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25 Days of Draftmas: Maryland safety Darnell Savage

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A versatile safety-corner hybrid that plays like the Honey Badger

NCAA Football: Temple at Maryland Art Pittman-USA TODAY Sports

A very Merry Draftmas to you! It’s 25 Days of Draftmas on Arrowhead Pride, where we’ll be giving you a Kansas City Chiefs draft prospect every day in April leading up to the NFL Draft. You’ll get a daily prospect profile like this one right up until Draft Day.


Darnell Savage, safety

5’11” | 198 lbs | Maryland

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Combine

40-yard dash Vertical jump Broad Jump 3-Cone Drill 20-Yard Shuttle Bench Press
40-yard dash Vertical jump Broad Jump 3-Cone Drill 20-Yard Shuttle Bench Press
4.36 39.5 126 7.03 4.14 11

Projected draft range: round two

I would take him in the: second round

One-sentence bio: Started three out of four years at Maryland showing his versatility by playing all over the secondary before being voted the practice player of the week at the Senior Bowl for defensive backs.

One-sentence scouting report: Highly instinctive, versatile missile that flies all around the field playing much bigger than his size shows.

One play:

How he fits in KC: Now that the Chiefs have secured some of their defensive line needs, the most significant hole left on the team is the secondary. All offseason, the Chiefs coaches and front office have been talking about safeties that are versatile and have some man-coverage ability. Tyrann Mathieu fits that bill but the Chiefs may be looking to upgrade the second safety position next to him.

This is where a player like Darnell Savage comes into play, with his experience as a slot defensive back and safety. Versatility is paramount with Savage, as he’s had a ton of reps in the box, kicked out into the slot and even played at deep safety. No matter where he’s playing, Savage’s elite athleticism shows up and he has instincts to read and react to plays in front of him. He has the best closing burst of any player in this draft class (and maybe the last few) and eliminates space or angles offenses think they have.

Savage shines in pass coverage, ranging from his ability to play man coverage from the slot or buzz around in underneath zones. He shows a good eye for finding the ball and even baiting quarterbacks into throwing into windows he can make a play on. His aggressive play style allows players behind him. At the Senior Bowl, he was the first choice for nearly every practice to play deep safety and acquitted himself well, showing promise that he can build on his range to make the transition in the next level.

The Chiefs will be in an exciting position for taking a safety in this draft because there are quality players who can play every type of role you could as, and it will just be a matter of which one they want. Pairing a player like Savage with Mathieu, who plays similarly and shares many of the same strengths, could create some very interesting wrinkles to the defense but also could the Chiefs with one of the smaller safety tandems in the NFL.

Want to read more player profiles from Arrowhead Pride’s 25 Days of Draftmas? Click here for the complete list. And to stay informed on the players in which the Chiefs have shown interest, be sure to check out AP’s Chiefs draft prospect visit and workout tracker.


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