- The Alabama show: Both Jordan Battle and Brian Branch show out in key stable metrics across the board.
- A case for Antonio Johnson as the top safety: Texas A&M’s Johnson earned some of the most well-rounded scores among this year’s class.
- Get to know more about this rookie class by checking out the other positions ranked: We evaluated running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, quarterbacks, edge defenders, interior defensive linemen and linebackers based on their stable metrics.
Estimated reading time: 12 minutes
NFL draft season is well underway, and there are plenty of fantasy football general managers who are building their rookie draft boards for dynasty purposes. Utilizing all information available is going to be key in building those draft boards, and looking at how each position stacks up against one another from an analytics standpoint is just one of the many tools to consider during the evaluation process. This series focuses purely on the key stable metrics that translate more often than not from college to the NFL.
A few notes about how this series will work:
- Rankings are based entirely on how these players performed in PFF’s stable metrics over the past two seasons.
- Athletic ability and size are not taken into account for this process. Again, this is just one of many evaluation tools to consider.
- This list includes all 14 quarterbacks from Mike Renner’s draft board but does not provide any weight to projected draft capital or the ranking.
Top-10 safeties in PFF coverage grade since 2021
|Player||PFF Coverage Grade||Coverage Snaps|
|Jordan Battle, Alabama||91.6||1,109|
|Antonio Johnson, Texas A&M||90.9||698|
|Marte Mapu, Sacramento||90.0||852|
|JL Skinner, Boise State||89.3||610|
|Gervarrius Owens, Houston||89.2||793|
|Ronnie Hickman, Ohio State||89.0||828|
|Daniel Scott, California||87.9||941|
|Sydney Brown, Illinois||86.2||801|
|Brian Branch, Alabama||86.0||798|
|Ji’Ayir Brown, Penn State||85.8||732|
When it comes to overall coverage grade over the last two seasons, no player scored higher or saw more of a workload than Alabama’s Jordan Battle, who was deployed more as a deep safety this past season after being used a bit more in the box and slot in previous seasons. However, the shift didn’t affect his grades, as he earned an overall grade and coverage grade above 80.0 in each of the last three seasons.
Antonio Johnson made the transition from the slot to more of a typical safety role in 2022 and was able to maintain strong grades across the board. The 2021 season, where he played 75% of his defensive snaps in the slot, earned his highest career coverage grade (88.7), though his 79.7 coverage grade in 2022 was still very strong. Johnson came up with the most defensive stops in coverage (26) among this year’s safety class over the past two seasons.
Top-10 safeties in PFF coverage grade with no pressure since 2021
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