Categorized | 2013 Draft, Article, News

Steelers 2013 Draft Analysis: Safety – Early Look At The Rankings


By Christopher DiMarino

This article continues along with my pre combine look at key positions for the Steelers. For an explanation on how the rankings are calculated please reference the link below:

http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/02/steelers-2013-draft-analysis-inside-linebacker-early-look-at-the-rankings/

The Pittsburgh Steelers have two very interesting safeties right now. Ryan Clark has put together two pretty good back-to-back seasons for starters. Troy Polamalu used to be one of the league\’s best but he has battled injuries and aging. He ended up making his way back to being a decent contributor by the end of the year. albeit not worth his wage. Both positions need understudies of possible starting potential due to the age of their predecessors and the cap situation. So don\’t be surprised if two safeties are selected, but with the range of needs the Steelers have, they might need to get one this year and one next year.

Name School Class Height Weight Rank Round Position
Kenny Vaccaro Texas Sr 6\’1 218 91 1st 15
Matt Elam Florida Jr 5\’10 202 84 mid 2nd 46
Eric Reid LSU Jr 6\’2 212 87 mid 2nd 47
Phillip Thomas Fresno State rSr 6\’1 210 62 early 3rd 68
Jonathan Cyprien Florida Intl Sr 6\’0 209 66 3rd 61
Shawn Williams Georgia Sr 6\’0 211 79 late 3rd 87
Bacarri Rambo Georgia rSr 6\’1 215 68 late 3rd 90
Tony Jefferson Oklahoma Jr 5\’11 212 78 4th 89
T.J. McDonald USC Sr 6\’2 211 56 4th 114
Robert Lester Alabama Sr 6\’1 212 56 4th 126
D.J. Swearinger South Carolina Sr 5\’11 210 73 5th 132
J.J. Wilcox Georgia South Sr 5\’11 214 65 5th 165
Josh Evans Florida Sr 6\’1 205 49 6th 163
Duke Williams Nevada Sr 5\’11 201 63 6th 189
Zeke Motta Notre Dame Sr 6\’2 215 51 6th 194
Rashard Hall Clamson rSr 6\’1 213 47 7th 246
Earl Wolff NC State rSr 5\’11 206 47 7th 250
Shamarko Thomas Syracuse Sr 5\’9 217 70 FA 243
John Boyett Oregon rSr 5\’10 205 49 FA 250
Bradley McDougald Kansas Sr 6\’0 208 55 FA 246
Rontez Miles Cal (PA) Sr 6\’0 202 41 FA 257
Daimion Stafford Nebraska Sr 6\’1 205 64 FA 274
Brandan Bishop NC State Sr 6\’1 206 15 FA 285
Cooper Taylor Richmond rSr 6\’4 229 15 FA 260

The chart shown below is all of the data I tabulated for you to get more insight into what these sites think about each player. A * means that this ranking was in a different category than the rest.

Name NFL.com ESPN CBS DraftTek Walterfootball Draft Insider
Score Score Pos Rk Ovr Rk Pos Rk Ovr Rk Pos Rk Ovr Rk Pos Rk Ovr Rk
Kenny Vaccaro 87.8 94 1 13 1 16 1 1-2 1 1st
Matt Elam 80 87 1* 43 2* 48 2 1-2 2 1-2
Eric Reid 87.5 86 2 50 2 43 3 2-3 3 2nd
Phillip Thomas 74.1 50 3 66 3 69 7 2-4 5 2nd
Jonathan Cyprien 84.6 47 2* 47 4* 75 9 3-4 13 4th
Shawn Williams 74.8 83 3* 99 3* 74 10 3-4 8 3rd
Bacarri Rambo 61.4 75 4 86 5 94 6 2-3 9 2-4
Tony Jefferson 73.2 82 5 93 4 85 8 2-4 11 4th
T.J. McDonald 66.5 45 6 109 6 119 4 2-3 6 3rd
Robert Lester 56.7 56 4* 145 5* 106 12 3-4 12 4th
D.J. Swearinger 81.4 64 7 129 7 135 18 5-6 4 2nd
J.J. Wilcox 77 53 5* 178 7* 152 5 2-3 16 5-6
Josh Evans 68 30 8 155 8 171 13 3-4 19 7th
Duke Williams 67.7 58 6* 196 9 181 11 3-4 14 5th
Zeke Motta 71.2 30 9 170 9* 218 21 5-7 7 3rd
Rashard Hall 55.4 39 12 260 12 232 16 3-5 21 7-FA
Earl Wolff 63.4 30 8* 222 N/A 277 20 5-7 10 4th
Shamarko Thomas 69.6 70 7* 209 12* 276 22 5-7 29 FA
John Boyett 67.5 30 14 311 10 188 N/A N/A 25 7-FA
Bradley McDougald 67.8 42 10 215 N/A 277 N/A N/A 22 7-FA
Rontez Miles 52 30 11 237 N/A 277 N/A N/A 17 6th
Daimion Stafford 68.4 59 15 328 11 220 N/A N/A 15 5th
Brandan Bishop 0 30 13 293 N/A 277 15 3-5 42 FA
Cooper Taylor 0 30 9* 242 N/A 277 17 4-6 24 7-FA

* Denotes SS candidate
With all of the information out there, at least a baseline is established for future conversation. I will try to break down this data before the combine, but if not, please give me an idea of who you like at safety by commenting below. Please try to keep the discussion about the safety position only for this post and I will continue thru the positions ASAP. Also, if you have any other sites that you think have thorough and insightful draft information, please post them below.

Sites:

www.nfl.com

www.espn.com

www.cbssports.com

www.drafttek.com

www.walterfootball.com

www.draftinsider.net

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  • RW

    If Elam has even a good combine he’ll go in the first. If he goes in the mid second I don’t know how the Steelers don’t take him to be the next in a line of great steelers safeties.

  • steeltown

    Would love to get Cyprien or Williams in the 3rd-4th.. if they dont select one of the top guys earlier

  • Daniel

    I’d like to see them get wilcox late. I have been watching him play at GA Southern up close for a couple years. Good special teams player and a hard hitter. Has return ability as well.

  • lefnor

    I would like Cyprien in the 3rd too. My other favorite is Swearinger. He has good instincts and a hard-hitting style.
    The two safeties I hate as a prospect: McDonald and Elam. They are very overrated. Elam is fast but not explosive, not physical and too small. Not the next great “under 5’11″ safety, like Polamalu or Earl Thomas. He is much more of an Ahmad Black. He is hardly nfl compatible. McDonald is the prototype of the “leggy” safety. His whole play is a mess.

  • steeltown

    I like Swearinger as well.. would be very happy if we got Cyprien, Swearinger or Williams

  • SteelerPigeon

    The only drawback with swearingers physical style is that he got a 15 yard penalty or 2 just about every game.

  • Garrett Hunt

    And we all know putting on black and gold won’t help that any….

  • Garrett Hunt

    From the little tape i’ve seen, Vaccaro seems like a solid, physical run defender with great tackling ability. Reminded me of Ryan Clark a little the way he just launches himself in there.

    But my question is how are his coverage and ball skills?

  • LucasY59

    I really like the safety talent in this years draft. there should be a player or two in every round that would be worth taking so I could see the Steelers taking a S early 1st-4th rd and possibly another with the Comp pick they should get this year in rd 5-7 (anyone heard or have an idea of what round the comp pick for Will Gay will be in?)

  • Shannon Stephenson

    My fav SS’s and FS’s

    SS Elam (fla), Cyprien (fla int), Thomas (syr), Slaughter (nd) was trying to become 6th year eligible in college, Meeks (clemson)

    FS Reid (LSU), Thomas (fres st), Swearinger (s. car), McDougald (kan), Boyett (ore)

  • mghjr88

    I don’t particularly like McDonald either, but I do like Elam, just maybe not as much as others.
    Personally, I think Cyprien and Swearinger would both be great fits in Pittsburgh. I really like their ability against the run and the physicality they play with. Hopefully Cyprien’s stock doesn’t rise too high

  • SteelSpine

    I totally agree with CDiMarino that we actually need to get 2 safeties, SS & FS. Because I think we’re in big doo-doo at safety; too shaky health of starters & scary no depth if Will Allen leaves. Cant count Golden as anything yet, because he hasn’t shown anything yet. So if Vacarro avail at 17 I’d have no problem if they use it on that.

    We got burned drafting safety Anthony Smith a handful of years ago. So I feel like we’re due. Just my hunch the next great Steeler safety will come out of this draft.

    Always been in each draft to see the best safeties & how high they go. In 2010 draft, 2 safeties went in the top 15 picks, 2012 top safety went at #7, but in 2011 no S got picked till #45. I’d be interested in hearing how this year’s safety prospects compares to previous years’ prospects.

  • RMSteeler

    If Vaccaro’s there I’d say take him at 17. Don’t think he will be, but with the mindless QB grabs up high and with Oakland picking someone nobody even knows about, you never know. If Vaccaro’s gone, I’d say take a safety later.

  • Clint Martin

    He isn’t a ball hawk like polamalu coming out of USC. I wouldn’t take a safety in the 1st unless he was. Wait till 3-4th round

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