Ranking the NFC East safeties, individually

Seriously, Jimmy? How could you forget this face?

Did the WR’s last week, so we may as well just cave in and do every position during this ungodly slow time.  We’ll jump around all over.  Since we did such a strong NFC East position last time, let’s do one that’s not quite as strong today – Safety.  These are rankings of the players themselves (not by team), in order of who I would most want on my roster if I were starting a team.  In other words, age and upside matter, although I left contract situations out of the equation, especially since a couple guys are slated to become free agents (Mikell, Sensabaugh, etc). It also doesn’t consider favorable contracts like Kenny Phillips’ or terrible ones like Antrel Rolle’s.

Update – Somehow, I forgot one of my favorite players in the NFL, for no other reason than his profile pictures, the great OJ Atogwe, and had to re-do my chart, so we have 11 instead of 10.  Reed Doughty celebrates his inclusion.  Sorry – I’m an idiot.

Rank Player Team Comment

LaRon Landry

Redskins I really struggled with putting Landry at No 1, but I think he’s pretty clearly the most talented safety in the division, even if he has no instincts, no brains, and would rather knock someone out than actually make the tackle. He could be Troy Polamalu if he really knew how to play.

Kenny Phillips

Giants Phillips came into his second year in the league (’09) with all kinds of hype about how great he looked in camp, and he didn’t disappoint in the first two games. Then he had a serious knee injury and that was the end of his season. Played all 16 games last year, but wasn’t the same. The No 2 ranking is based on the belief that he’ll be closer to the player he showed he can be in ’09 than the one he was in ’10.

Nate Allen

Eagles Very strong rookie season that ended prematurely when he injured his knee and went on IR. Should be ready to go for Week 1.

Antrel Rolle

Giants In 2007, Rolle had 5 picks with an insane 231 return yards and 3 TD’s, and immediately got this reputation as a bigtime playmaker. While he most certainly was exactly that… in 2007… he has just 8 picks in his other 5 NFL seasons.

OJ Atogwe

Redsins Playmaking machine a couple years ago – 8 picks in 2007, 5 picks and 6 forced fumbles in 2008. Has cooled off some since then, but is still a good NFL safety. Turns 30 in June.

Quintin Mikell

Eagles Soon to be ‘former Eagle Quintin Mikell.’ The 2009 Pro Bowler is going to want more money than the Eagles are willing to pay a safety that turns 31 in September, and he’ll find it elsewhere.  Jimmy’s favorite player since Dawkins left.  Please don’t go to the Cowboys, Q.  (Bias alert)

Jaiquawn Jarrett

Eagles Too high for a 2nd round rookie thumper with questionable cover skills? In any other division, definitely. In this craptastic bunch, not really.  I’ll take my chances with the rookie over everyone below him.

Deon Grant

Giants Has never had less than 60 tackles or 2 INT’s in his 10 year career, but he’s 32 years old.

Gerald Sensabaugh

Cowboys Good athlete, average safety. Played decent football for the Cowboys in ’09, but struggled mightily in ’10, although the atrocious play on the other side by Alan Ball may have hurt Sensi’s play. He did have 5 picks last year, somehow. Likely not to be back in Dallas in ’11.

Kurt Coleman

Eagles After a few injuries, Coleman started 2 games last year and played well. Assuming Mikell leaves, Coleman will be given the chance to compete with Jarrett for the starting SS job.

Reed Doughty

Redskins Solid player, but nothing about his game intrigues me – 10 or more tackles in 5 games last season. 1 career pick in 5 seasons. Scares nobody.


  1. Anders says:

    I would rank Mikell higher then Rolle for sure based on the last 2(3) seasons.

  2. Dan in Philly says:

    Brian Dawkins’ ghost ranks in the top 5 of this bunch.

  3. smutsboy says:

    Good post.

    Safety definitely isn’t a strong point of the division I guess.

  4. The Legend says:

    I don’t think you have to worry about Q going to the Cowboys, I read today that the Browns top priority is getting a starting safety, & since Jauron is the DC there now & as we know Heckert is the GM I have to believe Q is on the top of their list

    1. Yeah, I think a lot of teams could have interest in Q. The Cowboys currently don’t have an NFL caliber starting safety on their roster… at all… right now (since Sensabaugh is a FA). They undoubtedly have a safety targeted in FA (maybe two), although I don’t think it’ll be Q. Huff seems to be the guy mentioned most with them.

  5. Eg89 says:

    Is there a reason you aren’t counting the recently signed Redskin O.J. Atogwe? Otherwise, strong list that doesn’t follow the hype. Nice work.

    1. GAH!!!! I’m such an idiot. I forgot Atogwe. How the hell could I forget Atogwe? Gotta fix this whole thing now. Dammit.

      1. Kyle says:

        “You forgot me?”

        1. Kyle says:

          Dang. My HTML skills still need some touching up…

  6. Norman says:

    Ballsy to go with Landry number 1, but I agree. If he can stay healthy and maintains his excellent speed, grows some experience. It’d be sick if they still had Sean Taylor too. Such a tragedy.

    Since we factored in Age and Upside, I can see why Mikell dropped and Allen improved. I do think Mikell has another 5 years left, and is, right now, the best safety in the division. But he has no further upside- its maxed out.

    and lol, Philadelphia and New York each had 3 safeties that came in before Dallas even had 1. That does sound about right

  7. Kyle says:

    Definitely not liking Laron Landry and Kenny Phillips as #1 and #2. Laron Landry is a great in the box safety but in pass coverage he struggles, especially in man coverage. Kenny Phillips isn’t even the best safety on his own team. And Nate Allen wasn’t better than Mikell, Nate Allen was tied for most touchdowns given up with Eric Berry when Nate Allen tore his patellar tendon.

    1. It’s not solely about who’s better right this second. Age/upside also matter, per the intro. If given the choice to keep either Allen or Mikell, who would ever choose Mikell?

      1. Kyle says:

        Ah, okay. That makes more sense then. My bad on not reading the intro, I skipped right to the good stuff.

    2. Good to have you aboard, by the way.

%d bloggers like this: