Last years daft was loaded at the safety position, with players like Kenny Vaccaro, Eric Reid, and Jonathan Cyprien. While the 2014 NFL draft isn’t loaded at the safety position, there are two first round safety prospects who are Day 1 starters in the NFL. Alabama’s HaHa Clinton-Dix has been the top safety on big boards everywhere since day one, but over the last few weeks, Louisville’s Calvin Pryor has risen up the big boards everywhere, and he is now projected to go around the 20th selection in the draft. Both players are very good players, but who deserves to be the top safety taken in this years NFL Draft?
HaHa Clinton-Dix measures in at 6-1, 208 lbs, accordion to ESPN.com, which is nice size for a safety. Clinton-Dix has been projected as a first round prospect all year round and it has remained that way. On tape, where Clinton-Dix excels is his recognition. He is very good at reading the eyes of opposing quarterbacks, making him good in pass coverage, andhe is also good at recognizing the run, allowing him to make stops close to the line. Clinton-Dix is super athletic and it allows him to make great plays, but where Clinton-Dix struggles is his tackling. He isn’t consistent with his tackling form and he tends to try to grab and pull players down, that wrap up. Clinton-Dix has all of the physical tools to be an elite player in the NFL, he just needs to be more constant with his tackling.
Louisville’s Calvin Pryor measures in at 6-2, 208 lbs, according to ESPN.com, and he uses every bit of his largeframe to make plays. He is an extremely physical player, who some describe as a “firecracker”. When you watch Pryor on film, he makes tons of huge hits and, while he decent in coverage, he has the ability to make big plays in coverage as well. The issue Pryor has is his angles. Pryor is always looking to make a huge hit and because of that, he has a tendency to take bad angles at the ball carrier, who is then able to make a big play. Pryor needs to sure this part of his game up if he want to be consistently great at the next level.
Both Clinton-Dix and Pryor have the potential to be very good players in the NFL. While Clinton-Dix is the safer selection, he isn’t the dynamic, physical player that Pryor is. While Clinton-Dix is still viewed as the top safety in the draft by most analysts, who would you rather have Clinton-Dix or Pryor?