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Ranking the top 11 safeties in the 2021 NFL Draft

Who’s your favorite prospect?

NCAA Football: Texas Christian at Oklahoma State Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles have needs all over their defense and getting young, talented players at safety should be on the agenda heading into the 2021 NFL Draft. Rodney McLeod and Anthony Harris are fine in the short-term, but there’s no reason the Eagles shouldn’t draft for the future given the team’s timeline. While this safety class doesn’t have a great top end, there are some mid-round role players who would be great fits in Philadelphia. PREVIOUSLY RANKED: Top 20 wide receivers | Top 20 cornerbacks | Top 10 linebackers | Top 10 quarterbacks.

1) Trevon Moehrig, TCU

Trevon Moehrig is by far the top safety in the 2021 class. Moehrig is a smart, physical player who quarterbacked the TCU secondary over the last three years. Despite a strong safety build, Moehrig played centerfield for the Horned Frogs throughout his career. He regularly showed off great instincts, range, and ball skills while also being able to come up in run support. Moehrig doesn’t have many holes in his game besides only being an okay athlete. Other than that, he is a solid, plug-and-play defender in an NFL defense.

Pro Comparison: Reggie Nelson

2) Hamsah Nasirildeen, FSU

In terms of role players, Hamsah Nasirildeen has a clear-cut position in the NFL as a big nickel/box safety. The 6’4”, 215-pound safety looks like a linebacker and plays like one too. He is smart, physical, and able to thrive near the line of scrimmage as a run defender and covering slot receivers, tight ends, and running backs. He is pigeonholed in the NFL, but he could grow into a really nice player in the right role. He is recovering from a knee injury, so his medicals will be huge in determining draft position.

Pro Comparison: Adrian Wilson

3) Jevon Holland, Oregon

Jevon Holland is a very solid player who does lots of things well but nothing extraordinary. This is hardly a knock against him. Teams will love his versatility and dependability be it deep down the field, up in the box, and covering the slot. Holland is going to have a long NFL career.

Pro Comparison: Jordan Poyer

4) Richie Grant, UCF

In terms of experience, Richie Grant is the elder statesman of this safety class with 34 starts under his belt for UCF. Grant is a cerebral defender with a knack for the ball and the range to close in coverage to make big plays. He sees the field very well and makes up for average long speed with recognition and burst. Grant is more of a coverage player, but he does flash impressive ability as a tackler and run defender. It is just an inconsistent part of his game.

Pro Comparison: Vonn Bell

5) Ar’Darius Washington, TCU

Ar’Darius Washington is a classic example of a player you love on tape and start to feel a little less certain when it comes to everything else. Washington is a quick, physical, and extremely aggressive safety who makes highlight hits and big plays in coverage. His aggressiveness can get him in trouble and his small build (5’8”, 175 Pounds) doesn’t mesh well with his playing style. Betting on Washington is betting on an exception and if the bet hits, a team will have a really fun playmaker in their secondary.

Pro Comparison: Lamarcus Joyner


6) Paris Ford, Pitt

7) Andre Cisco, Syracuse

8) Jamar Johnson, Indiana

9) Richard LeCounte, Georgia

10) Caden Sterns, Texas

11) James Wiggins, Cincinnati

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