NFL: Top 10 Safeties Entering the 2020 Regular Season

Safety is a very interesting position to play in the NFL. They have to cover like a cornerback and they also have to tackle like a linebacker. I remember Phil Simms saying that one time on a Madden video game.

Some safeties either play on the strong side or the weak side. The strong side safety is called a strong safety and a weak side safety is called a free safety usually.

They also have to be one of the best athletes on the field. With that in mind, who are the Top 10 safeties entering the 2020 NFL regular season?

10. Landon Collins, Washington Redskins

Collins isn’t necessarily a great coverage guy for the Washington Redskins, but he is an excellent tackler. Landon Collins will work wonders with new head coach Ron Rivera. Collins should have won the Defensive Player of the Year Award a few years ago for the New York Giants over Khalil Mack for the Oakland Raiders. Landon Collins played in 15 games last season and recorded 117 tackles, four pass deflections, two forced fumbles, and one sack.

9. Jordan Poyer, Buffalo Bills

The safety position was solid as it was led by Jordan Poyer. The Buffalo Bills defense was solid last season. It was the heart and soul of this football team last season. Poyer plays solid in coverage and is also very good at stopping the run. He recorded 107 tackles, picked off two passes, three pass deflections, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and one sack.

8. Jessie Bates III, Cincinnati Bengals

Bates III is coming into his own as a safety in the NFL. This was only his second year in the NFL last season. He is solid in coverage and also stops the run. Even though Cincinnati was just 2-14 last season, the Bengals are set at the safety position for the new few years. Jessie Bates III recorded 100 tackles, picked off three passes, had nine pass deflections, forced one fumble, and recovered one fumble last season as well.

7. Shawn Williams, Cincinnati Bengals

Williams continues to improve for the Cincinnati Bengals and continues to be solid on the back end with Jessie Bates III. Shawn Williams recorded 114 tackles, one sack, one interception, and three pass deflections last season.

6. Malcolm Jenkins, New Orleans Saints

Jenkins is a hitter and he is going to be missed on the back end of the Philadelphia Eagles defense. He was the heartbeat of Philadelphia’s defense last season. The Eagles may have an issue replacing him. Jenkins recorded 81 tackles, had eight pass deflections, forced four fumbles, recovered one fumble, and recorded 2.5 sacks.

5. Harrison Smith, Minnesota Vikings

Smith is a ballhawk for the Minnesota Vikings. Harrison Smith is someone who you don’t want to throw to. Smith recorded 85 tackles, picked off three passes, had 11 pass deflections, forced three fumbles, recovered two fumbles, and recorded one sack last season.

4. Kevin Byard, Tennessee Titans

Byard has transformed into one of the best safeties in the NFL. Kevin Byard knows where to be in coverage at the right time and he also knows when to stop the run.

Byard is also one of the reasons why the Tennessee Titans secondary is strong. Tennessee got all the way to the AFC Championship Game last season but lost by a score of 35-24 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Tennessee hopes to be better than the sixth seed this season in the AFC. Kevin Byard recorded 84 tackles, picked off five passes, and also had nine pass deflections last season.

3. Earl Thomas, Baltimore Ravens

Thomas was amazing on the back end for the Baltimore Ravens last season. He played in 15 games and missed one of them due to rest in the final game of the regular season to gear up for the playoffs.

Earl Thomas is most likely going to be a Hall of Famer one day. His off the field issues may cost him a chance to be with the Baltimore Ravens this season. Thomas recorded 49 tackles, two sacks, picked off two passes, four pass deflections, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.

2. Budda Baker, Arizona Cardinals

Baker is very athletic and he was one of the league’s leading tacklers last season. Budda Baker finished with 147 of them. He also had six pass deflections, one forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and 0.5 sacks.

1. Jamal Adams, New York Jets

Adams wants a contract and he also wants to be one of the highest-paid safeties in the NFL. He is a beast. Jamal Adams can rush the passer, stop the run, and play in coverage. He only played in 14 games last season and missed a couple due to injury.

Adams recorded 61 tackles, 6.5 sacks, a 61-yard pick-six against the New England Patriots on Jarrett Stidham, seven pass deflections, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery for a 25-yard touchdown against the New York Giants after a Daniel Jones fumbled the football nonetheless.

Who do you think are the Top 10 safeties entering the 2020 NFL regular season? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Glenn Kaplan on twitter @glennkaplan13.

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