The 2018 NFL Draft is over and teams are getting comfortable with their new draft picks. The next class of players is getting prepared now for another year of college football. Each position will be analyzed in the coming days. Here are the best 2019 NFL Draft prospects: Safeties.
Lukas Denis, Boston College
Denis was a star for the Eagles last season in his first full season as a starter. He is 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, so he will need to bulk up to play in the NFL, especially at a physical position like safety.
Last year, he had 83 total tackles, two forced fumbles, seven interceptions and 10 passes defended. He has great ball skills and needs to show that he can get after the ball again this season. Denis will have a chance to prove himself against the likes of Clemson and Florida State again this season.
The NFL will notice his ball-hawking skills but if he doesn’t produce his stock could be severely hurt.
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida
He has gotten playing time since his freshman year and Gardner-Johnson has not disappointed. He stands 5-foot-11 and 204 pounds. The height isn’t great but he has a solid frame to build off of in the NFL.
In two seasons at Florida, Gardner Johnson has 90 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, one sack, five interceptions and 10 passes defended. Even though he will just be a junior this season, he will be one of the most experienced safeties in the draft class.
Gardner-Johnson is the frontrunner to be the first safety off the board in the 2019 draft and will have plenty of big games to prove that status.
Khaleke Hudson, Michigan
Hudson had to sit and wait behind some pretty talented Michigan safeties his freshman season but got on the field in a regular fashion last season and did not disappoint. He is 6-foot-0 and 205 pounds.
He will be known as a great run stopping the safety and could even play a linebacker hybrid in the NFL. In 2017 he had 77 total tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, two interceptions and nine passes defended. Although he did do a decent job in defending passes, if he can show more of that this season, he can be seen as a complete safety.
The Wolverines will give Hudson the chance to play the best of the best with their games against Ohio State, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan State.
Jaquan Johnson, Miami
The U is on track to being back to its former glory and Johnson is a big reason why with his turnovers. The senior is 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds.
Johnson had four interceptions and three forced fumbles last season to go with his 96 tackles. That is a tremendous stat line which is uncommon in college football. Johnson has the chance to really put Miami among college football’s elite with another great season.
Although he has great production, he likely won’t get drafted until day two of the NFL Draft unless he really impresses this season.
Taylor Rapp, Washington
Rapp is an experienced safety who will be playing in one of the best secondaries in the country. This season his goal will be getting Washington back to the College Football Playoff.
He has totaled 110 tackles, five interceptions, 3.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and two forced fumbles. Last year he was able to improve over his freshman season, so the thought is that he can do even better this season.
In the 2019 NFL Draft, Rapp is expected to be the first safety off the board, but still has a lot to prove as his junior season progresses.
Marvell Tell III, USC
Tell has gotten on the field early on in his time at USC and now has a chance to cap off a great career in his senior season. He is 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds, which is a great size for a safety in the NFL.
In his career, he has 164 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, four interceptions and eight passes defended. Last season he racked up the tackles but needed to make more plays on the ball to really move up draft boards.
Tell is currently projected to go on day two of the NFL Draft but his measurables could help him move up draft boards drastically.