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Friday, April 4, 2014
Kiper talks safeties in NFL draft

By Mike Wells

INDIANAPOLIS -- I caught up with Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN's NFL draft expert, on Thursday to talk about the safeties in this year's draft.

The Indianapolis Colts will have their first pick at No. 59 in the second round. Coach Chuck Pagano said safety is a position they'll look to address.

Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Louisville's Calvin Pryor are the two best safeties and both should be taken in the first round.

Kiper said Jimmie Ward out of Northern Illinois, the same school Colts practice squad quarterback Chandler Harnish attended, and Terrence Brooks out of Florida State could be available when Indianapolis selects in the second round.

Ward had 89 tackles, six interceptions and a sack last season. Brooks had 48 tackles and two interceptions for the national champion Seminoles last season.

“You can make an argument (Ward) is the best cover safety in this draft,” Kiper said. “He’s coming off the (foot) injury, but had a very good career. He has great ball skills and real good hands for the interception. The intimidator isn’t necessarily needed anymore, the big hitters, you don’t need that (at safety). Ward is a decent tackler, but he doesn’t have tremendous size. The days of big intimidating safeties are about over.”

Former Philadelphia Eagles safety Kurt Coleman is scheduled to visit the Colts on Friday, as they continue to try to find a replacement for Antoine Bethea, who signed with San Francisco last month. Delano Howell, Sergio Brown and Corey Lynch are the in-house candidates for the Colts.