Having several defenders who can play linebacker and safety is a key asset for defensive coordinators.
Players who can play on top of the defense as a safety, while still being able to come into the box as an extra linebacker are in high demand. College coaches need defensive players to help them stop the spread offense, along with having the toughness to combat running plays.
A linebacker in Los Angeles has the athleticism and cover skills of a defensive back. A safety in Michigan has the strength to fight blockers versus running plays, and a surprise player will be at the end of this list.