top of page

2024 NFL Draft: Ranking Our Top Graded Safeties Led by Cole Bishop and Tyler Nubin - Evaluating Playstyle and Scheme Fit

The 2024 NFL Draft safety class, while not as highlighted as other groups, possesses the undeniable talent, starting with top-graded players like Utah's Cole Bishop and Minnesota's Tyler Nubin.


Evaluating the safety position requires an understanding of its various roles and styles, which have evolved significantly over the years. Today, safeties often fulfill a nearly positionless role, demonstrating versatility by playing deep as a free safety on one play and then moving into the box or covering a slot receiver on the next. While traditional roles such as free and strong safety still exist within some defensive schemes, the ability to perform multiple duties effectively is increasingly valued in the modern NFL.


Cole Bishop, Utah Safety, 2024 NFL Draft

Here are the categories that we will use for projecting the roles of safeties in the 2024 NFL Draft. Each player evaluated will receive a projection for their likely positional role in the NFL:

  1. Deep Safety (Free Safety): Players best suited for patrolling the back end of the defense, showcasing strong coverage skills and the ability to play the ball in the air from a deep alignment.

  2. Box Safety (Strong Safety): Safeties who excel closer to the line of scrimmage, effective in run support and capable of handling tight ends and backs in short-area coverage.

  3. Slot Safety (Nickel/Dime Back): Versatile players who can cover slot receivers, tight ends, and assist in run support, often taking on hybrid cornerback/safety roles within sub-packages.

  4. Hybrid Safety: Safeties with the ability to perform multiple roles, including deep coverage, box support, and occasionally stepping into a cornerback role if needed. These players are valuable for their adaptability and all-around skill set.

Each player's evaluation will take into account their college performance, physical attributes, and skill set to determine the best fit for their talents in the NFL. This approach helps to provide a clear picture of how they might be utilized at the professional level.


Our Top Graded Safety Prospects In the 2024 NFL Draft


1). Cole Bishop - Utah Utes

Height/Weight: 6'2", 207 lbs

Ceiling Grade: High-End Starter Potential

NFL Draft Projection: 2nd Round


Performance Grades:

  • Coverage Grade: B

  • Run Defense Grade: B

Snaps by Alignment (Total for All Years):

  • LOS: 121

  • Nickel: 428

  • Wide: 69

  • Box: 708

  • Deep: 400

NFL Scheme Fit Summary:

Projected NFL Position: Deep Safety (Free Safety)

Cole Bishop excels in deep coverage, demonstrating the ability to manage the back end of the defense with agility and effective play reading.



2). Tyler Nubin - Minnesota Golden Gophers

Height/Weight: 6'2", 210 lbs

Ceiling Grade: Mid-Level Starter Potential

NFL Draft Projection: 2nd Round


Performance Grades:

  • Coverage Grade: B

  • Run Defense Grade: B

Snaps by Alignment (Total for All Years):

  • LOS: 16

  • Nickel: 203

  • Wide: 18

  • Box: 566

  • Deep: 1186

NFL Scheme Fit Summary:

Projected NFL Position: Hybrid Safety

Tyler Nubin's physical style and versatility enable him to operate effectively in various roles, from deep coverage to close-quarters support in the box.



3). Jaden Hicks - Washington State Cougars

Height/Weight: 6'3", 212 lbs

Ceiling Grade: High-End Starter Potential

NFL Draft Projection: 3rd Round


Performance Grades:

  • Coverage Grade: B

  • Run Defense Grade: B-

Snaps by Alignment (Total for All Years):

  • LOS: 41

  • Nickel: 213

  • Wide: 29

  • Box: 737

  • Deep: 533

NFL Scheme Fit Summary:

Projected NFL Position: Box Safety (Strong Safety)

Jaden Hicks is ideal for a strong safety role, thriving in run defense and capable of tight coverage, particularly near the line of scrimmage.



4). Calen Bullock - USC Trojans

Height/Weight: 6'3", 190 lbs

Ceiling Grade: Mid-Level Starter Potential

NFL Draft Projection: 3rd Round


Performance Grades:

  • Coverage Grade: B-

  • Run Defense Grade: C

Snaps by Alignment (Total for All Years):

  • LOS: 4

  • Nickel: 496

  • Wide: 46

  • Box: 512

  • Deep: 1096

NFL Scheme Fit Summary:

Projected NFL Position: Deep Safety (Free Safety)

Calen Bullock's elite speed and coverage prowess make him particularly effective in a deep safety role, where he can utilize his range to impact the game from afar.



5). Kamren Kinchens - Miami Hurricanes

Height/Weight: 6'0", 205 lbs

Ceiling Grade: Mid-Level Starter Potential

NFL Draft Projection: 3rd Round


Performance Grades:

  • Coverage Grade: C

  • Run Defense Grade: C+

Snaps by Alignment (Total for All Years):

  • LOS: 39

  • Nickel: 484

  • Wide: 25

  • Box: 346

  • Deep: 1001

NFL Scheme Fit Summary:

Projected NFL Position: Hybrid Safety

Kamren Kinchens is noted for his versatility, effectively managing roles from deep coverage to physical play near the line.



6). Tykee Smith - Georgia Bulldogs

Height/Weight: 5'10", 205 lbs

Ceiling Grade: Mid-Level Starter Potential

NFL Draft Projection: 4th Round


Performance Grades:

  • Coverage Grade: A

  • Run Defense Grade: C

Snaps by Alignment (Total for All Years):

  • LOS: 87

  • Nickel: 635

  • Wide: 42

  • Box: 105

  • Deep: 23

NFL Scheme Fit Summary:

Projected NFL Position: Slot Safety (Nickel/Dime Back)

Tykee Smith's agility and sharp coverage skills make him ideal for a role that mixes deep zone play with closer, more personal coverage roles like nickel or dime back.



7). Javon Bullard - Georgia Bulldogs

Height/Weight: 5'11", 180 lbs

Ceiling Grade: Low-Level Starter Potential

NFL Draft Projection: 3rd Round


Performance Grades:

  • Coverage Grade: B+

  • Run Defense Grade: C

Snaps by Alignment (Total for All Years):

  • LOS: 27

  • Nickel: 726

  • Wide: 28

  • Box: 169

  • Deep: 408

NFL Scheme Fit Summary:

Projected NFL Position: Hybrid Safety

Javon Bullard is effective in both zone coverage and quick on blitzes, suggesting a role where his adaptability can be fully utilized across various defensive setups.



8). Jaylin Simpson - Auburn Tigers

Height/Weight: 6'1", 180 lbs

Ceiling Grade: Mid-Level Starter Potential

NFL Draft Projection: 5th Round


Performance Grades:

  • Coverage Grade: B+

  • Run Defense Grade: C

Snaps by Alignment (Total for All Years):

  • LOS: 18

  • Nickel: 299

  • Wide: 730

  • Box: 254

  • Deep: 443

NFL Scheme Fit Summary:

Projected NFL Position: Versatile Safety

Jaylin Simpson's skill set allows him to excel in various secondary roles, adapting to both deep and close-quarter plays effectively.



9). Beau Brade - Maryland Terrapins

Height/Weight: 6'1", 210 lbs

Ceiling Grade: Mid-Level Starter Potential

NFL Draft Projection: 5th Round


Performance Grades:

  • Coverage Grade: C

  • Run Defense Grade: B

Snaps by Alignment (Total for All Years):

  • LOS: 57

  • Nickel: 194

  • Wide: 21

  • Box: 669

  • Deep: 546

NFL Scheme Fit Summary:

Projected NFL Position: Hybrid Safety

Beau Brade's abilities in zone coverage and his strong sense of the field position him well as a hybrid safety, where his versatility is highly valued for adapting to different defensive needs.



Comments


bottom of page