The position has overtaken linebacker as essential to the success of today's schemes. Safeties offer the hybrid skills coordinators crave as they attempt to match up with tight ends and running backs able to stretch the field in the passing game.
AFC North duo Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu have dominated the safety position for years. However, there are plenty of other quality safeties patrolling the zones and attacking the line of scrimmage during the NFL season.
Here are the 10 best safeties not named Polamalu or Reed, who are vital to the success of their respective defenses.