2023 NFL Scouting Combine: Safety Notes
You don’t need an intro paragraph so you’re not getting one. It’s safety time at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine. Let’s do this thing!
*Real quick. This safety class stinks compared to the corner class. Read the corner notes here.
Jordan Battle is a strong safety. He’s just not going to kill these drills. Not smooth on the back pedal. I want him in the box and hitting. That being said, workout was average but it’s what we thought was coming. Not saying he can’t cover because he can. It’s just never going to be at the level of a Bama product like Fitzpatrick. Hands were there which is a positive. Gauntlet was great considering his skillset.
Ji’Ayir Brown ran slower than I thought (4.65). Can kinda play everywhere and has ball production. Really quick and good in the back pedal. Flips the hips and really gets going. Can tell he’s a natural safety. By far the best on field. Play speed at a different level compared to the rest. Showed off the hands too catching. Biggest strength was tracking the ball in the air.
I’m sorry but this just matters. Sydney Brown looks jacked. It matters. Yoked out and can run too (4.47). The explosion is there. He was right there with Brown except faster straight line.
Trey Dean III didn’t have the best day. Might just be too slow (4.75). Strong safety type. Thin base going backward. Can catch but what’s here? Both Florida guys didn’t look like they belonged.
DeMarcco Hellams has really tight hips. I think he’s a linebacker that can cover. If you’re expecting Ed Reed it’s not happening. Linebacker. Linebacker. If someone figures that out, they may have a gem on their hands.
Brandon Hill ran really fast (4.43) but couldn’t turn at all. Not really quick either. He’s a football player but not special athlete. Got stuck on the heels. Faster than quick. Not a compliment. On field stuff was garbage. 40 time was all he had going for him.
Anthony Johnson Jr. way too upright. Got stopped 800 times on the 40. Bad knee bend. Play speed was bad. What does he do well? Struggled to turn. Had to flip his whole body around.
Antonio Johnson looked quick. More than just a strong safety. Looked good going backward. Wasn’t say I was blown away but everything looked solid. Got tripped up one time trying to gear up.
Brandon Joseph isn’t the best athlete but we know he’s smart. 40 time was fine and expected (4.62). Very in control but limited gear. I worry he’s just not juiced up to make it.
Jartavius Martin is a corner. Not sure why he’s in this group. Good 40 time (4.46). Knee bend was good and turns well. Popped off the screen compared to the group but again he’s a corner.
Kaevon Merriweather flips the hips fine. His teammate Riley Moss just has way more juice. It’s been a long day. He’s there taking part. Nothing crazy to report. Good player but where’s the juice?
Jammie Robinson can play. Speed is fine but moves well. His balls skills have really improved. Caught everything well. Not an explosive knee bender. Hips were semi tight but went through the drills well. Got worse as the day went. Heel clicker. Really high. Waiting for him to show off the knee juice but it never happened. Active with the arm movement but feels limited. Something is off here. It wasn’t all bad but I expected more.
Daniel Scott had such a bad Senior Bowl I’m just not in here. Ran okay actually (4.45). Back pedal was garbage. Don’t think he’s ever going to be able to read and react in short areas well enough at the NFL level. Much better in short area when he doesn’t have to zoom. Can kinda run with some okay quickness but the ceiling here is low. Had to restart on one of the drills cause there just isn’t any juice.
Christopher Smith doesn’t quite look like one of these Georgia freaks. 40 time was below average (4.62). No grease lightning. Can tell you can’t quite turn and fire the way he needs to. Can definitely play. Not real super red flags moving around.
Jason Taylor II bad drifter. Couldn’t stay straight.
Rashad Torrence II is just there. Slow (4.72). He feels like Dean except doesn’t bring the strong safety talent to the table. I’m not sure what’s here to be excited about. Looks like a three legged table ready to fall over. Back bender.
Vendetta Sports Post 2023 NFL Scouting Combine Safety Rankings
*I don’t feel good about these rankings. Less good about them than any other position here. LIkely will change prior to the draft.
1. Brian Branch (Alabama)
2. Ji’Ayir Brown (Penn State)
3. Jordan Battle (Alabama)
4. Sydney Brown (Illinois)
5. Christopher Smith (Georgia)