Summer Scouting: Top 5 Safeties

The college football season is just around the corner. With that in mind Rory Daniels’ brings you his top 5 draft eligible prospects at each position ahead of kickoff. We also include an FCS prospect to watch courtesy of resident small school expert Rebecca Rennie.

1. Kyle Hamilton

Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton is undoubtedly one of the top prospects in this draft class. For a man of his size, 6’4, the movement skills are staggering. Smooth enough to be sticky in coverage, snappy in his breaks and a knack for locating the ball in the air, he truly is a do-it-all prospect. He is going to be considered in the same way as Derwin James and Minkah Fitzpatrick. He will move around your formation causing havoc as he goes, there is very little not to like about Hamilton.

Best Trait: Instincts

2. Brandon Joseph

So far it has been a small sample size for Northwestern’s Brandon Joseph. However, his name has caught fire in the summer and he is a deserved member of this top 5. Playing mainly as a deep lying safety his ball skills are upper echelon. Having nabbed six interceptions as a redshirt freshman, it’s clear to see where Joseph’s strengths lie. He will pair nicely with a more physical run-stopping safety in the NFL. Having only 10 games experience at the college level you can expect plenty of development in 2021.

Best Trait: Ball Skills

3. Jordan Battle

Every offseason Alabama head coach Nick Saban fires a shot across the bows to ensure his ridiculously successful team don’t rest on their laurels. This time it was safety Jordan Battle that drew the ire of the man in charge. It was a jab to ensure Battle knew what was expected of him in 2021. Not only is he a strong all-round safety who can come down into the box but also survive in coverage, he will be expected to lead a young secondary. Tasked with helping to keep the likes of Brian Branch, Malachi Moore and Ga’Quincy McKinstry organised, this will be a big year for Battle and his draft stock.

Best Trait: Versatility

4. Daxton Hill

The Michigan Wolverines seem unable to get themselves out of their hole of mediocrity, however they still supply the odd draft prospect of note. Daxton Hill is an athletic, speedy safety who can lineup in man coverage, in the slot and on the outside as well as either safety spot. A good tackler, with strong closing speed he should be one of the highlights on this team. Hill was the number one safety recruit in his class, ahead of most of the other names on this list, can he rise back to the top with a stellar 2021?

Best Trait: Athleticism

5. Lewis Cine

Tight ends and slot receivers on crossing routes take note. Lewis Cine is the kind of center-fielder you do not want bearing down on you. He approaches with speed and fire, likely to stop you dead. Just ask Kyle Pitts (see above), even though it was a penalty play it demonstrates the imposing physicality Cine has in his locker. Now will be the time for him to come to the fore. The Bulldogs have a talented roster, with question marks only surrounding an inexperienced secondary. Can Cine step out of the shadow of Richard LeCounte and form a powerful tandem with Tykee Smith?

Best Trait: Physicality

FCS Prospect to Watch: Markquese Bell

Rebecca Rennie: One of the most physically intimidating safeties in this class, Bell ticks the boxes in terms of measurables with ideal length, size, speed and power. Such athletic potential didn’t go unnoticed out of high school, however. The football and track & field standout was a coveted 4-star recruit who initially joined Maryland. A suspension for unannounced reasons led to a season at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas before re-emerging with Florida A&M in 2019.
Bell is arguably at his best as a downhill wrecking ball. Bringing an alpha demeanor, the HBCU star hits emphatically as a violent presence. The intention appears to always make ball carriers regret entering his field of influence, and reconsider doing so in the future. He brings the same authority at the catch point to fight for the football. Bell also offers the speed to provide range in coverage. That said, he can improve his reads, positioning and initial movements in the passing game. The tools are undeniable though, and the relatively inexperienced safety has untapped developmental upside.
Best Trait: Physicality as a tackler.
Mock Draft

Rory-Joe Daniels

Cfb contributor

formerly writing for the inside zone, rory will be breaking down college tape and keeping you up-to-date with all things CFB for the touchdown. an avid bengals fan, you can also find some of rory’s work at