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Top 5 2014 NFL Draft prospects by position: Safeties

It's hard to find a safety capable of thumping against the run, while displaying the range, instincts and awareness to thrive as a centerfielder against the pass.

Calvin Pryor and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix are the new prototypes at the position with their sound overall games. Dion Bailey is intriguing as a former linebacker/box safety with size, speed and athleticism.

1. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama

Clinton-Dix enters the league with valuable experience directing a pro-style defense from the back end. He displays the range and athleticism to get over the top on deep balls, while also impressing scouts with his football IQ and overall awareness.

2. Calvin Pryor, Louisville

It's hard to find a more complete safety in college football than Pryor. The Louisville standout punishes runners in the hole, while displaying outstanding range, ball skills and awareness in the deep middle.

3. Dion Bailey, USC

Former top recruit who split time between linebacker and safety at USC. Bailey hasn't received a lot of attention since declaring for the draft, but the buzz is building after a solid performance at the combine.

4. Deone Bucannon, Washington State

Highly productive player with a knack for knocking runners around in the hole. Game is a bit old school, but the performance of Kam Chancellor during the postseason could entice a team to take a chance on a niche player.

5. Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois

The changing nature of the pro game allows an undersized safety with corner skills to play a prominent role in the secondary. Ward didn't get a chance to showcase his skills at the combine, but he is one to watch as the draft process moves forward.

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.

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