Top Preseason Grades: Safeties
Gordon McGuinness adds to the preseason reviews with a look at the top five safeties after three weeks of 2014.
Top Preseason Grades: Safeties
We don’t know about you, but we’ve had some with preseason. It’s not the best way of seeing who will succeed when win-loss records start to matter, but it has given us a first look at some players and really gives second- and third-stringers a chance to prove their worth.
So with three weeks of action in the bag we’re going to be looking across all the positions to let you know who have earned the grades in the Top 5 at each position.
Now of course there’s a lot more than five players at each position we’ve graded. We’ve run every player to play a single snap on offense or defense through the grading process so if you want to see how they’ve fared this preseason, and get access to seven seasons worth of historical grades and access for 365 days which will include the entire 2014 season (and postseason) then you’ll need a PFF Premium Package. At only $26.99 you won’t get better value.
1. Calvin Pryor, NYJ: +6.9
Breakdown: Starting his career off with a bang by making some splash plays as a pass-rusher against the Cincinnati Bengals, Pryor followed that up with another impressive showing against the Giants, getting Jets fans excited about their first-round draft pick.
Signature Stat: Pryor has rushed the passer 13 times this preseason, registering four hurries in the process.
2. Nate Allen, PHI: +4.9
Breakdown: Starting for the Eagles, Allen has graded positively against the run, in coverage and a pass rusher. He was fairly average for the Eagles a year ago, but has shown signs of improvement this preseason.
Signature Stat: Allen has allowed just 11 yards through the air through three preseason games.
3. Cooper Taylor, NYG: +4.1
Breakdown: A fifth-round draft pick a year ago, Taylor has graded positively in all three preseason games thus far. His best game came against the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he stood out against the run.
Signature Stat: Taylor has a Run Stop Percentage of 11.8% on running plays where he has lined up within eight yards of the line of scrimmage.
4. Malcolm Bronson, KC: +3.7
Breakdown: A 2013 Undrafted Free Agent, Bronson sees the bulk of his grade come from a standout performance against the Cincinnati Bengals, with his play in coverage being particularly pleasing.
Signature Stat: Bronson has allowed a passer rating of just 42.4 on passes thrown into his coverage.
5. Earl Wolff, PHI: +3.6
Breakdown: The second Eagles safety in the top five, Wolff has graded positively in each of the past two games, showing well both against the run and in coverage. Though he won’t start for the Eagles this year, he has shown himself worthy of a roster spot.
Signature Play: PHI @ NE, Q2, 11:38 – Wolff chased down Patriots running back Earl Wolff before ripping the ball loose to force a fumble.
Follow Gordon on Twitter: @PFF_Gordon
Gordon McGuinness | Analyst, Lead Special Teams Analyst
Gordon has worked at PFF since 2011, and now heads up the company’s special teams analysis processes. His work in-season focuses on college football, while he is also heavily involved in PFF’s NFL draft coverage.