NFL Scouting Combine

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2019 Combine Preview: Safety

The Detroit Lions released veteran safety Glover Quin this offseason, ushering in the future at the position with Quandre Diggs and last year's third-round pick, Tracy Walker, likely to now play a bigger role in the back end of Detroit's defense in 2019.

Still, Lions general manager Bob Quinn is always on the lookout for good players who can help his football team. The Lions utilized a number of heavy safety sets on defense last season, a trend we're seeing more and more of in today's NFL.

The Lions could certainly look to add to the safety position in free agency or the draft to boost their talent and depth.

Here are some names to keep an eye on at the Combine:

JOHNATHAN ABRAM

School: Mississippi State

Ht/Wt: 5-11, 207

Best trait: Physicality. He brings the thunder as a physical run defender. He started 13 games this past season and led the Bulldogs with 99 tackles, nine tackles for loss, three sacks, two interceptions, five pass breakups and a forced fumble.

Concern: He struggled some when asked to be a cover safety in the deep part of the field. His strength will be playing closer to the line in the NFL.

Skinny: Abram has the potential to be a hybrid linebacker in a nickel defense. He's a willing tackler who can match up up with bigger offensive players because of his athletic ability.

View photos of safeties that will participate in the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine.

NASIR ADDERLEY

School: Delaware

Ht/Wt: 6-0, 200

Best trait: Versatility. Coaches at the Senior Bowl played him at safety, outside corner and slot corner, and he never looked out of place. He's a four-year starter with good length, speed and athleticism. He also brings a special teams quality having returned kicks at Delaware.

Concern: Some analysts question his ability to be an instinctive cover man at safety. Some see him making the move to cornerback at the NFL level.

Skinny: Adderley checks off all the physical boxes. Teams will like the fact that he has some position versatility. He answered some questions at the Senior Bowl about being able to play against better talent. He's a good prospect with a lot of upside.

TAYLOR RAPP

School: Washington

Ht/Wt: 6-0, 200

Best trait: Rapp has a nose for the football. He recorded 59 tackles, six tackles for loss and five sacks to go along with two interceptions, five pass breakups and three fumble recoveries. He was a three-year starter with consistent playmaking potential. He played all over the field at Washington.

Concern: There are some question marks about his long speed. The Combine 40-yard dash test will be important for him.

Skinny: Rapp plays the game with a high football IQ, which allows him to be in the right spots to make plays. He's a good cover man and run supporter. He could be a core special teams player right away, too.

DEIONTE THOMPSON

School: Alabama

Ht/Wt: 6-2, 196

Best trait: Frame. His size, length and speed are all terrific for the position. Thompson earned First-Team All-American and First-Team All-SEC in his first season as a full-time starter in 2018. He recorded 79 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, six passes defended and four forced fumbles.

Concern: Thompson was only a one-year starter, so technique and mental processing of what's happening in front of him are still developing.

Skinny: He's an athletic safety who still needs a bit of seasoning from a coverage standpoint. He possesses all the physical tools to be a good NFL player with the right coaching and scheme.

AMANI HOOKER

School: Iowa

Ht/Wt: 6-0, 210

Best trait: Hybrid player. The Iowa coaching staff created a hybrid safety/linebacker position for him this past season and it led to him earning the Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year award after racking up 65 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, four interceptions, seven pass breakups and a safety in 13 games. NFL teams are always on the lookout for defenders who can wear different hats in today's ever increasing multiple-look defenses.

Concern: Speed and pure athleticism aren't his strong suits. He makes plays on instincts and his ability to see the field and react. Athletic testing will be important for him at the Combine.

Skinny: A versatile player who can match up with tight ends and move around a defense. He has the skill set, instincts and ball skills to be a good player in the right scheme.

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