Louis Delmas is really the only player in the secondary right now that would unquestionably start for quality teams. However, I don’t think that we will see the Lions taking his backfield mate at Safety at #2. I am just as big an Eric Berry fan as anyone, but lets look at this from a depth of talent standpoint.
At the top of the DT class are McCoy and Suh. One of them will be there at #2. DT is a “high priority” position. They are both considered head and shoulders after what will be avialable later. Both are also near or at the top of every talent board. McCoy, who is more likely to be available, is considered more of a pass-rushing DT which fits next to big Sam Hill. Unless the Lions get good trade offer (Say, two ones, or a high one and two – which is possible, though not probable) they will possibly be taking one of the two.
While Berry has been talked about as well that high — including what will be endless debate about whether he can also play CB, Nickleback, and fly (just kidding on that last one) in addition to S, there is something else that will keep him from a #2 grade on the Lions’ board — depth.
One part of BPA-FAN (Best Player Available, Fill Any Need) is their overall grade in relation to the grades of the next ten guys, and what the dropoff in talent level at that position is expected to be based on where other players will be available. Do you take a Laurinitis at 20 who is graded at say an 8 on your board, when you can get a Levy whom you may have graded 7.9 in the middle of the third — two full rounds later? You do if you need a guy at a position who is graded an 8 (assuming 8 was your rating number for the pick) where the drop off to the next round is, say, a 6 or 7. Clear as mud.
According toprofootball scout, this is a very deep draft class. Since there isn’t a “direct link” (its a blog entry) – I’ll post it here:
2010 Safety Class
It’s a position that used to be taken for granted, but the safety position has gone from the forgotten two players defending the last line of defense to playmakers that can mean the difference between wins and losses. And for teams that need playmakers at the safety position, the 2010 draft is shaping up to be the deepest and most talented safety crop in the history of the spring spectacle.
You know it’s a special safety class when for the first time in the history of the draft six underclassmen have declared and one of the six has received No. 1 overall consideration. Tennessee’s Eric Berry is considered a top-two prospect, but since the St. Louis Rams hold the No. 1 pick, it’s unlikely that Berry will become the first safety ever be selected with the top pick. But he has a chance to be the second safety drafted with the No. 2 pick. The Cleveland Browns selected Eric Turner out of UCLA with the 2nd overall selection in the 1991 draft, and the Lions could make Berry the 2nd overall pick this year.
In addition to Berry, the other five safeties that declared early for the NFL are Morgan Burnett (Georgia Tech), Chad Jones (LSU), Reshad Jones (Georgia), Earl Thomas (Texas) and Major Wright (Florida). All six will likely come off the board in the first three rounds of the draft.
The six underclassmen make this class special, and when you add in the senior talent it becomes elite.
The senior safeties are headlined by USC’s Taylor Mays, the most gifted athlete at the position and a sure first round selection. At 6-foot-3, 235 pounds, Mays offers a team at the next level tremendous versatility and an intimidating prowess that hasn’t been seen in quite some time. Other senior safeties that will generate interest in the first three rounds are Nate Allen (South Florida), T.J. Ward (Oregon), Darrell Stuckey (Kansas) and Kam Chancellor (Virginia Tech).
To think that 11 safeties could be selected in the first three rounds of a single draft is unheard of, especially since there’s only been four years this decade (2000, 2007, 2008 and 2009) where more than 11 safeties have been taken in an entire draft.