Posted by Jack Tumen
Boy oh boy is the draft getting close! These extra two weeks of anticipation have really had everyone on their heels waiting for Houston to be on the clock. I’ll be in Croatia when that happens (which ‘aint so bad) but I’ll most likely be scrambling to find Wi-Fi at 2 am. So since we’re all so restless, how about a little bit more anticipation? These are my three favorite safeties in the 2014 draft class.
3. Calvin Pryor – Louisville
After I watched Pryor’s tape, I couldn’t believe how hard he hits. He throws himself at ball carriers like Brian Dawkins used to. And I mean he launches himself. I’m pretty sure he’ll be the most fined and penalized player in the league unless he adjusts his target zone. He’s going to have to start wrapping up on his tackles because the big boys won’t go down with merely a shoulder hit. But I think he’s capable of making that change and becoming one of the most feared safeties in the league. At 5’11”, 207lbs, Pryor is one of those players that will make receivers afraid to run routes across the middle. Just see for yourself.
2. Vinnie Sunseri – Alabama
A torn ACL last season put Sunseri on the back burner for most of the winter while simultaneously dropping him from the ranks of the draft’s elite safeties. However, I have not forgotten about this stud; and I truly believe that when healthy, he’s one of the best safeties this entire draft class. The kid is smart and incredibly instinctive. His football IQ brings a sense of calm and finesse to a secondary. Although he’s a physical, run-stuffing strong safety, Sunseri also possesses top-notch ball skills and is always in the right place at the right time. In addition, he loves contact. At 5’11”, 210lbs, I’d compare him to a bigger, more physical version of Jim Leonhard. Although he may slide into round 4 or later, Sunseri has what it takes to become a quality starter in the NFL.
1. Lamarcus Joyner – Florida State
If you were standing next to Lamarcus Joyner, you probably wouldn’t know that he was one of the best players in college football last season. At 5’8″, 184lbs, Joyner racked up 69 tackles (7 for loss,) 5.5 sacks, 2 INTs and 3 forced fumbles during his senior season. As those stats indicate, Joyner can do a little bit of everything; but that only scratches the surface. He plays much bigger than his frame suggests and isn’t afraid to get up in the grill of larger pass-catchers. His game is incredibly versatile; he excels at playing both safety and cornerback, while acting as the primary return man for the Seminoles during his first three seasons. On top of that, he possesses unique leadership skills that helped carry his team to a national title. Joyner is a special athlete who will quickly earn the respect of his teammates…and the players lining up across from him.