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Combine Preview: Safety

Continuing our preview of the players attending the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine.

NCAA Football: SEC Championship-Alabama vs Georgia Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Will Justin Evans get back on track after a down year plagued by injury? Will Jordan Whitehead build on a relatively good rookie performance? Will M.J. Stewart move to safety with this new coaching staff?

There are some serious questions about the safeties on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster. Another is: Will the Bucs draft a safety? And if so, when?

It isn’t priority one for most people. Maybe not even priority two. But if there are questions surrounding the current members of the team, then it’s worth a peek at who the team will be seeing when the NFL Scouting Combine kicks of in Indianapolis.

Here are the names to know.

2019 COMBINE SAFETIES

NAME SCHOOL
NAME SCHOOL
JOHNATHAN ABRAM MISSISSIPPI STATE
NASIR ADDERLEY DELAWARE
UGO AMADI OREGON
JOHN BATTLE LSU
MIKE BELL FRESNO STATE
MARQUISE BLAIR UTAH
JONATHAN CRAWFORD INDIANA
LUKAS DENIS BOSTON COLLEGE
D'COTA DIXON WISCONSIN
MIKE EDWARDS KENTUCKY
MALIK GANT MARSHALL
CHAUNCEY GARDNER-JOHNSON FLORIDA
SAQUAN HAMPTON RUTGERS
WILL HARRIS BOSTON COLLEGE
AMANI HOOKER IOWA
JAQUAN JOHNSON MIAMI
MARK MCLAURIN MISSISSIPPI STATE
TAYLOR RAPP WASHINGTON
SHELDRICK REDWINE MIAMI
DARNELL SAVAGE MARYLAND
MARVELL TELL USC
DEIONTE THOMPSON ALABAMA
JUAN THORNHILL VIRGINIA
DARIUS WEST KENTUCKY
KHARI WILLIS MICHIGAN STATE
DONOVAN WILSON TEXAS A&M
ANDREW WINGARD WYOMING
ZEDRICK WOODS MISSISSIPPI
EVAN WORTHINGTON COLORADO

BEST IN CLASS: DEIONTE THOMPSON, ALABAMA

Once considered the clear-cut favorite in this class, this isn’t so much the case anymore. Delaware’s Nasir Adderley had a great showing at the Senior Bowl and has secured a heavy dose of round one talk along with some inching ever closer to placing him above Thompson on their boards.

In the end, Thompson’s pedigree having come out of the Crimson Tide program will help him stave off Adderley to be the first safety drafted, but a solid combine would sure go a long way to quelling some of the hesitation some might have between he and Adderley.

MOST TO PROVE: NASIR ADDERLEY, DELAWARE

Some might say being a day one prospect coming out of Delaware means you’ve proven enough. I say if Adderley isn’t hunting to be the top safety in the draft by surpassing Thompson, then he isn’t the competitor I want on my football team.

The door is open for Adderley to show out at the NFL combine and really put draft boards in flux. I don’t think he necessarily climbs as high as Jamal Adams did, but he could certainly rise even hire than he did after the Senior Bowl with a notable showing in Indianapolis.

MOST LIKELY BUCS DRAFT PICK: MARQUISE BLAIR, UTAH

NCAA Football: Pac-12 Conference Championship-Utah vs Washington Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

A tip of the cap goes to The Draft Network. As I was perusing through some of their player profiles, I came across this one and it really made me take notice.

To a man, the three TDN evaluators who turned in reports on Marquise Blair all say he has every tool necessary to be successful in the NFL.

However, he’ll need some polishing and need to be used in the right role. So, I think he’s a guy who could probably fit well on a team looking to maximize abilities and get snaps to younger and developmental guys in practice so they can actually develop. Yahtzee!

As a late day two and potential early day three selection, Blair would bring the right combination of ability without the high-pick expectation of starting or playing early. He’s an aggressive player, which something which may actually need to be turned down a bit as the NFL continues to make moves towards player safety.

Giving him the opportunity to find his fit in Todd Bowles’ defense will be key, and with the young talent already residing in Tampa, it’ll be equally important for Bowles to find out what he has before moving to replace anyone.