Finally the last ranking group! This is the 2022 NFL draft safety rankings. This years class is pretty strong at the top and deep overall. It is a lot like the corner group. There is probably at least two that will go in the first. Now lets get into the 2022 NFL draft safety rankings.
1. Kyle Hamilton – Notre Dame
The top ranked safety in many 2022 NFL draft safety rankings. A huge dude who is an elite athlete. Elite sideline to sideline range. He can play all over the field. He can play free, strong, slot, or nickel backer. Hamilton is a good tackler. He has had some different injuries that should be checked into. Is not the smoothest when flipping his hips. He also has corner-like ball skills.
2. Daxton Hill – Michigan
Hill is another uber-athletic safety. He has played all over the defensive backfield. A very similar player to Darnell Savage. He shows great range and ball skills on film. Despite his size, he has been a solid run defender. Hill though still is raw due to his lack of experience as a starter. His frame is still a little underdeveloped, so you would like to see him add some bulk to his frame. He also shows a great closing burst to the ball when it’s in the air.
3. Jordan Battle – Alabama
Battle is another in a long line of solid safety prospects to come out of Alabama. Battle brings good size and athleticism to the field allowing him to play either safety spot. He shows a very good explosion on the field and shows smooth hips. He is another player that has shown his versatility by lining up all over the field. What he does need to work on is his tackling, he can be a little inconsistent in that area. He is a solid run defender. Battle can also improve in coverage. He doesn’t always play full speed and could make more plays if he did.
4. Brandon Joseph – Northwestern
Joseph is long and athletic, with crazy range. He is also in another long line of versatile defenders, having played in the slot, single high, two high, Strong or free. His instincts seem to be on another level. He brings wide receiver-like ball skills to the field. He competes in the run game but could stand to fill out his frame a bit more. His aggressiveness can get the better of him sometimes.
5. Jaquan Brisker – Penn State
Brisker brings good athleticism and length to the field. He can smoothly flip his hips in coverage. His best physical asset is probably his agility. He shows an ability to really explode when closing on the ball or a ball carrier. He also brings a high level of football IQ to the game. Also Brisker is a willing run defender who could become even better. Overall his biggest issue is he tends to show some inconsistencies. He could also improve as a tackler.
6. Lewis Cine – Georgia
Cine is a very physical hard-hitting safety. He plays very well against the run and shows good awareness in the run game. For a guy known as a physical hard hitter, he shows solid athleticism on the field. He shows good COD skills. He has lined in in a few different spots, even having lined up at cornerback some. Overall ball skills are a bit of a weakness, especially having trouble finding the ball when his back is to it. He seems to do fine when in zone coverage.
7. Verone McKinley III – Oregon
McKinley is another in a long line of athletic, versatile defensive backs out of Oregon. He started as a corner at Oregon and it shows in his coverage skills and ball skills. He excels in zone coverage. While he’s not the biggest guy he plays hard and aggressively. He only has average length and that may affect him more with him not being the biggest guy. He can easily transition to playing the slot once in the NFL, but long term where do you play him? His size can affect him sometimes in the running game.
8. Jalen Pitre – Baylor
Pitre jumps out on film with his explosiveness and energetic style. Pitre brings versatility to the game since Baylor moved him all over. While he played esentially a linebacker role at Baylor he has shown to have solid zone coverage skills. From the jump he should be able to help on special teams as he learns. The biggest questions following him is how will he transition and will he be able to do it?
9. Tykee Smith – Georgia
Smith transferred over from West Virginia. He has shown to have high quality football IQ. Smith is solid all around against the run and in coverage. He’s been a really strong tackler in his career. While undersized he plays a super physical game. One of the questions about him is his ability to play other positions like single high or covering receivers/tight ends out of the slot. His lack of size can hurt him at times, especially against bigger players.
10. Isiah Pola-Mao – USC
Pola-Mao has good size and athleticism with great length. He has shown good power in the running game for such a long guy. He has shown good agility and can flip his hip easily. The problem is he has been inconsistent against the run and at times in coverage. He also has had some trouble getting off blocks. Pola-Mao can also be fooled with misdirection or the quarterback’s eyes. He has shown some versatility on the field lining up all over. More bulk and strength are needed.