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2011 NFL Draft: Power Ranking the Top 10 Hard-Hitting Safeties in the 2011 Draft

Brandon GalvinFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2011

2011 NFL Draft: Power Ranking the Top 10 Hard-Hitting Safeties in the 2011 Draft

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    On defense, safety is my favorite position to play.

    Safeties can act as the quarterback of a defense. They can oversee it all. Some have arguably the best instincts and ball-hawking skills on the defense.

    Some of the greatest hitters in NFL history have come from the safety position.

    Ronnie Lott, Ed Reed, Brian Dawkins and Jack Tatum are some of the hardest-hitting safeties in NFL history.

    Safeties can build up great speed as they eye their prey on the gridiron set to make a devastating tackle.

    Where does my top ranked safety, Rahim Moore out of UCLA, rank among the top 10?

    Which safeties in this year’s draft class can we look forward to seeing in the NFL in 2011 unleashing pain on opposing ball carriers?

10. Will Hill, Florida

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    If Will Hill will take out a man in a wheel chair, inadvertent or not, and not really give a damn…why do you think he’ll give a damn about anybody else?

    For that, he lands in my top 10.

    Congrats, Will Hill.

9. Harrison Smith, Notre Dame

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    You never want to see it.

    It’s not fun to see.

    But it happens when a wide receiver will go up for a ball.

    Harrison Smith and teammate Kyle McCarthy lay it all into this airborne Washington receiver.

8. Jaiquawn Jarrett, Temple

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    Jarrett starts to pick up steam in the middle of this highlight video.

    Jarrett has good instincts and will rarely ever give up on a play.

    Though he may be considered undersized, Jarrett has a lot of fight and power in him. He has enough recovery speed to get back up field to land a hit on a defender.

7. Tyler Sash, Iowa

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    Better known for his coverage skills as he has great ball-hawking skills and instincts, Sash has very good speed.

    Sash’s speed allows him to explode into his hits as eyes his prey.

    As Sash comes in guns-a-blazing, he springboards into most of his hits and although not the biggest guy, has very good power in his sturdy body.

6. David Sims, Iowa State

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    Underrated in my book, Sims is going to be a solid pro.

    Sims has very good skills and instincts, just what every safety needs.

    Of course, he is a very good run-stopper, as evident throughout the video.

    Even better, he’ll let loose with his powerful shoulders on ball carriers, but he’ll also wrap-up offensive threats.

5. Rahim Moore, UCLA

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    Rahim Moore is the best safety in this year’s draft class.

    He is the most complete, and if any safety goes in the first round, it’ll be Moore.

    Moore may not be the hardest-hitting safety, but he’ll get down and dirty. He has great speed to approach offensive players but is also very good at wrapping them up as well.

    He has great vision and reads plays extremely well, which help him make the tackle, regardless of its degree of difficulty.

    He’s not the hardest, but he’s one of the best tackling safeties in this draft class and is the best all-around talent at the position.

    One lucky team is going to have a heck of a ball player on their hands come April.

4. DeAndre McDaniel, Clemson

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    I don’t know why.

    I don’t know about you.

    I can only speak for myself.

    My initial reaction when seeing this video?

    Laughter.

    Again, I don’t know why.

    Maybe it’s the fact that DeAndre McDaniel just demolishes this poor kid that it’s so bad it’s funny.

    Sorta like when you watch Jackass.

    McDaniel just comes out of nowhere like a freakin’ freight train ready to steam roll anything in his past.

    Guess what?

    He did it.

    McDaniel puts everything he has into every hit. He gets great leverage with his body and drives himself through the ball carrier.

    It’s not just awesome.

    It’s picture perfect.

3. Quinton Carter, Oklahoma

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    Let’s put it this way:

    ATTENTION WIDE RECEIVERS:

    CAUTION!

    CAUTION!

    DO NOT GO OVER THE MIDDLE WITH QUINTON CARTER ROAMING THE FIELD!

     

    Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, watch the video of Oklahoma safety Quinton Carter removing the football from one of the better NFL wide receivers, Jeremy Maclin.

    Remember, this was three years ago.

    Quinton Carter is faster, stronger and smarter.

    That means Quinton Carter sees you and will get you.

    Remember, NFL receivers: We warned you.

2. Robert Sands, West Virginia

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    Sands is a great athlete. He has terrific instincts and ball-hawking skills.

    Even better, he’s ferocious and vicious. This kid has great quickness and speed and will lay a lick on anybody coming his way.

    Sands is one of the top all-around safeties in the draft. He seems to always find himself around the ball.

    An excellent player, Sand should be drafted in the second round.

1. Jay Valai, Wisconsin

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    I’m going to call him Mr. Jay Valai, just in case.

    You know what momma always said, better to be safe than sorry.

    Yeah, he’s that lethal.

    I don’t want Mr. Valai coming my way ready to take my damn head off.

    This kid is always in beast mode ready to unleash hell on the opposing team.

    Whether or not he’ll be a starter in the NFL is not up to me, but whichever coach tells him he’s not better watch out, because a heat-seeking missile will be locked and loaded with his name on it via Mr. Jay Valai.

    Let’s take a look at the video footage, shall we?

    The Fresno St. quarterback is scrambling for his life.

    Mr. Jay Valai has his eyes set on this poor, poor unsuspecting quarterback.

    The Fresno St. center tries to block for his quarterback.

    Bad, bad, bad move.

    Mr. Valai is ready to annihilate and end this quarterback's life, but instead destroys the center for trying to blindside him.

    The center usually does the pancaking. This time, he got pancaked by the Mr. Valai!

    Then, Mr. Valai gets in the center’s face!

    I love it.

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