I’m obsessed with the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars issues at safety. It’s a serious, serious architectural flaw to reside in Peyton Manning’s division and not do better work to ensure you can cover the deep middle and help your corners.
It’s a terrible year to need safety help from the draft. But I like what Houston and Jacksonville have tried here. They each drafted a guy with a narrow skills set who can, hopefully, take care of one job well though he may be lacking on the other end of the safety spectrum. It strays, certainly, from the desire a lot of teams have to play two safeties who are interchangeable.
Mel Kiper says Jaguars fourth-rounder Christopher Prosinski from Wyoming has good speed and range and can play smart football in deep patrol. Great, give him a chance to earn a job playing centerfield and find a sure-tackler who can come forward in run support to be the strong safety. (One better than Courtney Greene, if possible.)
A guy, perhaps, like Houston’s fifth-round safety, Shiloh Keo from Idaho.
Keo didn’t run well at the combine, but Kiper says he’s a big-hitter who flies around. PFW says he’s actually best as an extra linebacker. He’s drawn comparisons to outgoing Houston strong safety Bernard Pollard and Baltimore’s boxing safety, Tom Zbikowski.
Prosinski and Keo will both be special team contributors.
Will they take away room for Manning to throw or room for Chris Johnson to run? That’s a leap to project within an hour of learning who they are.
But it seems like each teams see qualities in its guy that might be able to make their defenses a little bit better.