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Safety Plan: Assessing Markelle Martin and Brandon Taylor

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Justin Shoemaker

Markelle Martin, S, Oklahoma State

Pros

  • Rarely misses tackles in box
  • Knows right time to make a “highlight hit” versus safe tackle or going for pick
  • Decent range
  • Takes good angles against run
  • Can press due to long frame (6’1”)
  • Always in position, high football IQ

Cons

  • Not great tackler in space; in position, but can play out of control instead of breaking down
  • Range can improve dramatically if he works on mechanics, which are sub-par right now
  • Poor turn-and-run
  • A lot of upside, but also a low floor

Brandon Taylor, S, LSU

Pros

  • Fast safety, running in the 4.4s
  • Fits much better as a FS than a SS, but he’s versatile enough to play both
  • Willingness to jump routes; instinctual
  • Great man coverage for safety; can press with long frame and has ability to close on routes
  • Can play slot well

Cons

  • Solid tackler at times, but inconsistent with angles to ball-carrier
  • Can jump routes prematurely
  • Despite coverage ability, range in deep half only average; he’s not Ed Reed, he’s more of a cornerback type
  • Perhaps straight-line player who could struggle sideline-to-sideline
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