If it hasn't become clear by some of the monster deals handed out the past few days in free agency, the safety position is quickly turning into one that is commanding a premium on the open market. Naturally, that will carry over into the NFL draft, and teams that missed out on beefing up their secondary will turn to the next wave of pro players to help them shut down opposing offenses.
In short, it's a good time to be one of the prospects listed on NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock's top five safeties heading into May.
"If you want to build a dominant defense, you have to build it right down the middle of the field," former scout Bucky Brooks said on the College Football 24/7 Podcast. "Your safety controls everything in terms of adjustments on the back end and can matchup with the tight end or slot receivers. We'll call this the 'Seattle Seahawks effect' because Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas were so dominant against the Denver Broncos on a big stage that all these executives that are chasing that blueprint."
One of the players who'll be more hotly pursued by teams is former Louisville safety and hard-hitter Calvin Pryor. He jumped on the podcast and wasted no time before going over some of the strengths that make him a first-round draft pick.
"First of all, I'm very physical," Pryor said. "I like to hit a lot. I'm very versatile and can come down into the box to support the run or I can be in the middle of the field to take away ground."
"This year I've watched a lot of Kam Chancellor and the way he competes," Pryor said. "He just plays like his hair is on fire, and that's the type of attitude I like to take on."