Dec 28, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Louisville Cardinals safety Calvin Pryor (25) waves his arms to the crowd in the fourth quarter as theCardinals beat the Miami Hurricanes 36-9 to win the Russell Athletic Bowl at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports
In Version 3.1 of my 2014 NFL Mock Draft on NFL Spin Zone, I mocked the Chargers to select Louisville safety Calvin Pryor. If the draft was today, I would be ecstatic if the Chargers were able to select Pryor, but even happier if they were able to snag him in the 2nd round. Here’s what I had to say in the mock:
25. San Diego Chargers
The Chargers have been in need of a strong safety since Rodney Harrison left for the Patriots in 2002. The lack of a heavy hitter that is willing to step up and make tackles has made the Chargers’ defense weak in pass coverage for a while. Calvin Pryor is flying up draft boards after he outplayed his fellow Louisville safety, Hakeem Smith. He can play both safety spots because he is a vicious hitter and a great tackler, but he is athletic enough to make plays on the ball in center field. Pryor’s ability to play at the line of scrimmage would allow Eric Weddle to play his true position at free safety and instantly improve the back end of the Chargers’ defense and their defense at the line.
Previous Pick: CB Justin Gilbert
I love Pryor as a safety prospect. After talking with Peter and Julien in the comments yesterday, it is obvious the Chargers should be willing to spend a high draft pick on a safety for the future. Adding a talented safety like Pryor can fix more than a few problems for the Chargers. Pryor’s versatility would be a huge asset to the Chargers and is something that TT looks for in his roster.
Pryor can play both safety spots very well. He has the speed and hands to make plays on the ball in the open field as a free safety and is an absolute monster in run support and can jar the ball out of almost anyones hands. He does try to lay the big hit a little too much, which in the NFL is a reason for concern for penalties and even suspensions, but the tenacity is there on every play. He doesn’t get lost in coverage very often and if he does, he has insane quickness to make up ground. Here are some of his best and worst plays from the past season:
What would you guys think if TT and the Chargers took Calvin Pryor with the 25th pick?