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Which Safety Should the Dolphins Look to Draft?

The Miami Dolphins have 14 picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. They need a starting-caliber safety to make there secondary elite in the NFL. Here are three safety’s the Miami Dolphins should consider drafting. 

Xavier McKinney, Safety, Alabama

  • Height: 6′ 0″
  • Weight: 201 lbs

Xavier McKinney played for Alabama for three seasons. He was graded at a 6.38, which means he will be a starter within his first two seasons. McKinney was an alright tackler racking up 59 solo tackles, three sacks, and 5.5 tackles for loss. He also was one of the best safety’s in college football with three interceptions, five passes defended, and even one touchdown. McKinney still has some negatives and positives in his game following the 2019 season. 

Pros of Xavier McKinney

McKinney has many positives to his game, this is going to be the breakdown of the most important ones. First, he is known for his high IQ plays on the football field. This is a major trait for any safety because you have to read the quarterback’s eyes and watch the receivers run routes. Second, McKinney can line up with any personnel group because of how versatile he is. If you can have a safety that has the potential to guard any type of personnel that the offense throws at him, then you have long term safety in your hands. Third, he has an above-average blitzing ability, which for any player is a perfect trait to have. The NFL has become a pass-first league recently and if you can send a safety on a secret blitz that gives you an advantage as a defense.

Cons of Xavier McKinney

McKinney is not perfect and still has some major cons built inside him. First, he only had three interceptions, but could and should have had more. Everything NFL position should know how to catch a football, except quarterbacks and offensive lineman, so you need this trait to be a successful safety. Second, he is a bit of an inconsistent tackler once he gets impatient. If you want to be a defensive player in the NFL you have to know how to tackle. Third, he allows the receiver to have too much room when he should be squeezing the receiver. When guarding receivers such as Julio Jones, Michael Thomas, and Davante Adams you cannot leave any room or they will beat you, badly. 

Grant Delpit, Safety, LSU

  • Height: 6′ 2″
  • Weight: 213 lbs

Grant Delpit played for LSU for three seasons. He was graded at a 6.25, which means he could be a starter in his first two seasons. Delpit was an alright tackler racking up 38 solo tackles, two sacks, and 4.5 tackles for loss. He was a top safety in college football with two interceptions, seven passes defended, and one forced fumble. Delpit still has some negatives and positives in his game following the 2019 season.

Pros of Grant Delpit

Delpit had many pros to his style of playing football and this is going to be a breakdown of the main ones. First, he played through a high ankle sprain in 2019. This shows a lot of dedication to the game, but it is also scary because of future injury risks. Second, he is a physical football player, which can help stop the offense from running the football. It doesn’t matter what defensive position you play you have to be able to hit other players hard. Clearly Delpit is a dog and the type of player to hit someone harder than when they hit him. Third, he is willing to put his body on the line, so his team can win games. This is a leadership trait that Delpit is beginning to build up. He is a leader on the field and proves it with how he plays.  

Cons of Grant Delpit

Delpit is not a perfect football player and still has some cons that he could work on. First, his hips lack the fluidity to be able to turn his hips in coverage. As safety in the NFL Delpit needs to learn to flip his hips better if he wants to become a starting safety. Second, he has inconsistent angles as a defensive back. Delpit is the last line of defense and if he misses a tackle it could lead to the other team scoring a touchdown. Third, he needs to learn how to wrap and run his feet better, so he does not miss tackles. This is major for any defensive player because the initial hit is just half of the job. 

Chicago Bears' second round targets
LSU safety Grant Delpit (7) during an NCAA football game against Georgia Southern, Saturday, August 31, 2019, in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)

Ashtyn Davis, Safety, Cal

  • Height: 6′ 1″
  • Weight: 202 lbs

Ashtyn Davis played for California for three seasons. He was graded at a 6.33, which means he should be a starter within his first two seasons in the NFL. Davis was not the best tackler racking up 32 solo tackles, zero sacks, and one tackle for loss. On the coverage side Davis racked up two interceptions, four passes defended and one forced fumble. Davis still has some negatives and positives in his game following the 2019 season.

Pros of Ashtyn Davis

Davis has some pros to his game, which is going to help him succeed in the NFL. First, he is an athletic monster and is known to have an A-character. This could help in the future because he will not get into trouble with the NFL and be a player that does not put up a drama show. Second, he does not lack any toughness. If you want to survive in the NFL you have to be a tough football player. Third, he an electric chase and recovery speed for the safety position. This is useful because it shows he never gives up on any plays, which is a great trait to bring into the NFL. 

Cons of Ashtyn Davis

Davis also has some cons to his game, which are going to slow him down in the NFL. First, he can be wreckless as a downfield tackler. As a tackler, you want to be tough and fast but not too much. This can lead to miss tackles and falling for many trick plays. Second, he has some hip tightness, which is not helpful for coverage. He needs to stretch more and work on his hip tightness because it is a major part of a defensive back in the NFL. Third, he has trouble coming to a stop and wrapping up tackles. This leads to missed tackles and many arm tackles, which will not work in the NFL. 

BERKELEY, CA – NOVEMBER 24: Ashtyn Davis #27 of the California Golden Bears returns an interception for a touchdown against the Colorado Buffaloes at California Memorial Stadium on November 24, 2018 in Berkeley, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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