2021 SAFETY RANKINGS
As we wait for training camp to begin, it’s time for teams to audit their rosters based on these early impressions. We’re going to do the same. Over the next few weeks, we are going to review and rank the different position groups for the Giants, Jets, and Eagles followed by an ultimate power ranking going into training camp. This deep dive into the position groups is designed to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each team to help predict which prop bets may be smart picks for this upcoming season.
The third position group we will evaluate is the safeties. There has been a lot of movement at these positions over the past few years, including the trade of Jamal Adams and the release of Malcolm Jenkins. These teams have a lot of youth at the safety position and it will be exciting to see who steps up in 2021. Let’s take a look at how these teams stack up.
New York Jets (#1)
Key Players: Marcus Maye, Ashtyn Davis, Lamarcus Joyner
The Jets have one of the most athletic safety trios in the NFL. Marcus Maye made some acrobatic interceptions and pass deflections in the league last year. While his play could stand to be more consistent, playmaking ability is extremely valuable at the safety position. On a similar note, Ashtyn Davis had one of the play speeds in the 2020 draft class and has the potential to be the 2nd half of a very dangerous deep safety pair. In the box, Lamarcus Joyner has played safety, nickel, and linebacker. He’s an experienced player who has been successful in several roles throughout his professional career. This is a very well-rounded group who will turn some heads if they play up to their potential.
Philadelphia Eagles (#2)
Key Players: Anthony Harris, Rodney McLeod, K’Von Wallace, Marcus Epps
The Eagles brought in Anthony Harris in free agency to sure up the safety position and replace Malcolm Jenkins. Harris led all safeties in interceptions in 2019 with six of them and was named to the Pro Football Focus All-Pro team for that season. Harris will help install the Jonathan Gannon defense and can be an instant leader in the Philadelphia defense. Rodney McLeod is coming off a torn ACL and is hoping to return in time for the start of the season. He has been a reliable starter, but lingering effects of the injury are certainly a concern. K’Von Wallace could provide value as a box safety and Marcus Epps is an athletic backup who will be a better fit for the Eagles’ two-high defense.
New York Giants (#3)
Key Players: Logan Ryan, Jabrill Peppers, Xavier McKinney, Julian Love
The Giants are without a safety who is reliable in coverage. Logan Ryan is a converted slot corner with waning athleticism. Jabrill Peppers is a glorified linebacker who can’t be trusted outside of the tackle box. Xavier McKinney is their most competent safety in coverage because of his natural athleticism, but his ability to anticipate the ball still leaves a lot to be desired. He is much more of a reactionary player. Finally, Julian Love has not lived up to the momentum of his college career at Notre Dame, where he played as the top cornerback in their defense. In the NFL, he has been reduced to a box safety who excels at blitzing from the nickel position. Safety is clearly the biggest weakness on the Giants’ defense. Don’t be surprised if they give up several deep passes over the middle of the field.