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2015 NFL Draft safety rankings: A dearth of talent compared to this year

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Landon Collins of Alabama leads the way, but don't expect to see four safeties picked in the first round like we saw this year.

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

It seems like the safety position is more important than ever in the NFL. Four were taken in the first round of this year’s draft and three were drafted in the first round in 2013.

Teams are searching for the next Earl Thomas or Eric Berry in the secondary. They’re playmakers who can change the course of a game on any given snap.

The closest player who can do that in this year’s draft is Louisville redshirt sophomore Gerod Holliman. He leads the nation in interceptions with 14 and is comfortable roaming the back half of the field. So why then is he No. 3 on this list of safeties? His tackling is subpar. His 37 tackles on the season are as bad as the interception total is good.

The tackling of Alabama’s Landon Collins and Cody Prewitt of Ole Miss won’t be questioned. Both are hard-hitting safeties who can come up and play the run in the box. Collins grades out higher because he’s better in coverage situations. Leading up to the draft, teams will be trying to figure out if Collins is more like former Crimson Tide safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix or Mark Barron.

Overall, it's hard to see four or even three first-round picks out of this group. Of course, at this time last year we didn't think Deone Bucannon or Jimmie Ward would be picked in the top 32.

1. Landon Collins | 6’0, 222 pounds | S | Alabama *
2. Cody Prewitt | 6’2, 217 pounds | S | Ole Miss
3. Gerod Holliman | 6’2, 213 pounds | S | Louisville **
4. Karl Joseph | 5’10, 196 pounds | S | West Virginia*
5. Anthony Harris | 6’1, 190 pounds | S | Virginia
6. Durell Eskridge | 6’3, 207 pounds | S | Syracuse *
7. Derron Smith | 5’11, 197 pounds | S | Fresno State
8. Jalen Mills | 6’0, 194 pounds | S | LSU *
9. Jermaine Whitehead | 5’11, 193 pounds | S | Auburn
10. Kurtis Drummond | 6’1, 202 pounds | S | Michigan State
11. Damarious Randall | 5’11, 190 pounds | S | Arizona State
12. Clayton Geathers | 6’2, 208 pounds | S | Central Florida
13. Jordan Richards | 5’11, 210 pounds | S | Stanford
14. Isaiah Johnson | 6’2, 205 pounds | S | Georgia Tech
15. Adrian Amos | 6’0, 209 pounds | S | Penn State
16. Kyshoen Jarrett | 5’11, 200 pounds | S | Virginia Tech