2020 Draft: Final Safety Rankings

With 2019 first-round pick Johnathan Abram set to resume his work in the box, the tandem of Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock would be wise to look for an upgrade – or at the very least, some upside depth – at the free safety spot to enter the season.

The artists formerly known as the Oakland Raiders are in somewhat of an awkward position when it comes to their second, first-round selection (19 overall). There will be options, but I’m concerned about the value and where they may look. Let’s review the player pool and rankings, and talk about some of those options and scenarios:

Antoine Winfield Jr. finishes at the top of the list after checking some notable boxes: Ball skills, “instincts”, range, and versatility. He even has hashtag bloodlines going for him, too (most will remember his pops in the league). Unfortunately, for Gruden and Mayock, I’m not sure he’s on the radar. He’d play deep right away, but he’s “only” a redshirt sophomore and isn’t coming out of the SEC or a program like Clemson. I’d be very happy with his addition at 19, but it’s likely not in the cards. Ran a 4.46 and said he “models his game after Tyrann Mathieu“.

Jordan Reid on Twitter

Antoine Winfield Jr., SAF, Minnesota: * Definition of a “football player” * Football DNA * Nickel/SS/FS/Rover versatility (++) * Physical/Downhill striker * Scrappy/Tough as nails * A+ ball skills (+) * Pattern matching recognition (+) https://t.co/Cgl7qWxJK5

Now, on the other hand, a player who’s prospects are more than likely an option at 19 for both me, sitting at home, and the Raiders’ front office, is Grant Delpit. You have a former Louisiana State Tiger (checking the Mayock helmet/conference box) who was a team captain, wearing the iconic “number seven”, that has some similar-or-better versatility that Winfield brings to the table. He’s been a bit sloppy as a tackler, but his range is impressive enough and he makes plays like this:

Marcus Mosher on Twitter

Here is all seven interceptions by LSU FS Grant Delpit since 2018: https://t.co/yW6TPvGvYv

Xavier McKinney is a name that I’ve seen plenty of folks on Raiders Twitter call for at 19 overall, myself included early on. I think there’s still a case to be made (and he’ll check the helmet box for Mayock once more, surely), but I wonder how high of a ceiling we’re talking given his 4.6-something at the Combine. I know the tape looks good, and he has the résumé (versatility, etc.), but athleticism matters, folks. As of this writing, 19 feels a little rich to me. Off a trade-down? Now we’re cooking.

One more, and a player who you don’t have to worry about athletically (4.45 forty, 41-inch vertical, and a 138-inch broad jump) is small school stud Jeremy Chinn. He’ll be another one of “my guys” for this draft without a doubt. At one point, a dream in the 80’s, now I’m wondering if he even sees the 50’s (hint: he wont). My friend, and The Athletic Cincinnati writer, Mr. Joe Goodberry called Chinn the “round 2 [Isaiah] Simmons“. He’s a good one, guys.

ryan, a jerry jeudy fan on Twitter

Level of competition argument will be made when discussing Jeremy Chinn, but you turn on the #tape and see a play-maker. https://t.co/mTiiCOl9Hb

Catch me on Twitter: @StillRyanFive