NFL Draft – SS Rankings

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16.) Mo Alexander, Utah St (6’1, 220): Great size/speed ratio for the position. Alexander is aggressive supporting the run and an instinctive blitzer. He struggles when forced to turn and run with receivers in coverage and doesn’t have the greatest ball skills. Alexander has a lot of upside and could be a starter down the road. Draft projection: 7th round – UFA

17.) C.J. Barnett, Ohio St (6’0, 204): Very strong against the run with elite instincts and play recognition. Barnett struggles at times in pass coverage due to his lack of deep speed and stiff hips. Solid back-up potential. Draft projection: UFA

18.) Deron Furr, Fort Valley St (6’3, 232): Elite athlete who started his college career as a QB at Auburn and has great size for the safety position. Furr needs a lot of work on his coverage technique and can be too aggressive at times. His best fit would be as an in-the-box rover or in a zone scheme. Developmental prospect who might be something after a year or two on a practice squad. Draft projection: UFA

19.) Jason Hendricks, Pittsburgh (5’11, 182): Led the team in tackles the last two seasons and showed pretty good ball skills in his career with 8 INTs. He’s undersized for the position in the pros, but he has good short-area quickness, an explosive burst to the ball, and is a sound tackler. Hendricks can contribute on special teams and in sub packages early and has the potential to develop into a starting caliber safety if he can get stronger and put on some weight. Draft projection: UFA

20a.) Darwin Cook, West Virginia (5’11, 203): Max-effort player who is a big-time hitter in run support and ran a better than expected 4.47 40 at his pro day. Cook struggles in coverage and doesn’t have good ball skills, so he will need to play in a scheme that allows him to focus on underneath coverage and run support. With his hustle, speed and hitting ability, Cook has potential to be a special teams demon. Draft projection: UFA

20b.) Thomas Gordon, Michigan (5’11, 205): So similar to Cook that I couldn’t decide which one to leave off. Gordon might be an even bigger hitter in run support but is a step slower. Gordon excels in run support and struggles in coverage, so would need a zone scheme to make an impact on defense. Like Cook he should be an excellent special teams player. Draft projection: UFA

Twitter: @MikeFlannery_