They say you don't take a safety fifth overall but then, in the same breath, they say Eric Berry is the best safety since Sean Taylor (also taken fifth overall).
A Tennessee beat writer joined Soren Petro on the Red Zone on KCChiefs.com this week to talk about Berry's transition into the NFL and why he may be the exception to the "No safeties that high" rule.
(Editor's Note: The Red Zone audio isn't loading for me right now -- may be my computer -- and I didn't take this writer's name down when I transcribed last night. So when I can listen to the audio, I'll update this post with his name. My bad, nameless Tennessee beat writer.)
"He was pretty much an instant success," the UT writer said.
Indeed playing as a freshman isn't something that should be overlooked, particularly in the ultra-competitive SEC. It was Berry's versatility (Chiefs buzz word!) that helped him play early. And that versatility was demonstrated when Monte Kiffin came to take over the Tennessee defense.
"When Monte Kiffin took over that defense, they used him a number of different roles," he said. "He is not a regular safety. He can do just about everything. He can be a nickel guy going man-to-man in the slot. He can play corner. In their defense, he even lined up as a weakside linebacker, at times, depending on the alignment of the offense."
Mr. Petro suggested one weakness with Berry was tackling. I think both folks knew at this point they were "looking hard for a weakness."
"I dont know if I agree with that," he said to Petro's question of Berry's tackling skills. "There was a great play...He mixed it up with Tim Tebow down in Gainesville last fall. I mean, Tebow was a huge guy, and he wrapped him up and knocked him down pretty good. I would not say he's a weak tackler, but that's just me."
Anyone else find a weakness? I mean, I hate to build the guy up to be Superman but the more I read, the more I realize how complete he is.