Chiefs

Rating the top safeties in the NFL Draft, with an eye on Chiefs’ needs

Included in measurables are height, weight, age this year (if available) and 40-yard-dash time. Grades and rankings are based on film study and proprietary reporting. Grades are intended to convey a general sense of the draftee’s value, and where he might be selected.

Chiefs’ need at the position: Medium. Eric Berry will be back, which will help stabilize the position following the release of four-year starter Ron Parker. But if Berry gets hurt, that leaves Daniel Sorensen, Eric Murray and veteran free-agent signing Robert Golden. The Chiefs could use another talented young player at this position but the feeling here is that cornerback, defensive line and edge rusher are slightly bigger needs on the defense.

Grading scale

7.5-7.1: Top 10 pick

7.0: 11-20

6.9: 21-32

6.8: Top half of the second

6.7: Bottom half of the second

6.6: Top half of the third

6.5: Bottom half of the third

6.4: Fourth-round pick

6.3: Fifth-round pick

6.2: Sixth-round pick

6.1: Seventh-round pick

6.0: Priority free agent

5.9: Non-prospect

Top 10 rankings

1. MINKAH FITZPATRICK, Alabama

Measurables: 6-0, 204, 21, 4.46

Bio: Three-year starter who had 110 tackles (eight for loss), one interception, seven pass deflections and 1 1/2 sacks in 13 games in 2017. Declared after true junior season.

Consensus: Solid tackler and safe pick with positional versatility and a reputation as a gym rat who possesses good, but not elite, athleticism and might have a hard time matching up against the most uber-talented receivers in the NFL.

Grade: 7.3

2. DERWIN JAMES, Florida State

Measurables: 6-2, 215, 21, 4.47

Bio: Three-year starter who had 84 tackles (5 1/2 for loss), two interceptions, 11 pass deflections, two sacks, zero forced fumbles and zero fumble recoveries in 12 games in 2017. Declared after true junior season.

Consensus: Outstanding height-weight-speed prospect with terrific physical measurables (33-inch arms, 40-inch vert, 132-inch broad, 21 bench reps) and enthusiasm who could play all over the field (though he’s currently more effective/comfortable in the box) even though he's still learning to train his eyes and play with anticipation.

Grade: 7.2

3. JUSTIN REID, Stanford

Measurables: 6-0, 207, 21, 4.4

Bio: Two-year starter who had 94 tackles (6 1/2 for loss), five interceptions, six pass deflections, one sack, zero forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 14 games in 2017. Declared after true season. Brother of former San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid.

Consensus: Good enough athlete with legit ball skills and a good football brain who can be grabby and can be beat in coverage but has all the tools to be a very good safety for a long time.

Grade: 6.8

4. TERRELL EDMUNDS, Virginia Tech

Measurables: 6-2, 220, 21, 4.47

Bio: Three-year starter who had 61 tackles (2 1/2 for loss), two interceptions, four pass deflections, 1 1/2 sacks, zero forced fumbles and zero fumble recoveries in 10 games in 2017. Declared after redshirt junior season. Son of former NFL tight end Ferrell Edmunds and brother of fellow 2018 prospect Tremaine Edmunds.

Consensus: Outstanding height-weight-speed prospect whose athleticism shows on tape and is comfortable playing in space but needs to train his eyes as a safety, do a better job finding the ball overall and be way more consistent as a run defender.

Grade: 6.8

5. RONNIE HARRISON, Alabama

Measurables: 6-2, 207, 21, 4.63

Bio: Two-year starter who had 74 tackles (4 1/2 for loss), three interceptions, four pass breakups, 2 1/2 sacks, zero forced fumbles and zero fumble recoveries in 14 games in 2017. Declared after true junior season.

Consensus: Long, rangy athlete with plus length (33 ?-inch arms) and above-average speed for his size who enjoys the physicality of the game and plays the game with his eyes but isn't a burner and has some issues with his transitional quickness.

Grade: 6.6

6. KYZIR WHITE, West Virginia

Measurables: 6-2, 218, 22, 4.69

Bio: Two-year starter who had 94 tackles (7 1/2 for loss), three interceptions, four pass deflections, one sack, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 13 games in 2017.

Consensus: Former juco transfer with football genes (his brother is former West Virginia star Kevin White) whose leadership traits, physical temperament and run-stopping chops could help him overcome his athletic and coverage limitations on the backend and find a home in the NFL as a box safety or nickel linebacker.

Grade: 6.6

7. JESSIE BATES III, Wake Forest

Measurables: 6-1, 200, 21, 4.5

Bio: Two-year starter who had 77 tackles (six for loss), one interception, six pass deflections and a forced fumble in 11 games in 2017. Declared after redshirt sophomore season.

Consensus: Good athlete who moves well, plays hard and shows legit upside as a cover safety in man and zone but needs to work on his tackling and quell durability concerns.

Grade: 6.6

8. MARCUS ALLEN, Penn State

Measurables: 6-2, 215, 21, 4.63

Bio: Four-year starter who had 71 tackles (four for loss), one interception, two pass deflections, one sack and two forced fumbles in 13 games in 2017.

Consensus: Big-time enforcer with lots of experience whose average athleticism and lack of ball production (one career interception) could limit him to box duties.

Grade: 6.5

9. ARMANI WATTS, Texas A&M

Measurables: 5-10, 202, 22, 4.64

Bio: Four-year starter who had 87 tackles (10 for loss), four interceptions, five pass deflections, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 12 games in 2017.

Consensus: Field-fast athlete with good instincts, ball skills and upside in coverage whose lack of size, durability concerns, inconsistency in run support and tendency to gamble will ding his draft stock.

Grade: 6.5

10. DeSHON ELLIOTT, Texas

Measurables: 6-2, 205, 21, 4.58

Bio: One-year starter who had 63 tackles (8 1/2 for loss), six interceptions, nine pass deflections, 1 1/2 sacks, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 13 games in 2017. Declared after true junior season.

Consensus: Physical player with good size who packs and punch and flashed a ton of playmaking ability in 2017 but has some athleticism and movement concerns that could show up against the studs at the next level.

Grade: 6.4

Others to watch

Troy Apke, Penn State; Quin Blanding, West Virginia; Dane Cruikshank, Arizona; Godwin Igwebuike, Northwestern; Tre Flowers, Oklahoma State; Rashaan Gaulden, Tennessee; Trey Walker, Louisiana-Lafayette; Jordan Whitehead, Oregon.

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