Which safeties stand out from Patriots perspective at 2019 NFL combine

Ryan Hannable
March 04, 2019 - 9:46 am

On Sunday, the final day of media availability at the NFL combine, the safeties addressed whatever media was left in Indy.

This feels like a position the team will certainly look to target in April’s draft with Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung and Duron Harmon all getting up there in age. It seems time to start looking for the next player to hold down the backend of the defense for the next five, maybe even 10 years.

Here are five options for New England.

Taylor Rapp, Washington — Rapp is a safety who can play all over, including in the box at times. With Chung turning 32 before next season, the team could be seeking his eventual replacement. As a junior this past fall, he totaled 59 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions. He’s expected to be one of the first safeties taken and reportedly formally met with the Patriots at the combine.

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida — Gardner-Johnson is another versatile safety, who can move all over a defense. In 13 games in 2018, he had 71 tackles, three sacks and four interceptions. He was named MVP in two Florida bowl games — the 2017 Outback Bowl and 2018 Peach Bowl. He will likely be a Day 1 or Day 2 selection.

Nasir Adderley, Delaware — Adderley won’t participate in drills due to a high ankle sprain, but he stands out to the Patriots for a few reasons, including spending part of his meeting with the media talking about the importance of special teams. He also reportedly had a formal meeting with them in Indy.

Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State — The Mississippi State product is more known for his ability to play in the box and make a lot of plays in defending the run. He's had a unique path as he played at Georgia as a freshman, didn’t play in the bowl game for “personal reasons,” went back to junior college, and finally enrolled at Mississippi State in 2017 where he's been the last two seasons. Abram should be a Day 2 pick.

Lukas Denis, Boston College — This is a nice hometown story, as he’s from Everett, Mass and then went on to play locally at BC. He has the potential to be drafted in the late rounds, and would make for a pretty cool story playing his entire football career in the state of Massachusetts. He had 49 tackles as a senior this past fall.

Related: Everyone tries to be like Tom Brady, but NC State quarterback Ryan Finley basically is

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