The Quarterback Blog looks at the Top 25 NFL Free Safeties as part of our look at the Top Active NFL Players. The Free Safety is a mix of the power hitting safety with a blend of speed and cornerback skills asked upon by their defense to do a little bit of everything.
TOP 25 NFL FREE SAFETIES
25.) TANARD JACKSON, Washington Redskins: In his 7th NFL season, Jackson has started 56 games after missing most of 2010 due to injury and all of 2012-2013 due to suspension. When active, has 10 interceptions, 27 passes defended and 5 forced fumbles to go along with his 199 tackles and 1 sack.
24.) KURT COLEMAN, Philadelphia Eagles: Has cooled off a bit in 2013, but in 54 games, Coleman has 7 picks and 147 tackles, all in Philly.
23.) TYRANN MATHIEU, Arizona Cardinals: The Honey Badger has been a boost in the Cardinal secondary providing Arizona with 2 picks, a sack, forced fumble, 7 passes defended and 53 tackles in his first 9 career games as a rookie. Should rise up this list.
22.) PATRICK CHUNG, Philadelphia Eagles: After 4 seasons in New England, Chung, now an Eagle, has a career 7 interceptions (1 for a TD) to go along with 21 passes defended and 171 tackles, including 67 in 2010.
21.) USAMA YOUNG, Oakland Raiders: On his way to a solid 2013 with 2.5 sacks this season (5 in his career) as well as 8 career picks and 161 tackles. Also won a Super Bowl in New Orleans.
20.) ERIC REID, San Francisco 49ers: Having a great rookie season in San Francisco recording 3 interceptions and 6 passes defended in his first 9 games to go along with 2 fumble recoveries and 32 tackles.
19.) MATT GIORDANO, St. Louis Rams: The veteran Giordano has played in 5 cities now and in 110 games providing 11 interceptions (2 for TD’s) and 19 passes defended to go along with 154 tackles.
18.) CHARLES GODFREY, Carolina Panthers: In his 6th year with the Panthers, Godfrey has 3 sacks, 11 picks (1 for a TD), 7 forced fumbles, 33 passed defended and 267 tackles.
17.) MORGAN BURNETT, Green Bay Packers: Also plays SS, Burnett has 3 sacks, 6 picks, 22 passes defended, 4 forced fumbles, 3 recovered fumbles and 199 tackles in just 42 NFL games in 4 seasons, including 1 Super Bowl.
16.) YEREMIAH BELL, Arizona Cardinals: The 10-year veteran, Bell has 13 sacks, 7 picks, 52 passes defended, 9 forced fumbles and 539 tackles playing both FS and SS. Was a Pro Bowler at FS in 2009.
15.) STEVIE BROWN, New York Giants: In his 4th NFL season and 3rd NFL team, Brown had 8 interceptions in 2012 with the Giants and 11 passes defended. Has 68 tackles in his career.
14.) HARRISON SMITH, Minnesota Vikings: In just 21 career games, Smith has 5 interceptions with 14 passes defended for 97 tackles.
13.) REGGIE NELSON, Cincinnati Bengals: The former Jag, Nelson has 5 sacks to go along with 17 interceptions, 50 passes defended and 6 forced fumbles with 328 tackles in 100 career games.
12.) MALCOLM JENKINS, New Orleans Saints: A 2nd Team All-Pro and Super Bowl winner, Jenkins has 5 career interceptions, 4.5 sacks, 35 passes defended and 248 tackles in his 5th NFL season.
11.) RYAN CLARK, Pittsburgh Steelers: Now in his 11th NFL season, Clark has played in 154 games winning 1 Super Bowl and voted to the 2011 Pro Bowl. Clark has accumulated 15 NFL picks and 51 passes defended to go with 548 tackles.
10.) THOMAS DECOUD, Atlanta Falcons: Pro Bowler in 2012, now in his 6th NFL seasons, has 14 picks, 3 sacks, 27 passes defended and 275 career tackles.
9.) ANTREL ROLLE, New York Giants: The veteran Rolle has 2 Pro Bowl appearances and a 1st Team All-Pro selection to go with a Super Bowl win. Also has 125 career games with 20 interceptions (4 for TD’s) and 55 passes defended with almost 600 tackles.
8.) ANTOINE BETHEA, Indianapolis Colts: In his 8th NFL season, Bethea has played in 116 games including a Super Bowl victory and 2 Pro Bowl elections to go with his 13 picks, 43 passes defended and 534 tackles.
7.) DEVIN MCCOURTY, New England Patriots: In his 4th season, the now Safety in New England has 15 career interceptions and 48 passes defended with 6 forced fumbles and 217 tackles. Also voted to a Pro Bowl in 2010 and 1st Team All-Pro nomination.
6.) MICHAEL GRIFFIN, Tennessee Titans: In his 7th NFL season, the 2-time Pro Bowler and 1st Team All-Pro nominee has 104 games under his belt with 21 intercepted passes and 49 passes defended to go along with 11 forced fumbles and 376 tackles.
5.) DASHON GOLDSON, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: After 6-seasons in San Francisco, Goldson, now a Buc, has 14 interceptions and 38 passes defended to go with 309 tackles and 2 Pro Bowl appearances (’11, ’12) and an All-Pro selection last season.
4.) ERIC WEDDLE, San Diego Chargers: In his 7th season as a Charger, Weddle was an All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection in 2011 in a season where he picked off 7 passes with 12 passes defended and 66 tackles. Also had a 103 tackle season in 2008. On his career, Weddle has 5 sacks and 16 picks with 55 passes defended and nearly 500 tackles.
3.) JAIRUS BYRD, Buffalo Bills: Probably in his last season as a Bill, Byrd (in 5 NFL seasons) has 19 interceptions (2 for TD’s), 30 passes defended, 10 forced fumbles and 235 tackles in 2 Pro Bowl seasons where he was elected 1st Team All-Pro also, most recently in 2012.
2.) EARL THOMAS, Seattle Seahawks: Thomas is a 2-time 1st Team All-Pro (’11, ’12) and Pro Bowl selection in just his 4th NFL season recording 14 interceptions, 29 passes defended, 5 forced fumbles and 227 tackles.
1.) ED REED, Free Agent: In his 12th NFL season, Reed has 9 Pro Bowl appearances and also nominated to 8, 1st Team All-Pro’s along with a Super Bowl last season in Baltimore. Despite his short tenure in Houston, Reed’s career has been remarkable including 6 sacks, 61 interceptions (7 for TD’s), 137 passes defended, 11 forced fumbles, 13 fumbles recovered (2 for TD’s) and 524 tackles including an incredible postseason resume as well. Reed was also selected as an NFL and AFC Conference Player of the Year.