|Tyler Sash S Iowa|
|Three-year starter who enters the draft after his redshirt-junior year. Plenty of experience against top competition. Does a great job reading the play and always seems to find himself in position to make a play. Top intangibles; a hard worker and a leader on and off the field. Plays faster than his timed speed. Patient in zone coverage; waits for the play to develop and makes very few missteps. Good ball skills.|
|Not an elite athlete. Makes a lot of plays by putting himself in position, but doesn’t have the speed or quickness to make up for errors when he does get caught out of position.|
|Sash may not have a high ceiling due to his relative lack of athleticism, but he’s a very safe bet to develop into a solid backup and special teams contributor at the worst. He’s probably best suited to play strong safety at the next level, but he’s versatile enough to line up at either safety position if needed.|
Bob Sanders is a former defensive players of the year who turns 30 on February 24. Normally, he would be one of the most coveted free agents on the market.
Unfortunately, Sanders has played more than six games just twice in his seven-year career, and the only real mark he’s made in the NFL is as one of the league’s all-time most injury prone players.
That said, a number of of teams will give him a call this offseason and his price tag is made more valuable by the lack of talent in this year’s draft. Anyone looking for an upgrade at safety is better off calling Sanders – even with the injury risks – than turning to the draft for help.
Rahim Moore is my highest-rated safety, with an early 2nd-round grade. After him there are four players with 3rd-round grades, but none of them are guaranteed answers for a team looking for a starting safety.
The best option for a team looking to upgrade the position would be to sign Sanders and then draft someone as insurance. A team like the Seahawks, Jaguars or Jets, which is hoping to compete in 2011, could role the dice on Sanders and then try to land someone such as Tyler Sash or Deunta Williams in the 3rd or 4th round. That way, even if Sanders gets hurt (which he will), he will at least be around to assist in the development of his replacement.