A lot of attention has been focused on Harrison Smith of Notre Dame for the safety position in the draft. Smith is a nice prospect, but he might not be available when we select in the second round of the draft. If we were to select a strong safety in the first round, it should be Mark Barron out of Alabama and I don’t think that is something that we would do with that first pick in the draft.
Here is another name to consider in the draft if Harrison Smith and Mark Barron are not available: SS/OLB Lavonte David of Nebraska. David played outside linebacker for the Huskers, but there is a lot of buzz about him moving to the strong safety position because of his smaller stature and they think he would be able to make the transition well.
He has outstanding instincts and does well in coverage. He doesn’t do well when the huge lineman get a hold of him, but he won’t have to deal with that much in the secondary. He has good speed on the field and is always around the football. He seems like he would make the transition to the strong safety position pretty smoothly.
Here are some notes from our FanSided friends at NFL Mocks on David:
When you’re talking about Lavonte David you’re talking about three major factors that makes him successful: his speed, his awareness (instincts), and his leadership…excels in coverage because of his his speed and awareness…makes a ton of plays on the football in pass coverage….relentless pursuit…added 15 pounds of weight form his listed size in 2010 to 2011…very productive…not afraid to take on blockers, but better getting around them
undersized…doesn’t do a great job of disengaging from blocks because he’s not functionally strong (NFL strength) and doesn’t have really long arms (because he’s shorter than ideal)…is not an elite pass rusher….kind of schematically limited, he fits best for a team that runs a lot of nickel (think the Giants) or a team that is going to run a lot of Tampa 2 coverage…
There is a lot to like about Lavonte David. He’s always around the football, he’s a leader on the Cornhuskers defense, he’s very productive and he has good speed. Even if he can never figure out how to take on and shed blocks at the N.F.L. level he’s going to be really good in pass coverage because of his speed, instincts, and fluid hips. A lot of people thought that Angerer might go in the fourth or fifth round and I think most think David will go in the second round, but I see his value somewhere near where Angerer was drafted. Late 2nd and early third, but to the right system, I don’t think he fits all systems. Good player, though.
Round 2, however Kiper has him slated for late round 1.
The Chargers also showed some interest in David during the Senior Bowl. Could we see him in blue and gold this year?
What are your thoughts on having David drafted in the second round to compete for the strong safety spot for us? Do you think that he will be able to make the transition from linebacker to strong safety?