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2015 NFL Draft rankings: Top 10 safeties

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Ranking the top 10 safeties in this year's NFL Draft.

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1. Landon Collins (Alabama) | 6-foot-0, 228 pounds

I hate to put a box safety at the top of this list, but I truly cannot express how terrible this safety class is. Collins may be limited to playing closer to the line of scrimmage, but he’s by far the most instinctive safety in this draft. He takes great angles in pursuit with good closing speed, and his dominance in run support is definitely his biggest strength. Teams will be remiss to use him as a deep safety, as he may struggle with deeper routes and tends to look a bit stiff in coverage.

Projection: 1st round (CBS Sports)
Grade: 6.3 (NFL.com)

2. Adrian Amos (Penn State) | 6-foot-0, 218 pounds

Amos really improved his stock after a solid combine and also improved his 40 time to a 4.37 at his pro day. He is very versatile and can play free safety, but also has the rare ability to cover receivers and tight ends in the slot. Amos allowed just 14 completions on 39 targets for a QB Rating of 13.0 against him (first among all safeties via Pro Football Focus). He shows great instincts and looks very fluid in coverage, but my biggest concern would be his poor tackling technique and lack of effort in run support.

Projection: 3rd-4th round (CBS Sports)
Grade: 5.4 (NFL.com)

3. Derron Smith (Fresno State) | 5-foot-10, 200 pounds

Like Amos, Smith is a guy who will likely compete for a starting FS or slot corner role. He’s very instinctive with great ball skills, and there is no doubt in my mind that he’s going to make some plays in the NFL. He is a bit undersized to play safety and missed a lot of tackles in 2014, so projecting him as a slot corner may be the better bet for some teams.

Projection: 3rd-4th round (CBS Sports)
Grade: 5.6 (NFL.com)

4. Anthony Harris (Virginia) | 6-foot-1, 183 pounds

Harris is a bit of a tweener who has some skills you like at FS and also some at SS, but just hasn’t really put everything together at either spot. He sports a thin frame for a safety and will need to bulk up for the NFL. He shows aggressiveness versus the run but has a tendency of falling off tackles, and while he’s very instinctive in coverage, he’s much more suited for a zone-heavy scheme.

Projection: 6th-7th round (CBS Sports)
Grade: 5.5 (NFL.com)

5. Damarious Randall (Arizona State) | 5-foot-11, 196 pounds

Randall is a supreme athlete with a ton of upside and great ball skills. He poses a threat to take it to the house every time he gets his hands on the ball. I like him as a deep safety, but I think he could also develop into an outside/slot cornerback if need be. His tape versus Oregon State may be the worst I’ve ever seen, and I worry about him missing tackles, as well as overpursuing and giving up big chunks of yardage in run support.

Projection: 2nd round (CBS Sports)
Grade: 5.6 (NFL.com)

6. Jaquiski Tartt (Samford) | 6-foot-1, 221 pounds

Tartt plays with a ton of confidence and is one of the most aggressive and efficient safeties in run support. He has a prototypical frame for a safety and could easily compete for a starting job in the right system. There isn’t a single two-way safety in this class who is efficient against both the run and the pass, and Tartt is no exception. He struggles mostly in man coverage and will get beat over the top from time to time, so it's likely that he'll find his niche as a box safety.

Projection: 2nd-3rd round (CBS Sports)
Grade: 5.5 (NFL.com)

7. Ibraheim Campbell (Northwestern) | 5-foot-11, 208 pounds

Campbell is one of my favorite Day 3 prospects and a perfect candidate to play close to the line of scrimmage. He does a great job of tracking the ball and delivering hits and is also considered to be a high-character kid. Teams will likely knock him for his history of injuries, as well as his limitations in coverage and over-aggressiveness on play-action.

Projection: 4th round (CBS Sports)
Grade: 5.1 (NFL.com)

8. Kurtis Drummond (Michigan State) | 6-foot-1, 208 pounds

I have a hard time projecting where Drummond belongs. He’s an intelligent kid and has insane ball skills for a safety, but he’s too stiff in coverage and doesn’t have the desired athleticism you’d like to see in a deep safety. Drummond has a tendency of catching his tackles rather than delivering them, so I don’t think he’s a perfect fit as a SS either, but he has enough good traits that I believe he’ll be able to make a 53-man roster and provide some use as a backup safety or contributor on special teams.

Projection: 4th-5th round (CBS Sports)
Grade: 5.4 (NFL.com)

9. Cody Prewitt (Ole Miss) | 6-foot-2, 208 pounds

Prewitt was once regarded as a top safety in this class, but has since seen his stock plummet. The biggest concern with him is that he's a poor athlete who lacks long speed and fluidity in coverage. He's an obvious fit to be a deep-zone safety who can use his instincts and tall frame to high-point the ball and make some plays on deeper routes.

Projection: 4th round (CBS Sports)
Grade: 5.2 (NFL.com)

10. Gerod Holliman (Louisville) | 6-foot-0, 218 pounds

It's not often you'll see a prospect who recorded 14 interceptions in one year ranked so low, but if this safety class wasn't so weak, I wouldn't even want Holliman anywhere near the top 10. His ball skills are undeniably great, but he's started just one full year at safety and appears to be allergic to making contact with another human being. Just like Ha Ha Clinton-Dix last year, Holliman is a pile observer. When he finally decides to go in for a tackle, he tends to dive at the ankles of the ball carrier and was credited with 20 missed tackles last year. He's also extremely lazy in pursuit once the pass has already been completed, and you just don't see a whole lot of effort plays out of him.

Projection: 5th-6th round (CBS Sports)
Grade: 5.3 (NFL.com)