Analysis

2023 NFL Draft Watch List: Tiering the Best College Safeties

2023 NFL Draft Watch List: Tiering the Best College Safeties

The conclusion of the 2022 NFL Draft means that teams and fans alike can start looking forward to next year’s crop of players. While it is far too early to have conclusive opinions on where each player will rank due to a full season of games and the player development ahead of us, this tier ranking previews how these players go into the season ranked against their position group. These tiers are subject to change but give a quick outlook on the expectations of these players.

Read our 2023 NFL Draft Running Back Tier List Here

Read our 2023 NFL Draft Quarterback Tier List Here

Read our 2023 NFL Draft Wide Receiver Tier List Here

Read our 2023 NFL Draft Tight End Tier List Here

Read our 2023 NFL Draft Offensive Line Tier List Here

Read our 2023 NFL Draft Defensive Line Tier List Here

Read our 2023 NFL Draft Edge Rusher Tier List Here

Read our 2023 NFL Draft Linebacker Tier List Here

Tier 1: The Top Talents

Jordan Battle, Alabama

Brandon Joseph, Notre Dame

Jalen Catalon, Arkansas

Antonio Johnson, Texas A&M

Tier 1 of this position group can be considered to be impactful at all three levels of the defense. They attack in the run game and show good range on the third level during pass coverage. These players show versatility and a balanced play style that allows them to be disruptive in multiple schemes. This group has a combination of athleticism, run support and coverage ability to be playmakers at the next level.

Tier 2: Elite Traits or Play Style

Christopher Smith, Georgia

JL Skinner, Boise State

Avery Young, Rutgers

Jordan Totes, LSU

Tier 2 is a collection of players who have elite physical traits or high-end film. These players usually excel at two levels of the defense due to their coverage skills. This tier has less all-around type of players but is full of impactful playmakers in specific roles. The 2022 season is an opportunity for these players to propel themselves towards the top of next year’s class. They have the physical gifts and quality of play to build a case for one of the top safeties in their class.

Tier 3: Potential Draft Picks

Christian Morgan, Baylor

Tyreke Smith, Georgia

Ronnie Hickman, Ohio State

Rashad Torrence II, Florida

Tier 3 is made up of players who show good athleticism and excel at different levels of the defense. Some free safety types are better at covering the third level of the field while others can play in the box or slot. This group is full of defensive role players that fit into specific types of schemes. They have the potential to move up in their position group if they improve their play in certain facets this season. Overall, these players are missing high end athleticism combined with previous great film to be considered the top in their class.

Tier 4: Next Year’s Sleepers

Jammie Robinson, Florida State

Nick Anderson, Wake Forest

Quindell Johnson, Memphis

DeMarco Hellams, Alabama

Jay Ward, LSU

Tier 4 players are considered the sleepers due to either not having enough playing time in previous years or missing pieces in their athleticism and play quality. In the previous seasons, they have been role players on their college team and are looking to step into a larger role to make a bigger name for themselves. These players are hoping to launch up draft boards during the 2022 season when they get the chance to show their development.

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