- Mel Kiper Jr., Football analyst
It's been over a month since my "too-early" Big Board for the 2016 NFL draft, a ranking that includes 2015 underclassmen. For this I'll go a little deeper into each position group, so you'll get an idea of well over 100 of the top NFL prospects for 2016. That said, it goes without saying that these rankings are preliminary, as I have hundreds of hours of evaluation ahead for the 2016 class.
A couple of important notes about the rankings below:
• I've split them into seniors and underclassmen; it's important to have a baseline number of seniors because those players are certain to be a part of the 2016 NFL draft process (if they choose to be).
• I won't go too heavy into actual scouting reports, as those are still a work in progress.
With those parameters in mind, here's an early look at the top safety prospects for the 2016 NFL draft. With corners and safeties there are guys who can do both, and I'll try to note some of those cases./p>
Top 5 senior safeties
1. Jeremy Cash, Duke Blue Devils: In Duke's system, Cash is the "strike safety" -- which is something of a hybrid role between linebacker and safety. In other words, he's expected to be able to make plays in the box, and he does just that. He had 111 last year, and the one-time Ohio State Buckeye who transferred to Duke is in line for a big senior season.
7dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough