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2015 NFL Draft safety rankings: Landon Collins headlines a weak class

A lot of NFL teams need a coverage safety. Unfortunately this isn't the draft to get one.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

It is not a particularly good year to be taking a safety. There is no Eric Berry or Earl Thomas in the 2015 NFL Draft. That’s bad news because a lot of teams need coverage safeties. We saw in free agency how fast coverage safeties came off the market and the high prices they required.

The top safety this year is Alabama’s Landon Collins. His best asset is his ability to be physical and play coming down toward the line of scrimmage. That’s not to say he’s simply a run defense safety, though. Collins is solid in coverage, and has shown he can run with tight ends.

Utah’s Eric Rowe could be taken very high, but it’s no guarantee he’s a safety going forward. Rowe played three seasons of safety at Utah, but played last season at cornerback. As a safety, there are some issues with his physical play, but he’s good in coverage.

Louisville’s James Sample is a little more like Collins and Arizona State’s Damarious Randall is more like Rowe. They’re good players, but have some obvious flaws. Speaking of obvious flaws, that properly describes Louisville’s Gerod Holliman. He’s good in coverage and has great hands for the position. He just doesn’t tackle very well. At all. It’s strange, really.

Under the radar: Durell Eskridge of Syracuse has a lot of traits you like in a safety. He has good hands and size. The key to him being successful going forward is reading plays and reacting faster. If he can do that, he can potentially be a starter as a pro.

Position grade: C-

1. Landon Collins, 6’0, 222 pounds, S, Alabama
2. Eric Rowe, 6’0 3/4, 205 pounds, S/CB, Utah
3. James Sample, 6'2 1/8, 209 pounds, S, Louisville
4. Damarious Randall, 5’10 7/8, 196 pounds, S, Arizona State
5. Gerod Holliman, 6’2, 213 pounds, S, Louisville
6. Cody Prewitt, 6’2 1/8, 212 pounds, S, Ole Miss
7. Derron Smith, 5’11, 197 pounds, S, Fresno State
8. Jaquiski Tartt, 6'1 3/8, 220 pounds, S, Samford
9. Chris Hackett, 6'2, 195 pounds, S, TCU
10. Anthony Harris, 6’1, 183 pounds, S, Virginia
11. Durell Eskridge, 6’2 7/8, 208 pounds, S, Syracuse
12. Adrian Amos, 6’0 1/2, 214 pounds, S, Penn State
13. Kurtis Drummond, 6’0 5/8, 205 pounds, S, Michigan State
14. Ibraheim Campbell, 5'11 1/2, 210 pounds, S, Northwestern
15. Jermaine Whitehead, 5’11, 197 pounds, S, Auburn
16. Justin Cox, 6’0 5/8, 191 pounds, S, Mississippi State
17. Cedric Thompson, 6’0, 208 pounds, S, Minnesota
18. Clayton Geathers, 6’1 1/4, 212 pounds, S, Central Florida
19. Kyshoen Jarrett, 5’9 7/8, 200 pounds, S, Virginia Tech
20. Jordan Richards, 5’10 3/4, 211 pounds, S, Stanford
21. Isaiah Johnson, 6’2, 205 pounds, S, Georgia Tech
22. Fritz Etienne, 6'1 1/4, 215, S, Memphis