Colts Draft Day Needs: Safety

Posted on Apr 22 2014 - 7:30pm by Luke Schultheis

 

Coming off a National Title with the Seminoles, safety Terrence Brooks would bring a championship pedigree to the back of the Colts' secondary.

Coming off a National Title with the Seminoles, safety Terrence Brooks would bring a championship pedigree to the back of the Colts’ secondary. He’s also a former teammate of last year’s first round pick, OLB Bjoern Werner.

With the NFL Draft, May 8th, only 16 days away, it’s time to start looking at areas of need for the Colts. The one that sticks out like a sore thumb is at safety. With former long tenured Colt, safety Antoine Bethea, signing a 4 year, $26 million dollar contract with the 49ers, there is now a glaring hole in the back of the team’s secondary. The internal safety options, third-year man Delano Howell and special teams’ ace, Sergio Brown, appear to better suited as backups on a strong defense. That’s no disrespect to either one, who have made solid contributions to the team, but the Colts need a rangy, playmaking safety to pair with their other starter, LaRon Landry, who is best utilized as an in-the-box safety.

Also of note, is that the Colts no longer have their first round pick, #26th overall, as it was traded to the Cleveland Browns in the Trent Richardson trade. This means that the Colts will likely need to use either their second round pick, #59, or their third round pick, #90, to address this hole. Fortunately for the Colts, this year’s safety class appears to be fairly deep. The team should be able to find an immediate contributor if they do their proper homework. Below, are a few of the intriguing safety prospects, who should be available around Round 2-3, and currently fit what the Colts are looking for:


Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois: 5-11, 193, 4.47..,”Jimmy is an outstanding play-maker. He’s not a big safety, but he fits today’s NFL with his coverage ability and he makes so many impact plays. He could go second or third round, but he’s going to be a fast riser.”-Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN

“I’m not sure he’s getting out of the second round. Jimmie Ward has done a great job, A, in his career, and then, B, at the Senior Bowl. I think the only negative on him is that teams worry about his durability. But the kid never misses a game anyway. It’s just the size that worries the teams. I think he’s a great football player and I think he’s going in the second round.”-Mike Mayock, NFL.com

 


Terrence Brooks, Florida State: 5-11, 198, 4.42…”Swiss Army knife on the back seven. Former cornerback who can match up well with those pesky slot receivers and yet is an enforcer who can hit like a linebacker. Brooks is a serious-minded, weight-room fanatic who will light up opponents on special teams. Frankly: Want to toughen up your defense? Brooks will be happy to set the tone regardless of where you line him up.” –Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange

“Five players who should be on the Indianapolis Colts’ draft radar: FS Terrence Brooks, Florida State. While the Colts made some strong moves in free agency, the loss of steady homegrown product Antoine Bethea makes finding a cover safety to pair with hard-hitting LaRon Landry an obvious priority. Brooks’ relatively slim frame (5-foot-11, 198) and a lack of interceptions could push him into the deep second round but he’s a fluid, instinctive centerfielder with speed to burn.”-Rob Rang, The Sports Xchange


Dion Bailey, USC: 6-0, 201, 4.66..”At the Combine, Bailey ran slower than expected, but he looked better in the field drills. Bailey remained a play-maker in 2013 despite moving back to safety. He recorded five interceptions with 62 tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss, .5 sacks and six passes broken up on the season. Bailey had a big game against Stanford to help pull off an upset for the Trojans. He was all over the field against Derek Carr and Fresno State in USC’s Las Vegas Bowl win.”-WalterFootball.com

“Bailey’s instincts, fluidity and penchant for big plays made him a consistent and versatile difference-maker at the collegiate level.” –Rob Rang, Sports Xchange


Brock Vereen, Minnesota: 6-0, 199, 4.47…”Vereen, the younger brother of New England Patriots’ running back Shane Vereen, is an intriguing athlete who split time between cornerback and free safety with the Golden Gophers. He’s athletic, instinctive and physical and created some buzz for himself with a strong performance at the combine. His lack of ideal size (6-foot, 199 pounds) and ball-skills (four career interceptions) are concerns which could push him outside of the top 100 but at this point in the draft he could prove a steal.” – Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

(Image courtesy of Boston Herald.com)- The younger brother of a familiar foe, Brock Vereen is one of the sleeper safety candidates of note in this May's NFL Draft.

(Image courtesy of BostonHerald.com)- The younger brother of a familiar foe, pictured, Brock Vereen is one of the sleeper safety candidates of note in this May’s NFL Draft.

“Vereen, the younger brother of New England Patriots running back Shane Vereen, has moved from corner to safety and back again during his collegiate years. And it may be that his NFL future is at the cornerback position. Out of all the safety prospects in this draft class, he may have the most impressive ability to stick and stay with receivers, no matter how complex the routes get. Vereen has tremendous agility and change-of-direction skills and isn’t a pure thumper. If he stays at safety, he’d have to be a range guy, and depending on the scheme he’s in, that might rob him of the potential to make plays in the intermediate areas. But as NFL defenses move to more nickel and dime formations, hybrid defenders become more valuable, and Vereen lines up very nicely in that category.”-Doug Farrar, Sports Illustrated.com

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