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Latest 2024 NFL Draft big board: Safeties | Top 10 Tuesday

View the top 10 NFL Draft prospect rankings based on position


As your New Orleans Saints prepare for the 2024 NFL Draft, we take a look at the top 10 ranked players at various positions. The 2024 NFL Draft big board rankings are reflective of Bucky Brooks' top five 2024 NFL Draft prospects by position 1.0 and ESPN's NFL Draft "Best Available" list.

Here are the top 10 ranked draft prospects at safety:

2024 NFL Draft prospects - Safety | No. 1 Tyler Nubin | Minnesota

Tyler Nubin | Minnesota
2023 Season Stats: 34 SOLO | 1 FF | 5 INT | 4 PD

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Nubin is the consensus best safety in the 2024 NFL Draft according to's Bucky Brooks as well as ESPN. The Golden Gopher prospect has been given a player comparison of former Saints safety Marcus Williams. Although he is the best safety in the class, some scouts believe he may not be a Day 1 selection, with an AFC scouting director saying, "I think his speed is the only thing you kind of worry about. His tackling is OK but can get better. He's very instinctive and he's a good player. He'll go in [Round] 2." His ball-tracking ability is one of the main reasons he is expected to be the leading selection among his peers. He finished the 2023 season with 5 interceptions. If he can replicate that level of success in the NFL, he can find a long-time starting role in the league.

Height: 6 feet 1

Weight: 199 pounds draft grade: 6.33 overview: "Talented safety prospect with the size, length and instincts that teams are looking for to shore up the back end. Nubin has the ability to play as an interchangeable safety but will make his money as a ball thief. He's rangy over the top in two-high safety looks and plays chess in the middle of the field, using instincts to think along with the quarterback and pounce on throws from an angle. He's average in man coverage and might lack ideal top-end speed, but his anticipation and discipline help make up for that. He's capable in run support, but his pursuit angles get him beat outside. Nubin's traits, instincts and ball skills give him an opportunity to become a successful long-term starter."

2024 NFL Draft prospects - Safety | No. 2 Kamren Kinchens | Miami

Kamren Kinchens | Miami
2023 Season Stats: 40 SOLO | 5 INT | 5 PD

Kinchens is listed as the second best safety prospect on and third best on ESPN. His ball-hawking mindset along with his toughness make him a desirable player to mold into a team's ideal defensive player. He has been given a player comparison of Juan Thornhill, and some scouts see immense potential in him. An AFC regional scout said, "He's quiet but leads by example. He's a tough guy, like most Miami safeties, and can really see the field when they play him in center field." Kinchens has some areas of his game that he could benefit from working on, but overall he could be a productive defensive backfield player for some needy teams.

Height: 5 feet 11

Weight: 203 pounds draft grade: 6.14 overview: "Safety prospect with the toughness, instincts and ball skills to handle NFL work, although his lack of speed could give teams pause. Kinchens is a willing run supporter near the box, hits with message-sending purpose over the middle and plays with outstanding range as a high safety. Despite the positive tape and attributes at his disposal, he made mistakes in run support and coverage that led to big plays and, in some cases, touchdowns. If he can eliminate the mental mistakes and take better angles to the ball as an open-field tackler, he will improve his consistency, but Kinchens' poor speed testing at the NFL Scouting Combine could limit how teams will want to use him."

2024 NFL Draft prospects - Safety | No. 3 Javon Bullard | Georgia

Javon Bullard | Georgia
2023 Season Stats: 39 SOLO | 2 INT | 5 PD

Bullard is listed as the third best safety prospect on and the fourth best on ESPN. The Bulldogs prospect is entering the draft with a comparison of Josh Metellus. He has enough on film from college to show scouts and coaches that he is worthy of being selected, but he can be scheme-dependent. Georgia provided the layout of how to use him, so NFL teams have the right idea. Now it is just a matter of the right team having the means to be able to draft him and develop him into what he can be and what they want him to become.

Height: 5 feet 10 1/2

Weight: 198 pounds draft grade: 6.25 overview: "Bullard isn't a clean fit as a full-time nickel and might lack the length and range teams seek from a split safety, but he's a good football player with the field awareness teams are looking for. He's going to be a little tight with lateral movements, which will create some throwing windows and missed tackles from time to time, but his route recognition and angles of pursuit help to stabilize his play. There will be some challenging matchups, but Georgia's provided the blueprint by playing him as a big nickel with run support and modest man cover duties -- NFL teams would be wise to follow suit. With the right fit, Bullard should develop into a quality NFL starter."

2024 NFL Draft prospects - Safety | No. 4 Calen Bullock | USC

Calen Bullock | USC
2023 Season Stats: 42 SOLO | 2 INT | 7 PD's Lance Zierlein referred to Bullock as a "boom or bust" safety prospect, which may not exactly be what every team is looking for, but his skills in the passing game may be hard to overlook. Given a projected draft round of 3-4, he could provide valuable reps to the right team. His significant drop off in production on run plays is alarming, but his pass instincts could lead to him being moved to cornerback. Some team's may have a vision on how to use him, which could help his development tremendously.

Height: 6 feet 2

Weight: 188 pounds draft grade: 6.16 overview: "Long and athletic with a series of feast-or-famine plays all over the tape. Bullock can be scary good in coverage and scary bad as a run defender. He has the range to play single-high safety, the athleticism to line up over the slot and the ball skills to chalk up impressive on-ball production. As a run defender, Bullock's poor recognition, missed run fits and bad angles to the football cost his team chunk plays and touchdowns. He won't always see or process the game clearly, but the athleticism and playmaking talent are hard to overlook. He's young and talented, and if he runs well enough, there might be a team more interested in his skill set as a cornerback than as a boom/bust safety."

2024 NFL Draft prospects - Safety | No. 5 Tykee Smith | Georgia

Tykee Smith | Georgia
2023 Season Stats: 46 SOLO | 4 INT | 2 PD

Smith is a confusing prospects for some scouts. Bucky Brooks has him as the 5th best safety in the class, but ESPN does not even have him in their top 10. The biggest discrepancy likely comes from what he was able to put on paper in 2023 compared to what he can bring to an NFL team. On one hand, he can disrupt passes and get past blockers like a linebacker, but his 5 foot 10 frame is too small to cover tight ends and receivers down field. He may find a role in sub packages and special teams, but he may struggle to find a starting role earlier in his career.

Height: 5 feet 10

Weight: 202 pounds draft grade: 5.88 Overview: "It doesn't take long to see why Kirby Smart and Georgia welcomed Smith over from West Virginia when he was in the transfer portal. Smith plays the "Star" position and is like an additional linebacker in a much smaller frame. He's at his best playing forward and has the strength to take on blockers and disrupt pass catchers underneath. Smith is compact and strong but lacks the functional height and length for downfield coverage. He plays with an NFL demeanor but will likely be typecast in a very narrow role as a sub-package safety with coverage limitations."

2024 NFL Draft prospects - Safety | No. 6 Jaden Hicks | Washington State

Jaden Hicks | Washington St.
2023 Season Stats: 47 SOLO | 1 FF | 2 INT | 4 PD

Hicks comes into the draft listed as the second best safety prospect on ESPN's Best Available. He did not quite crack Bucky Brooks' Top 5, but his upside and instincts could end up leading to him hearing his name called on Day 2. He has the tendency to be sort of "feast or famine", but he is a serviceable run stopper and good pass coverage man. He could be used more in passing down situations as opposed to an all-around safety, but he may be able to be coached up to be more permanent. He may find himself in a starting role in a couple of years.

Height: 6 feet 2

Weight: 211 pounds draft grade: 6.24 Overview: "Hicks' testing will be extremely important for his draft outlook, as teams will want to see how he can run and change direction. He's aggressive as a run-and-hit striker but doesn't get as many squared-up, run-through tackles as expected. He plays in the box as an add-on run defender, but he might be a better cover man. Hicks is a straight-line mover and will have his issues when asked to flow with big bending route breaks -- however, he plays with good instincts, has impressive ball skills and can line up over pass-catching tight ends. There are qualities to his game that could make him a feast-or-famine safety, but ultimately, he has the traits and upside to bet on in the middle rounds."

2024 NFL Draft prospects - Safety | No. 7 Beau Brade | Maryland

Beau Brade | Maryland
2023 Season Stats: 48 SOLO | 1 FF | 1 INT | 6 PD

Brade is listed as the fifth best safety prospect on ESPN, but with an Draft grade of 6.00, he may not have the skills to become a starter early on in his career. He could eventually work his way up to that role, but he would need some coaching and mentorship to get to that point. He knows how to run stop, but it is not where he shines. His instincts are more average compared to others in his class, but he can play the ball well when in coverage. If he is granted the leeway to make some mistakes in route to becoming better, he may be able to become a starter in a few years.

Height: 6 feet

Weight: 203 pounds Draft Grade: 6.00 Overview: "Brade offers some dual-safety qualities and can align as a split safety or near the line of scrimmage for best results. He can be a disruptive add-on defender in the box, but he doesn't possess an enforcer's power as a hitter. Brade is fairly average in run support by NFL standards, but he's capable. While his eyes and instincts are nothing special in coverage, he does play with good ball skills when it comes time to challenge the throw. He's steady and capable of doing his job but feels more like a third safety than an impact starter."

2024 NFL Draft prospects - Safety | No. 8 Cole Bishop | Utah

Cole Bishop | Utah
2023 Season Stats: 35 SOLO | 1 FF | 2 INT | 3 PD

Bishop is an ideal run-blocking safety, playing his best football when he's lined up closer to the line of scrimmage. He can cover tight ends, but may struggle against wide receivers down the field. He would best be suited as more of a hybrid safety that can come in on short yardage situations as opposed to a full-time starting safety. He may be able to be coached up a bit, but his 3 passes defended in 2023 is not a promising sign of being able to break up passes down the field.

Height: 6 feet 2

Weight: 206 pounds draft grade: 6.20 overview: "Bishop was a highly productive tackler and valuable three-year starter for Utah. He stays busy around the line of scrimmage and can dart into gaps but can be a little slow playing off of big blockers. Bishop has man coverage potential on tight ends and is a bona fide striker when crashing down from his zone perch. He balances pursuit flow with a last-line-of-defense mentality as a run defender from high safety but will lose discipline in his deep safety duties at times. Bishop is an enforcer with NFL size and toughness for consideration in both down safety and split safety alignments."

2024 NFL Draft prospects - Safety | No. 9 Dominique Hampton | Washington

Dominique Hampton | Washington
2023 Season Stats: 64 SOLO | 2 INT | 7 PD

Hampton's 64 solo tackles in 2023 may be enough to convince a team to draft him on Day 3, but his below-average tape in other areas may be the reason he falls that far. He has the build that coaches would want in a safety, but he did not do anything exceptionally well in coverage in 2023. He will likely provide most of his impact on special teams where he can shine by showing off his tackling ability. If a coach is willing to take him on as a development prospect, he may be able to develop into a starter, but that will likely not come during his rookie season.

Height: 6 feet 2

Weight: 215 pounds draft grade: 6.00 overview: "Average game film has to be weighed against his traits and the potential of what he could do with pro coaching. Hampton is big, fast and long, and defensive coordinators can work with that. He's more comfortable operating as a read-and-react high safety than in man coverage. He's willing in run support, but erratic angles to the tackle and below-average body control can lead to poor positioning and excessive arm tackles. Hampton's traits and potential could sway a team to take him on Day 3 and develop him into an average backup with core special teams value."

2024 NFL Draft prospects - Safety | No. 10 Sione Vaki | Utah

Sione Vaki | Utah
2023 Season Stats: 37 SOLO | 1 INT | 2 PD

Vaki is an interesting prospect. ESPN has him as the 10th best safety in the class, but has given him a combine grade of 5.68, which is the fourth worst amongst his peers. He is willing to do whatever is necessary to help his team win who is a smart tackler, but his lack of exceptional productivity in other areas will likely limit what he is able to do at an NFL level. He likely will be a Day 3 selection.

Height: 5 feet 11

Weight: 210 pounds draft grade: 5.68 overview: "Gamer who does whatever is necessary to help his team win. Vaki carries a thick frame with good upper-body power and heavy hands. He took on carries to help his team when it was stung by injuries, but he's not an NFL running back. He's a conscientious tackler who is careful to center up and launch his attack only when he's in realistic striking position. He is overmatched in coverage and struggles when plays roll downfield. Vaki's below-average athletic traits and lack of positional fit might create a limited path forward."

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