Monday, March 25, 2013
Safety is a popular draft need in AFC North
By Jamison Hensley
At this point, you could make an argument for every team in the AFC North to take a safety early in the draft.
The Bengals have had a hole at strong safety for the past two years. The Browns need a free safety after they went through three last year (Eric Hagg, Usama Young and Tashaun Gipson). The Ravens have yet to replace Ed Reed. And the Steelers need to have a better backup plan behind banged-up Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark, who is a free agent next year.
ESPN's Herm Edwards broke down this year's safety class in the draft, which lacks superstar talent but has some solid players. It's an Insider post, which means you'll need a subscription to read the entire piece. I can reveal his top three and an excerpt of Edwards' analysis:
1. Kenny Vaccaro, Texas: A three-down player who has strong closing ability, he is better close to the line of scrimmage than playing deep.
2. Matt Elam, Florida: An aggressive player, Elam is better in the box than out in space, and he can set the edge against the run.
3. John Cyprien, Florida International: He's got the potential to be one of the steals in this safety class and could potentially be a second-round pick, and maybe even a late-first-round selection.