DB Darnell Savage Jr., Maryland

5’10” – 198 lbs. – 4.36

Started the last of ten games played as a freshman (eleven tackles on the year), then became a full-time starter the following year, posting 59 tackles, one interception, and four passes defensed. Followed that up with another 59-tackle campaign, this time with three interceptions and three breakups, then posted 52 tackles and four picks as a senior. Somewhat undersized free safety who moves around the field, lining up about ten yards off at times but also creeping up closer to play over bunch formations and defend screens. Overall usage and techniques he was asked to play were a little bit simpler than some of the other top safety prospects. Tended not to be used as a high safety too often; more frequently was in robber zones or coverage against opposing slot receivers. Wasn’t asked to backpedal too often, although he demonstrates good balance in limited snaps; overall range of ground he was asked to cover was also limited. At his best when he’s able to see an underneath route concept developing in front of him and come up to deliver a hit or break up the throw. Willing to get pretty physical at the route stem to disrupt opposing routes when working against opposing slot receivers, typically in zone; may lack the physical/athletic tools to be a desirable man-coverage matchup against too many pro receivers. Good on-ball production despite his frame; able to undercut throws. First instinct is to come up and support the run, and flashes speed when planting and driving on a spot. When he finds a direct path, closes well and can deliver some good hits on opposing runners despite his smaller frame. Able to get low and slip through congestion to get to the ball when defending screens; does a pretty good job of sniffing those out and making quick tackles. However, angles to the ball can be inefficient at times, and doesn’t have a wide margin of error because of his lack of length. The result are missed tackles. Will delegate to other players in the area at times. A three-year starter with some quickness, ball-skills, and ability to come up and make tackles from shallower zones, but who may need some seasoning before he’s able to contribute at the pro level, given the relatively simple assignments/techniques he was asked to play in college. Considerations of readiness, combined with a somewhat undersized frame, may relegate him to being more of a mid-round selection.

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