in too hot and lose control, leaving open cut-back lanes. Tends to lead with his shoulder and will leave his feet to make the lights-out hit, resulting in too many whiffs. Good, not great lateral agility / can get left grasping at air. Can lose positioning against slot receivers, though he does have a nice burst to close quickly. Two run-ins with police regarding minor in possession offenses involving alcohol (July 2010, July 2011). Compared to Charles Godfrey. Elam has a similar physically aggressive frame, game and mind-set. Knack of making big plays at critical moments and could earn some Troy Polamalu comparisons. But must clean up his open-field tackling skills to earn that kind of lofty praise.

100 Robert Lester SS 2 Alabama Sr 6012 220 3rd-4th

Big Red Sheet (Gollin) - Lack of elite speed a concern, but does play technically sound in coverage. Lacks agility and quicks to be a true centerfielder. Needs to work on angles.

Pre-Combine Forty - 4.63. Combine - Forty: 4.66. Reps: DNL. VJ: 33.5. BJ: 9-9. 20S: DNP. 60S: DNP. 3C: DNP.

Pro Day (Brandt) - Lester ran the 40 in 4.62 and 4.60 seconds. He had a 34-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-1 broad jump. He did the short shuttle in 4.34 seconds and had a 7.25-second three-cone drill. Lester also went through the position drills.

Based on - Long, lean build well-suited to today's pass-happy NFL. Reads the quarterback's eyes and accelerates smoothly with a burst to close on underneath routes. Times his leaps well in jump-ball situations and extends his arms to make a play at its highest point. Excellent ball skills, including the ability to track the ball over his shoulder, extend to catch away from his frame and the ability to sneak his hands under the ball to corral pass deflections. Athletic enough to to cover slot receivers. Has the long arms to re-route receivers and is balanced enough to cover short distances. Reads run quickly and supports aggressively. Long, strong arms /can pull-down tackle - occasionally will lower his shoulder for the big hit. Highly respected by coaching staff for his work ethic.

Tweener. May lack the athleticism for deep coverage and the physicality necessary to play well close to the LOS. Does not have ideal hip fluidity and foot quickness to operate as a true centerfielder. Loses a step as he changes directions and lacks great speed to recover. Drag down open-field tackler who grabs too much. Tends to duck his head and lunge when he lowers the boom. Takes questionable angles to the ball, underestimating the speed of ball-carriers /unreliable last line of defense. Compared to Kerry Rhodes - has the size, closing speed and ball skills to develop into a dependable ball-hawk at the next level.

134 Shawn Williams SS 3 Georgia Sr 5117 213 4th

Big Red Sheet (Gollin) - Big hitter who can be trusted in coverage. Faster and more explosive than expected.

Pre-Combine Forty - 4.54. Combine - Forty: 4.46. Reps: 25. VJ: 36.0. BJ: 10-0. 20S: 4.25. 60S: DNP. 3C: 7.01.

Pro Day (Brandt) - Williams was measured, stood on his numbers from the combine and went through position drills. Williams is not a good-looking athlete, but the best way to describe him is as a “football player,” meaning that while he doesn’t work out well he does shine when it’s 11-on-11 on the field.

Based on - Looks and tackles like a linebacker but moves well enough to handle coverage responsibilities. His coaches have compared him to Thomas Davis.

160 Duke Williams SS 4 Nevada Sr 5110 213 5th

Pre-Combine Forty - 4.46. Combine - Forty: 4.43u. Reps: DNL. VJ:DNJ . BJ: .DNJ 20S: DNP. 60S: DNP. 3C: DNP.

Pro Day (Brandt)- Williams ran the three-cone drill in 7.19 seconds, and then stood on the rest of his numbers from the NFL Scouting Combine.

177 Shamarko Thomas SS 5 Syracuse Sr 5087 213 5-6th

BRS (Gollin) – Not not quite the blazer his pre-combine forty suggested. Short stature figures to be a problem. Good jump scores.

Pre-Combine Forty - 4.39. Combine - Forty: 4.42. Reps: 14. VJ: 35.0. BJ: 11-1. 20S: 4.26. 60S: DNP. 3C: DNP.

Pro Day (Brandt) - Thomas kept his numbers from the combine, with the exception of the three-cone drill (6.84 seconds).

Based on - Plays the game with reckless abandonment and loves to throw his body around on the field, seeking big hits against the ballcarrier. Plays too aggressive and bites on fakes, finding himself constantly playing from behind. Willing and tough run defender who has a future at the next level if he can stay loose and disciplined with his coverage responsibilities.


196 JJ Wilcox SS 6 Georgia Southern Sr 6000 213 6th

Big Red Sheet (Gollin) - Suddenly showed up on Mayock's and Kiper's radar. Moving up charts quickly.

Pre-Combine Forty - 4.54. Combine - Forty: 4.57. Reps: 17. VJ: 35.0. BJ: 10-4. 20S: 4.09. 60S: DNP. 3C: 7.02.

Pro Day (Brandt) - J.J. Wilcox stands out at Georgia Southern’s pro day. (6 5/8, 216 pounds) — Wilcox worked out at the NFL Scouting Combine and was only measured and weighed at the pro day.

209 Jonathan Cyprien SS 7 Florida International Sr 6000 217 6-7th

Big Red Sheet (Gollin) - Caught the attention of a few Cardinal draftniks. Nice vertical but didn't do any other combine drills. High upside. Tackling techniques could be better. Good Senior Bowl. Physical and aggressive. Good ball skills. Not very fast.

Pre-Combine Forty - 4.56. Combine - Forty: DNP. Reps: DNL VJ: 38.5. BJ: DNP. 20S: DNP. 60S: DNP. 3C: DNP. Pro Day Forty: 4.64.

Pro Day (Brandt) - Cyprien elected not to do the vertical “for personal reasons” but went on to leap 9-feet-11 in the broad jump. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.65 and 4.64 seconds. His time was 4.44 seconds in the short shuttle and 7.01 seconds for the three-cone drill. He did 18 reps at 225 pounds.

Based on - Well-built defender who looks the part. Aggressive playing style and active demeanor. Took advantage of the Senior Bowl opportunity. Enjoys the physical nature of the position. Meets the ballcarrier with a pop and refuses to let up. Good ball skills. Will extend and snatch the ball out of the air. Consistently played well "top" competition.

Some concerns about his straight-line speed. Played a lot of two-deep coverage but didn’t necessarily operate as a true centerfielder. Takes highly aggressive angles to the ball and consistently tackles ballcarriers high (two potential areas of concern considering the significant jump in competition he'll be making.) Compares to: Morgan Burnett   Cyprien  could struggle through similar growing pains. Once acclimated to the speed of the NFL, however, he also could rise quickly.

222 Earl Wolff SS 8 North Carolina State rSr 5112 209 6-7th

Big Red Sheet (Gollin) - Underrated. Surprising speed and athleticism. Doesn't have any apparent glaring weaknesses.

Pre-Combine Forty - 4.54. Combine - Forty: 4.44. Reps: DNL. VJ: 39.0. BJ: 11-2. 20S: 4.07. 60S: DNP. 3C: dnp.

Pro Day (Brandt) - Wolff notched a 36-inch vertical and a 6.96-second three-cone drill. He’s a little bit of a straight-line guy, but he looked good and had a good work out.

Based on - Good plant-and-drive quickness to attack the play in front of him/will gain correct body position when lined up in the slot and make plays in coverage. Better athlete than expected, not just speed-wise, but also with respect to his fluidity and footwork to stick with the tight end or wide receiver down the seam.

242 Cooper Taylor SS 9 Richmond rSr 6-4 229 7th

 Big Red Sheet (Gollin) - Another sleeper. Built like an OLB (& hits like one). Brandt compares to Chancellor. Excellent East-West Shrine Week. Big, aggressive, hard-hitting, aware. Plays a bit upright. Durability concern. Could be due for a move up the charts.

Pre-Combine Forty - 4.57. Combine - Not Listed. Pro Day Forty: 4.49.

Pro Day (Brandt) - Taylor ran 4.58 and 4.49, did 36½” in the vertical, 10-foot-7 in the broad jump, 4.29 in the short-shuttle, 6.96 in the three-cone and 23 reps on the bench press. The coaches worked Taylor out as a linebacker. His official position will be strong safety, but he’s one of those guys who could possibly bulk up and play outside linebacker. Reminiscent of Kam Chancellor of the Seattle Seahawks.

Based on - Plays with excellent aggression and physicality. Decisive with a good burst, to arrive at the  play quickly and blow up the ballcarrier. Better than expected athleticism for size/ flows to the action while breaking down on the move. Good footwork / can close quickly on plays in front of him. Has the size and range to be an enforcer against both the run and the pass, but has also impressed with his instincts and football awareness. Excellent job at the Shrine Game of digesting the coaches' instructions and applying them immediately, - always appearing focused and zoned in on what is going on around him. Lacks elite top-end speed for the position. Plays too upright at times. Injury and medical concerns.

265 Jahleel Addae SS 10 Central Michigan rSr 5-10 200 7th-FA
Combine - Not Listed.
266 Jawanza Starling SS 10 USC Sr 6006 202 7th-FA

Big Red Sheet (Gollin) - Nice 3-cone and 60-shuttle. Pretty athletic. Pretty good speed.

Pre-Combine Forty - 4.53. Combine - Forty: 4.64. Reps: 17. VJ: 36. BJ: 10-2. 20S: 4.34. 60S: 11.62. 3C: 6.68. Pro Day Forty: 4.54.

Pro Day (Brandt) - Starling ran the 40 in 4.54 and 4.56 seconds, had a 36-inch vertical jump and he stood on the rest of his numbers from the combine (he was a top performer in his position group in the three-cone drill and 60-yard shuttle).

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