With the No. 18 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the New York Jets selected former Louisville strong safety Calvin Pryor. Pryor was ranked No. 24 on SB Nation's top 200 big board, making him the second-highest safety behind Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
Pryor has all the qualities of a strong safety in the NFL. His elite size at 5'11 and 207 pounds gives him the ability to come into the line of scrimmage and play the run while also guarding tight ends one-on-one. The former Cardinal has shown enough speed on tape to roam in coverage as well, patrolling the middle with authority.
While the Jets have needs on offense, John B from Gang Green Nation notes that they needed a young playmaker at safety:
This is the sixth consecutive first round pick the Jets have used on the defensive side of the ball. In some ways, however, this pick is a departure from what the team has done in the past. Despite having Ed Reed in Baltimore, Rex Ryan's Jets have not invested heavily at the position. They have tended to look for cheap veterans like Eric Smith, Jim Leonhard, Dawan Landry, Yeremiah Bell, and the artist formerly known as Ed Reed.
Last season, Pryor racked up 75 tackles and three interceptions with two forced fumbles in 11 games. In three seasons, Pryor became an elite defender for Louisville, enough of a playmaker to make Mike Mayock of NFL.com rank him the second-best safety available. After being recruited out of Florida, Pryor appeared in every game as a true freshman in 2011 before becoming a starter.
In our SB Nation scouting report of Pryor, Dan Kadar writes that there is room to improve in run support.
As a routine tackler, he'll sometimes leave a bit to be desired. Pryor too often dives at ankles to take the ball carrier down instead of squaring up and running through his opponent. When Louisville didn't drop Pryor into deep zone coverage, he was to support the run. Pryor can read a play in a hurry and close on the ball carrier. As mentioned above, though, he can overrun the play when he gets too aggressive.
40-yard dash: 4.58 seconds
Bench reps: 18
Vertical jump: 34.5 inches
Broad jump: 116 inches