With 15 days until the NFL draft, organizations are preparing to round out their rosters with developmental and impact players. Hitting on a prospect in the first round is a 50/50 chance, at best.
As the draft continues, those odds drop. Scouting is an imperfect science, which is why adding known commodities to your roster in free agency softens the crapshoot of the draft.
Let’s take a look and rank the NFC West’s safety groups headed into the draft:
Seattle Seahawks - Quandre Diggs, Jamal Adams, Julian Love, Josh Jones, and Joey Blount.
Adams played 15 snaps in 2022 and should return in 2023. Ryan Neal and Johnathan Abram have departed. Julian Love left the Giants and brings over his sure tackling in the secondary. Love’s missed tackle percentage in his last three years in New York was 6.5, 4.9, and 5.5 percent.
Diggs has been solid for Seattle, particularly in pass coverage, allowing only 47.6 percent of his targets to turn into receptions. Fourteen interceptions in three years in Seattle isn’t too shabby, either.
The question becomes Adams and his health, but Diggs and Love form one of the most experienced duos in the West.
San Francisco 49ers - Talanoa Hufanga, Tashaun Gipson, Myles Hartsfield, George Odum, and Tayler Hawkins
Hufanga turned in an all-pro season in 2022, and Gipson was the surprise, impact player of the year for the 49ers. Gipson returned to the team on another one-year deal, and Hufanga hopes to build on his first season of experience.
Myles Hartsfield played with new defensive coordinator, Steve Wilks, in Carolina and signed as a depth piece with defensive versatility and special teams experience.
George Odum is also a special teams ace, and Tayler Hawkins has yet to record a snap. Seattle gets the number one spot with the three top safeties in the group.
Arizona Cardinals - Budda Baker, Jalen Thompson, Juju Hughes, Josh Thomas
Budda Baker is one of the finer safeties in the game today. Arizona’s issue is JuJu Hughes, and Josh Thomas, haven’t played much. Jalen Thompson played in all 17 games and posted a 90.7 tackling grade, per PFF.
This group has work to do to improve, as do the other position groups.
Los Angeles Rams - Jordan Fuller, Russ Yeast, Quentin Lake, and Richard LeCounte
Losing Nick Scott and Taylor Rapp leaves Fuller, Yeast, and Lake with 16 games played combined in 2022. Fuller is the most experienced, with three years under his belt in Los Angeles.
The Rams saw a mass exodus of talent due to financial constraints. This team has so much work to do at all positions.