Position Outlook

Position Rank among other positions:

  • Top-End Talent – 3rd (of 11)
  • Depth – 5th
  • 1st Round Graded Players – 2 (10th)
  • Overall – 6th

Hamilton and Cine are the cream of the crop here, but there is talent to be had even beyond those two. There is plenty to like, but the lack of 1st round talent, along with the lack of serious depth or quality starters beyond the top few players makes for an average position group as a whole.

Top 5 Position Ranking

  1. Kyle Hamilton ND – Full Scouting Report
  2. Lewis Cine UGA – Full Scouting Report
  3. Jaquan Brisker PSU – Full Scouting Report
  4. Kerby Joseph ILL – Full Scouting Report
  5. Jalen Pitre BAY – Full Scouting Report

Hamilton is widely viewed as in a tier of his own, but don’t sleep on Lewis Cine. He is a phenomenal athlete in his own right with great tape. They share the top tier.
Brisker, Joseph, and Pitre round out the second tier.

Daxton Hill has gotten a lot of buzz as a top Safety prospect, but I think his value has been over-inflated

Ranking Notes


  • Daxton Hill MICH – Many scouts and fans have fallen in love with Hill’s abilities. He showed elite change-of-direction and movement skills at the Combine. While that was a great performance, on tape I saw something very different. His reactive quickness was severely lacking, and he took extra steps every time he changed direction, slowing him down significantly. His coverage skills are awful, consistently getting beat, and he doesn’t have the size or physicality to play the box. I don’t see a role for him, and there are no traits of his that excite me aside from the athleticism.
  • Jalen Pitre BAY – I like Pitre’s game a lot, and his toughness, leadership, and game-changing ability can’t be ignored. Still, he is a box safety at sub-200lb. He will need to bulk up to be a consistent NFL starter.


  • Lewis Cine UGA – Length, speed, quickness, athleticism, range, vision, toughness, tackling. Cine has it all. There are practically no flaws to his game, and if his tape were a bit better, I’d have him ahead of Hamilton.
  • Kerby Joseph ILL – Joseph does a lot of things very well, and he has underrated athleticism and length for the position. He checks a lot of boxes, and if it weren’t for his mediocre Senior Bowl, he would’ve scratched at Tier 1.


  • Nick Cross MD – Possesses a rare size/speed combo, and has an extremely high ceiling.
  • Dane Belton IOWA – A very complete player who also showed athletic upside.

Biggest Risers

  • Lewis Cine UGA – In a Combine full of elite performers, especially all being from the same school, Cine still managed to stand out. His Combine performance was great, and his elite athletic traits will place him securely in the 1st round.
  • Jaquan Brisker PSU – Brisker wasn’t tabbed as an elite athlete, so his Combine testing numbers have shot him up many draft boards.
  • Daxton Hill MICH – While I think it’s undeserved, Hill did many things at the Combine that were truly jaw-dropping, including the running 2nd fastest 3-Cone at the Combine.

Biggest Fallers

  • Kyle Hamilton ND – If you’re calling card is being a unicorn athlete, you better prove it. His middling testing numbers along with the recent slew of videos of him getting burned at practice don’t bode well for his “unicorn-ness”. His tape is still phenomenal, but he isn’t the No. 1 overall prospect anymore.
  • Verone McKinley III ORE – Many had him as a Top 5 Safety, but after such a poor Combine he will drop down most boards.

Superlative Ranks

Best Relative Athleticism

  1. Nick Cross MD
  2. Lewis Cine UGA
  3. JT Woods BAY
  4. Tycen Anderson TOL
  5. Dane Belton IOWA

Best Man Coverage

  1. Kyle Hamilton ND
  2. Kerby Joseph ILL
  3. Jaquan Brisker PSU

Best Zone Coverage

  1. Lewis Cine UGA
  2. Kyle Hamilton ND
  3. Kerby Joseph ILL

Best Physicality

  1. Jalen Pitre BAY
  2. Kyle Hamilton ND
  3. Lewis Cine UGA

Best Range

  1. Lewis Cine UGA
  2. Kyle Hamilton ND
  3. Daxton Hill MICH

Best Tackler

  1. Kyle Hamilton ND
  2. Lewis Cine UGA
  3. Jalen Pitre BAY

Best Ball Skills

  1. Kyle Hamilton ND
  2. Kerby Joseph ILL
  3. Lewis Cine UGA
Regardless of what anyone says, Hamilton should be the clear-cut SAF1 in this class

Final Projection

I would have laughed if anyone told me a month ago that Kyle Hamilton will drop out of the Top 3, but now he is consistently being mocked out of the Top 10. This might prove to be like the Micah Parsons-like fall. He was nitpicked down outside the Top 10 and then burst onto the scene proving every doubter wrong. I see a similar path for Hamilton.
Cine has locked himself into the 1st round with his Combine, but don’t be surprised if Brisker or Pitre sneak their way into the 1st.
Daxton Hill seems to be a consensus 1st rounder, and while I strongly disagree, I’d be shocked if he fell out of the 1st at this point. His buzz is through the roof.

See the Safeties’ overall ranking among other players on my Big Board.

Check out all my scouting reports on my Author Page or follow my opinions and hot takes on Twitter!
Make sure to check out many more NFL articles at Belly Up Sports – NFL!

About Author

Uriel "Yuke" Klein

Die-hard Ravens + Lakers fan, wild sports fan to the core LeBron > MJ I will debate any topic with anyone, come at me

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.