PewterReport.com analyzes the highest gamers within the 2022 NFL Draft with its’ place previews. Josh Queipo retains issues rolling by previewing the protection place, with a complete have a look at what the Bucs have and what they want at security. Queipo additionally offers an in depth checklist of this yr’s prime safeties. As well as, Scott Reynolds gives up the workforce wants and the annual PewterReport.com Bucs’ Greatest Bets – the almost definitely security for the Bucs to pick out in Rounds 1-3, and in Rounds 4-7.
What The Bucs Have At Security
The Bucs have one of many league’s greatest younger safeties in Antoine Winfield, Jr. The second-round choose in 2020 made the Professional Bowl in his second season after serving to the workforce win Tremendous Bowl LV as a rookie. Winfield is a playmaker who picked off a pair of passes, compelled two fumbles and recovered three in 2021. He primarily performs free security, however will come down within the field as a blitzer and for sure matchups. Tampa Bay misplaced beginning robust security Jordan Whitehead to the New York Jets in free company. The Bucs signed veterans Logan Ryan and Keanu Neal this offseason. Todd Bowles will wait till the OTAs to find out if Ryan might be within the combine at free security, robust security or nickel cornerback. Neal is penciled in at robust security.
The Bucs even have Mike Edwards, a former third-round choose, who’s coming into a contract yr. Edwards emerged as a playmaker final yr with three interceptions, together with a pair of pick-sixes, and a compelled fumble. Whereas he can play some within the field, Edwards is extra of a free security. Thus he’s not an automated alternative for Whitehead. Tampa Bay has moved on from veteran reserve Andrew Adams, however had a pair of developmental safeties on the apply squad. Chris Cooper is a robust security with the positional flexibility to play some slot cornerback. Troy Warner is a free security.
What The Bucs Want At Security
The Bucs will go into the season with 5 safeties and have 4 on the roster proper now in Winfield, Edwards, Neal and Ryan, who is also thought of a nickel cornerback. Neal and Ryan are solely signed for one yr, and Edwards is in a contract yr. So drafting a security – possible a robust security – to develop and ultimately begin subsequent to Winfield is vital. Having Neal readily available implies that a rookie received’t be pressed right into a beginning position instantly at robust security.
With Bowles, a former security, because the workforce’s new head coach, it’s a protected wager that the Bucs will come away with a security in his first draft. Bucs common supervisor Jason Licht has spent two second-round picks on safeties earlier than (Justin Evans in 2017, Winfield in 2020). And he’s additionally spent a third-rounder (Mike Edwards) on one other.
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Prime Safeties In 2022 NFL Draft
*Essential Be aware: These gamers are NOT listed within the order of Pewter Report’s rating for them. Relatively, the numbers are supplied to point out you the tough order by which we anticipate them to return off the board in the course of the draft.
1. Notre Dame S Kyle Hamilton – Junior – 6-4, 220, 4.59
Hamilton started the draft season as among the best prospects within the class. That shine has slowly worn off over the previous month although. The ideas on him have modified to one thing of an enigma. He’s nonetheless seen as an immensely proficient first-round participant. However the consensus that he’s the subsequent Derwin James has tapered fairly a bit. That is regardless of a really productive profession at Notre Dame the place he amassed 139 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 24 passes defensed, and eight interceptions.
Hamilton has uncommon measurement on the security place. He blends his 6-foot-4 body and unimaginable instincts to chew up massive swaths of subject in deep zone protection. His instincts additionally enable him to be in place to make performs on the ball that different safeties would by no means have a shot at. In man protection Hamilton will be clunky to interrupt on out routes, resulting in catches allowed. He isn’t a legal responsibility in run assist, however he isn’t an enormous asset both. He doesn’t come downhill with the sudden urgency you’d hope for from a participant of his bodily stature. Nonetheless Hamilton is a confirmed playmaker, as evidenced by his eight interceptions in simply 19 begins. He might go as excessive as a Prime 10 choose and as little as Prime 25.
2. Georgia S Lewis Cine – Junior – 6-2, 199, 4.37
Cine has an awesome mixture of measurement and velocity that he routinely places on show. He confirmed a constant capacity to return downhill and have an effect on the working recreation with closing burst and physicality. His method in tackling wants some work, however he brings some thump. He’s sticky in man protection towards tight ends. Nonetheless, this protection capacity didn’t translate into ball manufacturing, as he solely recorded two interceptions and 16 passes defensed over 27 begins. On the subsequent stage he might want to enhance his route recognition in zone protection. But his 4.37 velocity permits him to cowl a number of floor. Cine might go as excessive as late the primary however is extra more likely to be an early second-rounder.
3. Penn State S Jaquan Brisker – RS Senior – 6-1.5, 206, 4.43
Brisker is a prototypical robust security. He’s large and hard and at his greatest when coming downhill. He’ll enter the NFL as one of many strongest safeties within the league. Brisker can typically be discovered taking up blocks from tight ends and even offensive linemen and profitable the rep. In deep zones Brisker turns into extra restricted, missing a really feel for protection that can go away him uncovered. Over 34 video games and 21 begins Brisker recorded 153 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 19 passes defensed and 5 interceptions. He ought to be drafted early within the second spherical.
4. Cincinnati S Bryan Prepare dinner – RS Senior – 6-0, 206, DNP
Prepare dinner is a brilliant, aggressive, participant. His faculty manufacturing confirmed this as he recorded 216 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, one sack, two compelled fumbles, 30 passes defensed and 7 interceptions over 4 seasons throughout his faculty profession. He combines superb velocity and physicality with instinctive play and sound tackling mechanics to be a plus-run defender. A former nook, he’s stable, if not spectacular, in protection. Prepare dinner can function nicely as a field security or in two-high alignments. He’s a high-floor prospect who ought to be off the board within the prime 100 picks.
5. Maryland S Nick Cross – Junior – 6-0, 212, 4.34
Cross is a extremely fascinating analysis. He solely began one season at Maryland, however in that yr he actually lit up the tape. His athletic profile is superb, displaying vary and shutting velocity to impression performs throughout the sector. That is backed up together with his manufacturing in his junior yr the place he logged 57 tackles, a sack, seven passes defensed and 5 interceptions. He profiles as a deep security with ball expertise. He may very well be a late second day or early third day choose.
6. Illinois S Kerby Joseph – Senior – 6-1, 203, DNP
Joseph profiles as a deep free security. He exhibits good instincts within the backfield in each single and two-high alignments. When the ball is within the air, Joseph exhibits robust closing velocity on outdoors vertical routes and has some ball expertise to create turnovers. His largest knock could be that he’s allergic to run protection. Joseph will typically are available in late, takes poor routes, and hopes that teammates will end the sort out, so he doesn’t should. Joseph profiles as a third- to fourth-spherical choose.
Greatest Of The Relaxation
7. Toledo S Tycen Anderson – RS Senior – 6-2, 209, 4.36
Anderson was a three-year starter for Toledo. He was named workforce captain in every of his final two seasons and earned First-Staff All-MAC honors in his senior yr. Over the course of his profession Anderson logged 237 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, two sacks, 21 passes defended and two interceptions. Anderson has an extended, skinny body however nonetheless strikes shortly downfield to help within the run protection. He pairs his velocity with glorious lateral motion expertise permitting him to work in a large number of roles together with within the slot towards agile receivers. Anderson might want to enhance his processing speeds to essentially be a high quality starter within the NFL. He ought to be an early Day 3 choose.
8. Baylor S JT Woods – Senior – 6-2, 195, 4.36
Woods is an uber-athletic participant who profiles as a free security. He turned a full-time starter in 2020 and for his profession amassed 157 tackles, seven tackles for loss, one sack, 14 passes defensed, and 9 interceptions. He depends on his lightning-quick velocity to succeed. One among my favourite issues about him is his capacity to flip his hips and drive from his high-zone to fulfill the ball on deep outs. He additionally makes use of his closing velocity to gear up on performs the place he’s monitoring a slot receiver or tight finish to disrupt the ball on the catch level.
There’s a sophisticated side of his recreation in how he squeezes routes and makes use of sound tackling strategies. Woods remains to be a little bit of a legal responsibility in run assist as he can over-pursue the ball provider and fails to sq. up his hips to assist him not fall for cut-backs. He’s additionally vulnerable to play-action fakes. Woods’ skinny body leaves questions on sturdiness within the NFL. He’s projected to be an early Day 3 choose.
9. Iowa S Dane Belton – Junior – 6-0.5, 205, 4.43
Belton began for 2 and a half seasons at Iowa the place he amassed 112 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, one sack, 17 passes defensed and 5 interceptions. What’s fascinating is nearly all of his ball manufacturing got here in his remaining season in 2021 the place he racked up all of his interceptions and 12 of his move breakups.
Used primarily as a slot defender, Belton introduced a flexible skillset to the place. He was typically in man protection towards each tight ends and slot receivers, assisted in run assist, and blitzed. Belton displayed a knack for making performs and was efficient masking tight ends. He wasn’t afraid to return into the run recreation to make a sort out, though his method must be cleaned up. Whereas Belton ran a stellar 40-yard sprint, that velocity didn’t all the time present up on movie the place he struggled to hold receivers vertically. Belton is seen as a fifth- to sixth-spherical choice and I’d be ecstatic if the Tampa native ended up a Buccaneer.
10. Oregon S Verone McKinley III – RS Junior – 5-10, 192, 4.65
McKinley was a consensus All-American in 2021 after beginning for 3 straight years. A playmaker by nature, McKinley overcomes measurement and athletic limitations with elite instincts. This led to 6 interceptions and 12 passes defensed in his junior season. He reads route mixtures and tracks quarterback actions to make sure he’s persistently across the ball. Regardless of these positives defending the move, McKinley is just not very adept in run assist. He doesn’t drive right down to the road with a lot explosiveness, has poor tackling method and might overrun ball carriers. His measurement will stop him from matching up with tight ends in man protection as nicely. He’s projected to be a late fourth- or early fifth-spherical choice.
11. Tennessee S Alontae Taylor – Senior – 6-0, 199, 4.36
Taylor was a four-year starter at Tennessee the place he performed solely as an outdoor nook. Regardless of that placement Taylor is seen by a number of evaluators as a security on the subsequent stage. He confirmed some ball expertise logging 4 interceptions and 19 passes defensed throughout his profession. He has proven a willingness to stay his head down and ship an enormous hit within the working recreation. If Taylor transitions to security his 4.36 velocity and zone expertise profile nicely in a deep security position. He may very well be an early Day 3 choose.
12. Louisiana S Percy Butler – Senior – 6-0, 194, 4.36
Butler was a three-year starter at Louisiana the place he amassed 169 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, one sack, 5 compelled fumbles, 16 passes defensed and three interceptions. His velocity is instantly evident as he makes use of it going each downhill to assist in run assist and beneath coverages, as nicely is dropping again to deep zones holding performs in entrance of him. He’s adept at diagnosing performs and dealing via visitors to get into the motion. He might want to work on his tackling method on the subsequent stage as his goal zone can trip excessive and he can over-pursue his goal. His construct profiles extra as an outdoor nook main some to fret about sturdiness considerations on the subsequent stage. Butler, who excels on particular groups protection, ought to be an early Day 3 choose.
13. Kentucky S Yusuf Corker – RS Senior – 6-0, 203, 4.53
Corker was a three-year starter for Kentucky the place he amassed 241 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, one sack, one compelled fumble, 17 passes defensed and three interceptions. He profiles as a robust security the place his suddenness in shifting downhill and talent to maintain his eyes within the backfield assist him to be an asset towards the run. Nonetheless, Corker isn’t a constant tackler, which is a should for that position. Corker’s instincts will assist make up for under common velocity. That lack of velocity means he’ll wrestle to assist in the slot. He ought to be a fourth- to fifth-spherical choose.
14. Auburn S Smoke Monday – Senior – 6-2, 207, 4.52
Can anybody deal with the Smoke? Monday performs with that mentality as he throws himself into contact. Sadly for him, his lean body means the reply to that query is commonly “sure.” That doesn’t should be the case as his body might assist extra weight that can hopefully include extra thump. He loves contact, units the sting and is keen to tackle blockers. This helped Monday rack up 137 tackles over his remaining two years at Auburn when he was a starter.
Monday’s alternatives lie in his move protection. He will be sluggish to learn routes and this results in late breaks and accomplished passes. Regardless of these limitations he performs with an edge that helps him create performs on the ball, as evidenced by his 5 profession interceptions that led to a few touchdowns. Monday is seen as a sixth-round choose.
Bucs’ Greatest Bets: Safeties
Bucs’ Greatest Guess – Rounds 1-3: Georgia S Lewis Cine
The Bucs might use a robust security to exchange Jordan Whitehead for the long run, and Cine could be a perfect match. He’ a bodily thumper within the field with the velocity (4.37) to even be a rangy deep security in single excessive, quarters or two-deep. Cine was not solely the main tackler (73) on the nationwide champion Bulldogs final yr, he was additionally the chief of the secondary. He completed his faculty profession with eight tackles, a sort out for loss and a move breakup within the nationwide championship victory and was the sport’s defensive MVP.
Cine is a critical soccer participant with a fairly excessive ceiling that he hasn’t reached but. He might enhance his ball expertise, evidenced by simply two interceptions in three years of motion – the final two as a starter. Whereas he develops his hand utilization in protection, Cine will make a residing as an enforcer within the field towards the run and brief and intermediate passing recreation. Cine is a really coachable, cerebral participant that Todd Bowles would possible gravitate in direction of.
Bucs’ Greatest Guess – Rounds 4-7: S Kerby Joseph
Joseph is an fascinating prospect as a result of he’s such a late bloomer. He wasn’t a starter till his fifth yr, and he wound up with 5 interceptions and second-team All-Massive Ten honors. Joseph has actually good vary to patrol the secondary as a free security and glorious ball expertise. He additionally broke up seven passes in protection. The place Joseph struggles is with run assist. His physicality on the level of assault and his tackling capacity want work. He’s a significantly better free security than a field security at this stage of his profession.
The Bucs like Joseph and had him in for a Prime 30 go to. Tampa Bay additionally had safeties coach Nick Rapone work Joseph out at his professional day. Joseph doesn’t have a 40-time resulting from a strained quad at his professional day. That, plus his lack of manufacturing at Illinois, might push him into the fourth or fifth rounds. The Bucs might view Joseph as a developmental security and a ballhawk who might exchange Mike Edwards, who’s in a contract yr. Joseph brings large worth as a particular groups participant. He was a gunner the final two years for the Illini and even recorded a security on a punt this yr versus Nebraska.