In the last positional group (excluding special teams) of the offseason, the cover32 staff has compiled a list of the top-ten safeties available in this year’s draft.
Free safety was marked as one of the biggest areas of focus for the organization this offseason, and although the performance of James Ihedigbo was more than serviceable last season, with the offensive trends in the NFL, the safety position has been subject to the most evolution in recent years.
Ironically, the Ravens probably got the ball rolling on this evolution when they drafted Ed Reed 24th overall in 2002. When they let Reed leave last offseason, they drafted Florida’s Matt Elam 32nd overall to help fill the hole. Though Elam is less of a coverage-oriented safety, one of the points of emphasis in his selection was versatility, as they wanted a player who could attack, both in the box and secondary. While there were some growing pains in Elam’s rookie season, it appears as though his position is solidified for the foreseeable future. But, ideally, the Ravens want to plug in an athletic, instinctual ballhawk to pair with the aggressive Elam.
This year’s draft has been called top-heavy by many analysts in regards to the safety position. The general consensus from most analysts is that the top three prospects are in a class of their own — with Alabama’s HaHa Clinton-Dix and Louisville’s Calvin Pryor at the top, according to most every ranking site (cover32 being an exception, so take a look at who supplanted Pryor) — however, the Ravens have shown in the past that they have the ability to identify talent in the later rounds at safety, having selected Dawan Landry in the 5th round and signing Will Demps as an undrafted free agent.
Ravens fans would likely prefer the front office to address the safety position sooner than later, but we can’t discount the scouting departments ability.
One thing is for sure: the Ravens will be adding a safety.
Take a look at our rankings and decide for yourself who fits best.