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Draft Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Or Calvin Pryor?


The Ravens could be picking a safety at No. 17 and there are two possibilities with Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Louisville's Calvin Pryor.

So which one is better?

ESPN's Mel Kiper weighed in during a conference call this week. Even though he has Clinton-Dix headed to Detroit at pick No. 10 and Pryor to the Ravens at No. 17 in his latest mock draft, Kiper now thinks Pryor is the better player.

"Calvin Pryor, to me, if he were there [at No. 17] would be a great pick," Kiper said. "People question his coverage ability. I don't. I think he's an enforcer, a hitter, a great kid and a very consistent player."

The Ravens could add more help at safety via the draft, even after signing Darian Stewart this offseason. They would like a free safety in the mix so they can move Matt Elam into the strong safety position.

Clinton-Dix is 6-foot-1, 208 pounds, which is good size for an NFL safety. He also showed solid speed by running the 40-yard dash in 4.50 seconds at the combine. He hails from Alabama's strong defense, which runs a pro scheme.

Between  him and Pryor, Clinton-Dix is considered more as a coverage safety.

"Clinton-Dix has range, he can cover," Kiper said. "He's a pretty good tackler. I think he missed an open-field tackle or two." 

Pryor is a bit smaller at 5-foot-11, 207 pounds, but he's a more physically imposing player.

He has a highlight reel full of big hits. But there are questions about how good he is in coverage, despite three interceptions last season. Pryor was nearly as fast as Clinton-Dix in the 40-yard dash, running it in 4.58 seconds.

"Pryor is just wiped out. He competes," Kiper said.

"The coverage ability, I watched him, he makes a lot of plays in coverage. The 40 time is reflective of how good he is. I'm going to probably end up making Pryor the top safety, slightly over Clinton-Dix. I'm just going to go back to who the best pure football players are."

If both Clinton-Dix and Pryor are gone before pick No. 17, or the Ravens want to go in another direction, Kiper says there are other good safeties to be had.

He pointed to Northern Illinois safety Jimmy Ward and Washington State's Deone Bucannon. Both shined at the Senior Bowl and are projected to be drafted in the second round.

"[Jimmy Ward] is a pure-ball hawk, blocked some kicks early in his career, underrated in terms of tackling and enforcing," Kiper said. "I think he's a very good player, very underrated player."

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