As the 2016 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago quickly approaches, CSNChicago.com is releasing a list of the Top 5 prospects at each position leading up to Day 1 of the draft on Thursday, April 28. Next up is safety.
1. Karl Joseph, West Virginia
5’10” | 205 lbs.
92 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 3 FF, INT
" Fiercely competitive with immense football character. Different teams may have differing opinions of how best to utilize him, but Joseph has proven he can make plays in man coverage or play disciplined enough to be trusted on the back. His average size and subsequent durability will concern some teams due to his aggressive, attacking demeanor; however, Joseph is talented enough to become an early starter and high-impact safety down the road if the medicals check out." - Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
2. Keanu Neal, Florida
6’0” | 211 lbs.
84 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 2.0 sacks, 1 INT
"Neal started the year off with a hamstring issue that slowed him down and caused some uneven tape at times, but his size, athleticism and hitting are the best in this draft. Neal isn't limited to simple box tasks even though he thrives there. He has all the makings of an early starter and may hear his name called earlier than some might project." - Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
3. Vonn Bell, Ohio State
5’11” | 199 lbs.
65 tackles, 2 INT, 9 PD, 1 FR
"Though lacking in desired size and physicality, Bell has the ability to match up in space and is at his best when keeping the action in front of him where he combines his vision, reactive quickness and ball skills to go make plays on the ball. Bell lacks size and isn't an aggressive tackler so he needs to prove he can run so that he locks in his draft positioning as one of the top free safeties in this draft." - Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
4. Darian Thompson, Boise State
6’2” | 208 lbs.
60 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 5 INT, 4 PD
"Looks the part and has enough production to warrant a close look, but that close look shows a player with below average man cover skills and a lack of awareness in zone coverage. An even greater concern is that too many big plays were allowed because he busted coverage or failed or to execute. Thompson does his best work near the line of scrimmage and has the frame and demeanor to become a box safety in the league, but it might take time." - Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
5. Jeremy Cash, Duke
6’0” | 212 lbs.
100 tackles, 18 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 4 PD
"Deluxe run-supporter who has the closing burst and size to continue his impressive tackle production in the pros. Cash is much too stiff to be asked to make a living in coverage and any team considering him will likely view him as a box safety or hybrid player who is less about a defined position and more about physicality around the line of scrimmage." - Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
Click here for profiles of more than 150 prospects, including a scouting report and video interviews with each player. Video analysis provided by NBC Sports and Rotoworld NFL Draft expert Josh Norris.