Safety Deposit

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Safety Deposit
by Keith Weiland

Note: This is eighth in a series of college prospect profiles in preparation for the 2006 NFL Draft next April. This time we take a look at the top five safety prospects.

Rare is the time when a safety is selected early in the first round. Recent history has given us Sean Taylor of the Redskins and Roy Williams of the Cowboys, but such a prospect is not evident in this year’s draft. Still, there might a future Troy Polamalu or Ed Reed lurking among this year’s crop. Even if there is such a player though, it seems unlikely that the Texans would find a way to draft such a player this April.

With young safeties such as C.C. Brown and Glenn Earl already on the roster, the Texans might only seek second day depth at this position from the 2006 draft class. With a probable change to a 4-3 defensive front, the team’s needs are greater on the front seven, specifically at linebacker and defensive end.

Ignoring these top safeties however, could prove to be a big mistake. Texas’ Michael Huff has quarterbacked a championship defense and can cover speedy receivers like a cornerback. USC’s Darnell Bing and Georgia’s Greg Blue are big hitters at strong safety that will give receivers second thoughts about crossing the middle of the field. Pat Watkins of Florida State will remind a lot of Texans (and Jets) fans of a young Marcus Coleman, and South Carolina’s Ko Simpson, an eligible sophomore, might actually have the highest pro upside of the entire bunch.

Other safeties to watch on draft day:

Jason Allen, Tennessee
Daniel Bullocks, Nebraska
Bernard Pollard, Purdue
Dwayne Slay, Texas Tech
Donte Whitner, Ohio State

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