Philadelphia Eagles News

Combine Watch List: Safety

After taking a look at the cornerback prospects to watch on the final day of the combine, let's take a look at the safeties who could end up in the Eagles' sights come April.

Earl Thomas, 5-foot-10, 208 pounds - Thomas has been a fast riser at the combine already after weighing in at a stout 208 pounds, assuaging some concerns that he might not be big enough to hold up as a safety in the NFL. Thomas is a playmaking, ball-hawk of a safety and NFL Network's Mike Mayock actually considers Thomas the best safety of the draft class, ahead of the consensus No. 1 Eric Berry. Thomas is expecting to post a blistering 40-yard dash time tomorrow and while he could be a perfect fit for the Eagles, chances are that he probably won't be around at No. 24.

Taylor Mays, 6-foot-3, 230 pounds - No player has been projected to go to the Eagles in the first round more than Mays. The former USC Trojan is built like a superhero and he's expected to post an impressive 40-yard dash time tomorrow, but the knock on Mays is his lack of fluidity in coverage so his performance in the positional drills will likely have more of an impact than the measurement of his straight-line speed. Reports out of Indianapolis also suggest that several teams have Mays projected to play outside linebacker at the next level and that he could wind up sliding all the way to the second round.

Nate Allen, 6-foot-0, 207 pounds - Unlike Mays, who some think could play linebacker, and both Thomas and Berry, who are considered by some to be better fits at cornerback, Allen is a traditional, well-rounded safety prospect. A strong workout tomorrow will put the former South Florida standout in serious first-round consideration and he is one of the Eagles' options for their first pick.

Chad Jones, 6-foot-2, 221 pounds - Jones, a product of LSU, is believed to be one of the more cerebral safety prospects and is said to constantly be in the right position. However, there are questions about his athleticism so the combine workouts loom large for his draft status. If Jones slides to the Eagles in the second round, he will definitely be an option as he is someone who could make an immediate impact in Philadelphia.

Morgan Burnett, 6-foot-1, 209 pounds - Burnett is a player who could represent a marriage of value and need in the later rounds if the Eagles forego a safety early on. This is a very deep safety class with expected contributors like Reshad Jones, Kam Chancellor, Larry Asante, Kurt Coleman and Myron Rolle each expected to come off the board at the end of round two or later and Burnett could separate himself from that pack with a good performance tomorrow. Burnett wasn't as consistent in college as some of the players rated ahead of him, but he has the tools to start at the next level.

-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 8:28 p.m., March 1

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