Combine Preview: Safeties

Combine Preview: Safeties
February 15, 2013, 10:15 am
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With the NFL Scouting Combine set to begin Wednesday in Indianapolis, it’s time to take a look at the invitees the Redskins could have a keen interest in monitoring.

Among Washington’s biggest weaknesses in 2012 was the performance of its safeties. If the team intends to upgrade that position through the draft, here are three top prospects that might fit the bill (keeping in mind, of course, Washington does not own a first round selection):

Name: Matt Elam

School: Florida

The skinny: A versatile safety who makes big hits and relies on emotion, Elam, a two-year starter for the Gators, is one of the flashiest players at this year’s combine and is projected to be selected in the second round. Makes up for his lack of size (5-10, 202 pounds) with instincts, physicality and ball-hawking skills (six career INTs). Excels on special teams, too.

Name: Eric Reid

School: LSU

The skinny: At 6 foot 2, 208 pounds, Reid certainly passes the eyeball test. He's solid against the run and pass, possesses excellent closing speed and seeks out the types of big hits that put a receiver’s head on a swivel. Reid was the third-leading tackler for the Tigers last season, racking up 91. He also defended nine passes and posted two interceptions.

Name: Phillip Thomas

School: Fresno State

The skinny: The fifth-year senior led the nation with eight interceptions, returning three of them for touchdowns as he successfully bounced back from a gruesome leg injury that sidelined him in 2011. At 6-1, 215 pounds, Thomas can play both safety positions, takes pride in delivering big hits and is a solid tackler. Also, the California native told The Washington Post last month at the Senior Bowl that the Redskins were his favorite team growing up.