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Scouting The Senior Bowl: Free Safety

Posted Jan 23, 2014

This isn’t a particularly strong safety class, but a couple unheralded prospects stood out.

The Ravens are looking for a playmaking free safety, but there aren’t a whole lot of options at the Senior Bowl.

Washington State’s Deone Bucannon is one player that stood out, but he’s a bigger player at 6-foot-1, 216 pounds and is considered by some to be more of a strong safety.

Here are my notes on the safety class:

  • Buchannon passes the eye test. He’s cut up and looks like he’s in phenomenal shape. He’s got the right mentality too, talking about how he’ll play anywhere and wants to prove himself on special teams. He’s projected as a possible second-round pick.
  • Buchannon is all over the field and frequently finds himself at the ball. He’s got good control, burst and closing speed. That could allow him to play deep coverage.
  • Michigan State’s Isaiah Lewis was a very strong player for the Big-10 champion Spartans, but he didn’t stand out at the Senior Bowl.
  • Lewis did make one interception on Wednesday after a ball was tipped to him. Newsome mentioned that he wants his next safety to grab more deflections.
  • Florida State safety Terrence Brooks has good hands and high-points the ball well. He nearly made a pick undercutting a receiver, but dropped it because he got drilled by his own linebacker.
  • Brooks is a fun guy to watch. He’s very high energy and gets to the ball.
  • Brooks is on the smaller side compared to other safeties at the Senior Bowl, measuring in at 5-foot-11, 197 pounds. But he’s pretty rocked up and doesn’t appear to be too small.
  • Vanderbilt’s Kenny Ladler had a nice day with a pass breakup in one-on-one coverage drills and physicality at the line of scrimmage. Ladler didn’t show as good playmaking skills as Brooks, but did have five interceptions as a senior.
  • Ladler was used in a variety of different roles, from deep safety, to in the box and even at cornerback. He said he was more of a deep safety throughout his college career, yet he also showed himself to be a good blitzer, beating one running back easily with a swim move.
  • Louisiana State safety Craig Loston was good around the line of scrimmage, but a little stiffer in coverage and got burnt after guessing once in one-on-one coverage underneath.
  • Baylor’s Ahmad Dixon was late in getting to the sideline and frustrated with himself for allowing a touchdown pass in Wednesday’s practice.

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