It's been four years since a safety was selected within the first 10 picks of the NFL draft, but at least one NFL executive believes LSU's Jamal Adams is poised to break the streak. Adams is among the elite safeties in college football and, as a junior, could be available in next year's draft if he applies for and is granted early eligibility. The NFL scouting community is watching closely, and club executives like what they see.
"Adams is a special player. He'll be a top-10 pick," one executive told NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah.
The last safety claimed with a top-10 draft pick was Mark Barron of Alabama, who was the No. 7 overall pick of the Buccaneers in 2012. He was traded to the Rams a couple years into his career and has gone on to become a starting linebacker. As a draft prospect, Barron was a classic strong safety, a heat-seeking run stopper who eventually struggled in coverage with the Bucs.
That's not Adams.
"Adams is one of my favorite players in the country. He can play high, low or cover in the slot. He's the ideal safety," another executive said.
College Football 24/7 recently named LSU as DB U, based on the long list of former Tigers who dotted Week 1 NFL rosters. Adams could go a long way to strengthen that standing, along with LSU senior cornerback Tre'Davious White. Adams (6-foot-1, 213 pounds) has made 34 stops for the Tigers in five games with two pass breakups. He also has some family pedigree where the NFL draft is concerned. His father, George, was drafted No. 19 overall by the New York Giants in 1985.
If the executive who spoke with Jeremiah is on target, the younger Adams will go even higher.