Back in 1993, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers went after a guy in the third round named Johnny Lynch from Stanford, a 6'2", 220-pounder who liked to hit people.
You know the rest of the story.
John Lynch didn't hit receivers, he planted them. John Lynch didn't put the fear or God in receivers, he put the fear of himself in them.
Man, oh man, do we need a man like Johnny Lynch again!
Our current crop of safeties, along with the ones who've been shown the door, put the fear of nothing in the opposition. In fact, it was as though they were rolling out red carpets that led to the end zone. You get the picture—you saw it all and no doubt hated every moment of it.
For your enjoyment today, we've assembled some prospects for you, some players who hold down the safety position, some at strong safety, some at free safety. This is not an exciting draft class at that position, thus the challenge to the scouting department—FIND US THE NEXT JOHN LYNCH!
Mark Barron, Alabama (6'2", 218): Generally regarded as a mid-to-late first-round pick.
Harrison Smith, Notre Dame (6'2", 214): Should go in the late second or early third round.
Can the Bucs find another John Lynch?
Brandon Taylor, LSU (6'0", 195): Projected to go in the third round. His coach is now the Bucs secondary coach.
George Iloka, Boise State (6'3", 216): Looks like a late third-rounder.
Aaron Henry, Wisconsin (6'0", 210): Gotta love that name. Probably a fourth-round guy.
Markelle Martin, Oklahoma State (6'1", 198): Probable second-rounder.
Antonio Allen, South Carolina (6'1", 202): Sixth-rounder. Loves to hit hard, weak in pass coverage.
Sean Richardson, Vanderbilt (6'2", 220): Sixth-rounder. Good enough to earn a roster spot.
There's your dose of safeties for today.
It might be a nice scenario if Smith was there for the Bucs in the third round. There are also guys who will be undrafted free agents, like Jerrell Young from USF. Good size, probably a kid who gets overlooked but a guy worth bringing into camp.
This will be an important season for undrafted free agents. That's where the gold is—that's where the challenge comes.
That and finding a John Lynch in the third round.
Hop to it, Mark Dominik, the heat's on you.