The safety position is normally one that is thin in the NFL Draft, but luckily for the New England Patriots this year’s crop of safeties is one of the best we’ve seen in some time. The Patriots biggest need heading into the draft is at defensive back, and strong safety is a position that is in a need of an upgrade.
Last season, there were just two elite safeties in Mark Barron (Alabama) now of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Harrison Smith (Notre Dame) now of the Minnesota Vikings. This year’s draft boasts top talent in guys like Kenny Vaccaro, Matt Elam, Eric Reid, Tony Jefferson, D.J. Swearinger, Baccari Rambo, J.J. Wilcox, and Phillip Thomas, and Johnathan Cyprien.
Chicago Bears General Manager Phil Emery said that there are “six true” starting safeties in this year’s draft, and those six are likely Vaccaro, Elam, Reid, Swearinger, Cyprien, and maybe Jefferson. I’m still not sure about the sixth guy.
This crop of safeties is extremely deep, and it’s not often that you can name nine quality safeties in a draft, but this year’s draft is filled with options for the Patriots. My two favorites for the Pats? Elam and Swearinger. I also like Reid as a potential option.
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