2017 Available Safeties Ranked

Dec 4, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Eric Berry (29) celebrates with fans after defeating the Atlanta Falcons 29-28 at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 4, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Eric Berry (29) celebrates with fans after defeating the Atlanta Falcons 29-28 at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /

After taking down the Denver Broncos, the Tennessee Titans sit atop the division tied with the Houston Texans at 7-6. That means their meeting in Week 17 could come down to an all or nothing game. While the Titans are pushing for a playoff spot here in December, there are a few gaping holes left on their roster that need to be addressed. One of those positions happens to be the safety position.

For most of the season, the Titans secondary has played atrocious. If you want proof of that, go back and watch the Bears game. Matt Barkley shredded them for over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns. At season’s end, Daimion Stafford and Rashad Johnson are set to be free agents, so I’ve put together a list ranking the top available safeties via the draft and free agency.

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10. Daimion Stafford (25, Tennessee Titans)

Stafford was a 7th round draft pick in 2013 and has spent his whole career in Tennessee. He is a physical football player, and knows Dick LeBeau’s system well. His style of play embodies GM Jon Robinson’s philosophy in which he plays with a team first mentality.

9. Fish Smithson (Kansas)

As part of an 0-12 team in 2015 he was one of the few bright spots on his team. He’s a hard hitting safety who is also good in coverage. He also has the ideal build for a Dick LeBeau safety at 6’1, 210lbs.

8. Kai Nacua (BYU)

This guy is a ball hawk and that’s really all I need to say, but I’ll go on. He plays with great instincts. In 2015 he had 6 interceptions, and in 2016 he was on pace to pass that mark having 4 picks in the first two games, but teams realized it might not be a good idea to throw his way. He ended his senior year with 5 picks.

7. Tony Jefferson (24, Arizona Cardinals)

Jefferson was the replacement to Titans current safety Rashad Johnson, and at only 24 he has experience playing in the NFL and at a high level, and that’s something none of these rookies can say. He’ll be looking to cash in at season’s end.

6. Budda Baker (Washington)

Washington has made the final four in the college football playoffs, something no one saw coming. Baker is a big part of the reason they did. He is one of the leaders on a very talented defense. He has been playing since his freshman year, and I love when a player has more than one year of production in college. He is a bit undersized, but he’s really really fast. He flies all over the field, and would probably be better covering wide receivers or running backs, and leaving the big tight ends alone.

5. Justin Evans (Texas A&M)

He has great size for an NFL strong safety at 6’1, 200lbs. In the season opening game, his draft stock shot up as he had 8 tackles and 2 interceptions in that game. He is good in coverage, but has no problems coming down and playing in the box against the run.

4. Micah Hyde (25, Green Bay Packers)

Hyde is a former first round pick from the Packers who exhibits good coverage skills and, still at a young age, has a lot of football left to play.

3. Jamal Adams (LSU)

Adams isn’t an athletic freak like some safeties, but he has a good build and plays with great instincts. He’s good in coverage and has experience coming down and playing against slot receivers. At the beginning of the season, most scouts had him as their top ranked safety coming out of college, and many still do.

2. Jabrill Peppers (Michigan)

Peppers is the ideal safety for a Dick LeBeau defense. When you think of that modern day hybrid safety, you think of this guy. Built like a linebacker with the speed and coverage skills of a defensive back. He can do anything LeBeau did with Troy Polamalu, but probably better. He is a top 5 talent in this year’s draft, and it’s looking like the Titans will have a pick somewhere around that area, thanks to the Rams.

1. Eric Berry (27, Kansas City Chiefs)

Normally I rank rookies over free agents, because history shows us that Super Bowls are won through the draft, but Berry is an exception to that rule. He has been arguably the best safety in the NFL for years. He can do anything you ask him to and he’s proved it. This season, he saved the day by picking off Matt Ryan on a two point conversion and took it back the other way to win that game 29-28. He’s just a play maker anyway you look at it, and he could also help Kevin Byard develop tremendously.

(Note: Malik Hooker elected to stay in school.)

So that’s my list. Really I’d like to see the Titans sign two of these guys and I don’t care the combination as to how.