–FedEx Tracking: Secondary Changes
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NFL Draft analyst Mike Mayock made a bold assertion, and he thinks it's the consensus of all 32 NFL teams: After Alabama safety Landon Collins is chosen, it will be difficult to find any quality safeties this year.
Collins, who is touted for his physical play, is projected to be a late first-round pick. Then there are the "needles in the haystack," those that Mayock considers to be the top safeties following Collins.
To Mayock, Washington linebacker Shaq Thompson is undersized translating to the NFL. That's why he will convert into a strong safety. Mayock said Thompson will play sub-packages at linebacker, but will make his living in the defensive backfield.
Damarious Randall is considered one of the best man-cover safeties in the draft; Mayock said he's the best. Arizona State's defensive scheme showcased the 5-foot-11, 196 pounder's talents on the field enough where Mayock believes he is the third-best option for those seeking a safety.
"He reminds me of San Francisco's first-round pick last year, Jimmie Ward, but he's not quite as physical," Mayock said. Ward was a 2014 first-rounder for the San Fransisco 49ers.
Quinten Rollins was a basketball player for four years; he ranks as the No. 4 safety in Mayock's book. Rollins used his fifth year of eligibility to play cornerback at Miami, Ohio, where he was the MAC defensive player of the year. He had seven interceptions.
"I love his ball skills and quick feet," Mayock said. "I think he's tough enough to kick inside."
Stanford cornerback Alex Carter rounds out the Top 5. Like Thompson, Mayock believes he will move deeper into the defensive backfield. The athletic 6-foot, 196-pounder may be more suitable as a free safety.
"He'll tackle…" Mayock said. "…and the NFL needs more athletic safeties that can cover."