2024 NFL Scouting Combine: Group II Cheat Sheet

MAC Championship - Toledo v Ohio, Maxen Hook, Quinyon Mitchell
MAC Championship - Toledo v Ohio, Maxen Hook, Quinyon Mitchell / Mike Mulholland/GettyImages
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Group II: Defensive backs - Safeties

The LA Rams front office certainly has an action plan in place right now, because for the second year in a row, the team is at risk of losing two starting safeties. After the 2022 NFL season, the team watched DB Taylor Rapp and Nick Scott sign contracts to play for other teams. Now after the 2023 NFL season, the team may be willing to allow both DB Jordan Fuller and John Johnson III to walk away to another NFL team. That would be the second time that the team failed to retain JJIII.

The NFL Scouting Combine does not distinguish between outside cornerbacks, slot cornerbacks, safeties, or linebacker/safety hybrids. To that end, we did feature LB/S hybrid Kalen DeLoach out of Florida State in our recap from Group I.

Defensive backs - Safeties

  • Day 1 - Tyler Nubin, S, Minnesota
  • Day 2 - Jaden Hicks, S, Washington State
  • Day 3 - Cole Bishop, S, Utah

While there is a debate among draft scouts as to whether Minnesota safety Tyler Nubin is worth a Round 1 investments, there is no debate that he is one of the best safeties available in this draft class. Standing 6-foot-2 and weighing 210 pounds, Nubin excels at pass coverage, and that is certaintly enough to attract the attention of the Rams front office. He has ideal size, plays with promising physicality, and exudes the confident swagger that can help rally the troops around him at critical moments during the game. Because he played for Minnesota, he faced great college quarterbacks and receivers, yet remains a top defensive back of his class. Projection: Late Round 1 or early Round 2

If you want a true hit-man in the secondary, then Washington State safety Jaden Hicks should be someone you keep an eye on. He towers at 6-foot-3 and 212 pounds, and he is more than happy to use his size to get physical. Unlike some college players who simply relies on size and strength to find success, Hicks does not take plays off, and actually continues to pursue even if the play goes away from him. He has Coach Aubrey Pleasant-disciple written all over him. He may need to refine coverage work in zone defense, but he is enthusiasttic and energetic. And yes, he lovess to play football. Projection: Round 3

There is no lack of love and admiration for Utah safety Cole Bishop among LA Rams fans, and for good reason. Bishop is a 6-foot-2 207-pound safety who has also faced some of the top quarterbacks and receivers in the 2024 NFL Draft, and yet is another highly respected rookie prospect. How is his pass coverage? Hear from him directly:

This guy has no lack of confidence, which is necessary in the NFL today. If the Rams are shopping for an anti-TE type of defensive back, then Cole Bishop should be the guy. He is quite competent at pass defense, and may even be solid enough to hold his own against NFL slot receivers. Despite his solid performance as a true all around defender, teams will gravitate his way to secure his pass coverage skills. Projected: Round 4