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2015 NFL Draft Preview: Safeties

A closer look at the top safeties set to enter this year's draft.

Leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft, which is set to take place from April 30 - May 2 in Chicago, Ill., will take a position-by-position look at this year's top prospects.

Along the way, we'll rehash the team's past draft picks at each position under Executive VP/General Manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll and also provide an outline of where the team currently stands at each spot.

Seattle owns 11 selections in this year's draft - one in the second round (No. 63 overall), one in the third (No. 95), three in the fourth (Nos. 112, 130 & 134), two in the fifth (Nos. 167 & 170), three in the sixth (Nos. 181, 209 & 214), and one in the seventh (No. 248).

We led our draft preview series with a look at the offensive and defensive lines before following up with the running backslinebackers, and quarterbacks. We continue today with the safeties, a position the Seahawks have targeted four times through the past five drafts.

Draft History (Under Schneider & Carroll)

S Earl Thomas (No. 14 overall, 2010), S Kam Chancellor (No. 133, 2010), S Mark LeGree* (No. 156, 2011), S Winston Guy* (No. 181, 2012)

** signifies a player no longer with the team *

Where The Seahawks Stand

Free safety Earl Thomas played Super Bowl XLIX against the New England Patriots with a torn labrum, an injury he suffered in the NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers. He underwent successful surgery this past February to repair the damage and in March Carroll said he "certainly" expects the three-time first-team All-Pro Thomas to be ready by September.

Strong safety Kam Chancellor tore his MCL in practice two days before February's Super Bowl. Like Thomas, Chancellor played the game injured. Unlike his partner in the Seahawks' defensive backfield, he was able to avoid offseason surgery. Chancellor, a three-time Pro Bowler who signed a four-year extension with the team in 2013, attended the Russell Wilson-led workouts in Hawaii and was on site for the start of the team's official offseason program this past week.

After four seasons in Seattle, backup safety Jeron Johnson signed with the Washington Redskins in free agency. Most of his snaps for the Seahawks came on special teams, but he served as a quality fill-in for both Thomas and Chancellor when needed. 

The Seahawks re-signed DeShawn Shead this offseason, a versatile defensive back who made his first career start in 2014 in place of an injured Chancellor and Johnson. He's joined by third-year pro Steven Terrell, who was promoted from Seattle's practice squad to the active roster after the first four games of last season, and second-year pros Dion Bailey and Eric Pinkins. Bailey, a USC product, signed a future contract with the team this past February. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Pinkins was drafted in the sixth round of last year's draft to play cornerback, but he has a history of playing safety during his time at San Diego State. 

NFL Media Draft Analyst Mike Mayock shares his top five safeties set to enter this year's draft. 

NFL Media Draft Expert Mike Mayock's Top 5 Safeties 

1. Demarious Randall, Arizona State, 5-11, 196 lbs

Draft Projection (via Round 2

Bottom Line (via Randall is considered undersized for the safety position and some teams have him projected as a cornerback. While he has the speed and athletic traits to transition to cornerback, his cover skills and technique need quite a bit of work to be ready for the NFL level. Randall has a nose for the ball and a strong desire to make an aggressive tackle in space, so there could still be teams that give him a legitimate shot at safety, where he carries a higher draft grade.

2. Landon Collins, Alabama, 6-0, 228 lbs

Draft Projection (via Round 1

Bottom Line (via Collins is a tempo-setter who can energize a defense with his downhill, aggressive style. He is at his best when he can attack rather than sit back in coverage and process. Collins' tackling, pursuit angles and speed to the sideline can help a defense shut down rushing attacks, but his inconsistencies in coverage will be tested by NFL offenses.

3. Shaq Thompson, Washington, 6-0, 228 lbs

Draft Projection (via 2 or 3

Bottom Line (via, twitchy athlete with outstanding range to become a highly restrictive defender. Able to make plays well outside of his area against both the run and pass. With his big-play potential, Thompson could become a unique chess piece in the hands of the right defensive coordinator, but there are a growing number of teams that are beginning to struggle with whether to project Thompson as a safety or 4-3 outside linebacker.

4. Quinten Rollins, Miami (Ohio), 5-11, 195 lbs

Draft Projection (via 2 or 3

Bottom Line (via start-stop-start suddeness. His ability to change gears instantly gives him a chance to develop into a talented cover cornerback. With more work on technique and overall discipline, Rollins has the physical tools to become a very good NFL starter.

T-5. Alex Carter, Stanford, 6-0, 196 lbs

Draft Projection (via 2 or 3

Bottom Line (via cornerback who's at his best when he's able to see the play develop in front of him rather than having to lock down a target as a man-to-man cover corner. Carter's ability to tackle and play the ball in space should interest zone defenses, but a transition to safety might make sense if he can carry a bit more weight.

T-5. Jaquiski Tartt, Samford, 6-1, 221 lbs

Draft Projection (via 3 or 4

Bottom Line (via has terrific size and is a physical tackler but he must show that he can handle coverage responsibilities. Despite playing 2-deep and single-high coverage, Tartt's size and aggressiveness as a tackler might be best utilized around the line of scrimmage or in a "robber" scheme. Tartt has the size, athleticism and overall talent to be an NFL starter.


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