Top 10 in 2014: The best safeties in the NFL today

Credit: Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports

Typically speaking, sports fans tend to worry about two things – the past and the future. They’ll debate who was the greatest player of all-time, while also spending hours discussing whether or not a rookie is going to be develop into an All-Pro.

Both are fun exercises, things that keep fans engaged and the beer flowing at the local tavern. But they miss out on what is most important – the present.

Forget about yesterday. Never mind tomorrow. Let’s talk about today.

Who are the best players in the NFL right now? Who can help a team win the Super Bowl this season? Who is writing a legacy with each passing week?

Those are the questions the editors at cover32 seek to answer in this series, “Top 10 in 2014.” In the coming weeks, every position – as well as head coach, general manager and other off-field areas – will be graded, evaluated and ranked.

The series continues with a position that has become a centerpiece of a good defense – safety. It’s no coincidence that teams like Kansas City and Seattle saw their fortunes turn on that side of the ball when they added a great, young safety to their roster; in today’s game, it’s a vital player on the field, one who can make an impact against both the run and the pass. For proof of its importance, check out the contracts being handed out to safeties this offseason.

Let the debate begin!


10. Kam Chancellor

Chancellor is part of the best safety duo in football

Playing alongside one of the best free safeties in football, Earl Thomas, certainly makes Chancellor’s job easier, but he certainly isn’t just riding the coattails of his teammate. During his four seasons in the NFL, this former fifth-round pick has made a name from himself, rising from relative obscurity to a two-time Pro Bowl selection to a Super Bowl champion. That’s not a bad path to be on.

9. Bernard Pollard

Despite his impact, Pollard is well-traveled

One has to wonder why Pollard, a guy who has a reputation for being one of the best hitters in all of football and has helped his team win at every stop during his career, has bounced around so much during his eight-year NFL career. Currently, he’s in Tennessee, which is his fourth stop on his pro football odyssey. It seems like a player with so much talent should last more than two years at each stop.


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  • nick

    How could you not say eric weddle is a top 10 safety?? What a joke…

    • Mike

      agreed. retarded journalism

  • pooing

    Chris Conte is the 8th best safety in the league? Are you trolling NFL fans with that? Conte is so good that the bears signed 2 FA safeties and drafted another… wow

    • kk

      Agree 100%. I think a zero should be added to 80th best safety.

    • cockeye

      Chris Conte should not even be in the NFL. He sucks. period hes the worst player on the bears. Period

  • gregg rice

    Chris conte? Lol wow, did u watch football last season?

    • Anonymous

      This is why you can’t pay attention to the nonsense some of these writers are printing. Everyone in the NFL knows that Eric Weddle is a top 10 Safety

  • jim

    Any list of top safeties in the NFL that doesn’t have Eric Weddle in the top 3, much less not even on the list, only shows that the author is a homer, or an idiot.

    • Jeremy

      Completely Agree. Weddle gets disrespected more than any player in the league. He truly is the best safety playing today and this is just sad.

  • Alex

    Horrible. So All-Pro Pro Bowl Safety Eric Weddle isn’t better than Chris Conte or Bernard Pollard. The only better safety in the game is Earl Thomas

  • Jerry

    Where is Reggie Nelson!!

  • Sean miller

    Fire him! NOW! The day weddle is surpassed by the shrubbery that made this list is the day the Targaryans take over the USA.

  • Carlos

    How is an All Pro pro bowl safety left off the list!!! This is the only list where he isn’t on it. Players who weren’t even considered are the list.Please fire this man our have him rewrite it.

  • Ron

    Chris Conte? Hahahahahaha!

  • jeff

    At first I was mad but now it’s just funny, no Eric Weddle? Lol

  • Andrew platt

    Eric Berry went to Tennessee, get your story right

  • Icey Vick

    Profootballfocus has Weddle rated in the top 10 every year since 2009 and he was even the top rated safety in 2012 yet he didn’t make this list. I find that troubling. I hope the snub wasn’t intentional, but if it is, perhaps a reevaluation of your grading is in order.

  • KK

    Chris Conte SUCKS. You can have him. What kind of article is this?

  • Jerry Richardson

    Stop hating Conte! The simple truth here is that every other safety you haters mention had the luxury of playing behind a very solid defensive front 7 that could defend the run and shut down the recievers without relying on the safety or the free safety to step and play every down attempting to plug the bloodshed created by a front 7 that was unable to stop anyone on the ground or through the air or get any kind of pass rush generated. Not to mention the fact that Conte played at about 70% due to injury all season. It is amazing to me how you hate a football player who delivers every Sunday to the very best of his ability without taking any plays off like your aforementioned prima donnas! Given the front 7 of Seattle or SF to play behind I would bet Conte to perform as good, if not better than Eric Wheedle or Earl Thomas! It is easy to play against inferior teams when they can’t rush and have no opportunity to set back and throw with accuracy because of a damn good pass rush!

    • cockeye

      your opinion obviously sucks since you are defending the worst free safety i have ever seen in the NFL

    • fb

      Having watched every bears game last year, I can say that yes, the defense sucked. And Conte was better the year before. But that does not excuse bad angles to the ball, consistently getting blown off the field by blockers, and tackling like an 8 year old. And saying that a shoulder has bothered him does not mean that he was playing at about 70%–I don’t know where that number comes from but it was never mentioned during the season.

  • Me

    Eric Weddle, Donte Whitner and Harrison Smith are glaring omissions. Chancellor should be higher. What about a guy like Tyvon Branch?

  • NinerGold

    Where’s Donte Whitner …he’s definitely top 10!

  • Brodie Trapp

    This people are dumb, Bernard Pollard is a one trick pony and what has Chris Conte done that is better than Eric Weddle, Harison Smith, Troy Polamalu, and even Tyrann Matheiu.

  • bill becker

    Here’s the deal. This site is all about money. Advertising to make money by saying outrageous things that will garner more hits on the site and make money for the chosen people who run this piece of crap.

  • St33l Spike

    Troy Polamalu even when 70% healthy is better than at LEAST 6 of these guys…Oh, just because there’s already a Steeler on the list you just pass over the best SS of this generation? Get real.