Packers 2018 Draft: Pre-Combine Position Rankings

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 30: Running back Saquon Barkley
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 30: Running back Saquon Barkley /
11 of 11

Safety Rankings

1. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama

2. Derwin James, Florida State

3. Ronnie Harrison, Alabama

4. Marcus Allen, Penn State

5. DeShon Elliott, Texas

6. Kyzer White, West Virginia

7. Quinn Blanding, Virginia

8. Armani Watts, Texas A&M

9. Tray Matthews, Auburn

10. Jordan Whitehead, Pittsburgh

Other: Kameron Kelly (San Diego State), Justin Reid (Stanford), Jessie Bates III (Wake Forest), Godwin Igwebuike (Northwestern), Van Smith (Clemson)

Overview: Fitzpatrick and James are both special athletes who can do so many things at the safety position.

Depending on scheme, Fitzpatrick could play corner in the NFL because he’s so sound in man coverage. However, he’s also an excellent backend defender and really excels when allowed to roam the field and make plays on the ball.

James is a bigger defensive back (6-3, 215) who makes a lot of plays up near the line of scrimmage. He can serve as a nickel linebacker or he can match up against a tight end or slot receiver in coverage. He is receiving a lot of Kam Chancellor comparisons, and that doesn’t seem too far off. However, I think he’s a much better coverage player than people are giving him credit for.

Both Fitzpatrick and James should be off the board in the first 15 picks.

Harrison is another Alabama safety who could sneak into the first round, while Allen, White, and Elliott are strong Day 2 candidates who could immediately upgrade a defense in the secondary.

Overall, this year’s safety class is solid, but not spectacular. Mid-round guys like Watts, Matthews, and Blanding give teams plenty of options throughout the draft.

Next: Top 30 moments in Green Bay Packers history

If the Packers lose Morgan Burnett to free agency this offseason, they may consider drafting a safety despite still having Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Josh Jones on the roster. They may want to continue utilizing three safety looks on defense.