With football right around the corner, here is a preview of the top safeties in the league.
The safety position is one of the most underrated positions in football. A good safety can set the tone for the entire defense through leadership, while also contributing in stopping both the run and the pass.
The leadership and importance of the safety position is evident in this fact: nine of the 10 safeties in my top 10 this year have played on at least one playoff team in the last two seasons. Granted, safeties are not quarterbacks or even left tackles in terms of importance to a football organization, but they can (and often do) set the tone for a defense.
High-functioning defenses such as Seattle’s Legion of Boom or the Kansas City Chiefs have struggled at times without names like Earl Thomas or Eric Berry in recent seasons. If those two teams both had their exceptional safeties back in those seasons, those troubles would have lessened. Again, a talented safety can set the tone and change a defense.
The NFL is, believe it or not, a passing league and I believe that both positions in the secondary (cornerback and safety) have become more important in recent seasons. The need for highly-intelligent and athletically-gifted safeties has never been higher than it is right now, in a league filled with play-actions and no-huddles.