2023 NFL Draft Safety Class: Brian Branch, Antonio Johnson Embody Theme of Versatility

In a vast and versatile 2023 NFL Draft safety class, there are countless player archetypes to choose from. Brian Branch and Antonio Johnson headline the group.

The 2023 NFL Draft safety class is noticeably less of a sure thing than recent positional classes. But if it all pans out and this class reaches its ceiling, it could end up delivering on its potential tenfold. Here’s a look at the group as a whole.

2023 Safety Draft Class

These are the safeties for the 2023 NFL Draft, listed by last name in alphabetical order:

  • Tyrell Ajian, Kentucky
  • Jaquan Amos, Ball State
  • Jordan Battle, Alabama
  • Xavier Bell, Portland State
  • Khoury Bethley, Arizona State
  • Stephan Blaylock, UCLA
  • Nico Bolden, Kent State
  • Raymond Boone, Bowie State
  • Brian Branch, Alabama
  • Justin Broiles, Oklahoma
  • Larry Brooks III, Tulane
  • Ji’Ayir Brown, Penn State
  • Sydney Brown, Illinois
  • Latavious Brini, Arkansas
  • Patrick Burke Jr., Wilfrid Laurier
  • Grayson Cash, UAB
  • Clifford Chattman, UTSA
  • Macon Clark, Tulane
  • Antonio Clary, Virginia
  • Cole Coleman, Elon
  • Chamarri Conner, Virginia Tech
  • Alex Cook, Washington
  • Anthony Cook, Texas
  • Trey Dean III, Florida
  • Tariq Drake, Ohio
  • Collin Duncan, Mississippi State
  • Kenderick Duncan, Louisville
  • Cyrus Fagan, NC State
  • A.J. Finley, Ole Miss
  • Khyon Fitzpatrick, New Haven
  • Trevon Flowers, Tennessee
  • B.J. Foster, Sam Houston State
  • Tye Freeland, William & Mary
  • Bricen Garner, Western Michigan
  • Jaydon Grant, Oregon State
  • Kai Gray, Lincoln (PA)
  • Jalen Green, Mississippi State
  • Dorian Hall, Florida International
  • Gurvan Hall, Utah State
  • Erick Hallett II, Pittsburgh
  • James Hawkins, Albany State
  • DeMarcco Hellams, Alabama
  • Xavier Henderson, Michigan State
  • Ronnie Hickman, Ohio State
  • Ja’Von Hicks, Cincinnati
  • Jordan Howden, Minnesota
  • Tanner Ingle, NC State
  • Christian Izien, Rutgers
  • Chris Jefferson, Purdue
  • Antonio Johnson, Texas A&M
  • Quindell Johnson, Memphis
  • R’Tarriun Johnson, Old Dominion
  • Darius Joiner, Duke
  • Tyreque Jones, Boise State
  • Brandon Joseph, Notre Dame
  • Keyron Kinsler Jr., Alcorn State
  • Marte Mapu, Sacramento State
  • Myles Mason, Louisiana Tech
  • Devon Matthews, Indiana
  • Derrick Maxwell, Emporia State
  • Tanner McCalister, Ohio State
  • Kaevon Merriweather, Iowa
  • Christian Morgan, Baylor
  • Jahmin Muse, Buffalo
  • Darrius Nash, Utah Tech
  • Blaine Netterman, Delaware Valley
  • Hunter Nichols, San Diego
  • Gervarrius Owens, Houston
  • Koby Perry, UCF
  • Shea Pitts, UCLA
  • Brennan Ray, Montclair State
  • Devonni Reed, Central Michigan
  • Jerrick Reed II, New Mexico
  • Otis Reese, Ole Miss
  • Hunter Reynolds, Utah State
  • Jammie Robinson, Florida State
  • Benny Sapp III, Northern Iowa
  • Daniel Scott, California
  • Javon Scruggs, Liberty
  • Ali Shockley, Hampton
  • Shannon Showers, West Florida
  • JL Skinner, Boise State
  • Christopher Smith, Georgia
  • Kendall Smith, Illinois
  • Olajuwone Smith, Benedict
  • Jonathan Sutherland, Penn State
  • Ammari Sylla, Virginia Lynchburg
  • Dadrian Taylor, UTSA
  • Jason Taylor II, Oklahoma State
  • Chris Thompson, Faulkner
  • John Torchio, Wisconsin
  • Rashad Torrence II, Florida
  • Bralen Trahan, Louisiana
  • Derrick Tucker, Texas Southern
  • Morgan Vest, Northern Arizona
  • Jay Ward, LSU
  • Kedrick Whitehead Jr., Delaware
  • Bennett Williams, Oregon
  • Kendall Williamson, Stanford
  • Divaad Wilson, UCF
  • Jaiden Woodbey, Boston College
  • Maxwell Worship, Vanderbilt
  • Avery Young, Rutgers
  • Christian Young, Arizona

Who Are the Top Safeties in the 2023 NFL Draft?

Most mock drafts have Brian Branch coming off the board as the first safety. Branch, in fact, has traction as a potential top-10 prospect. Past him, other talented defensive backs like Antonio Johnson, Jordan Battle, JL Skinner, Christopher Smith, Ji’Ayir Brown, and Jammie Robinson also have fans in the early rounds.

This class is unique because of the diverse assortment of player types at the position. Safety is naturally a position gencompassingasses many different archetypes, but the 2023 NFL Draft safety class is particularly wide-reaching. Many, such as Branch, Johnson, Robinson, and Smith, can play the slot, and there are also box warriors like Skinner and DeMarcco Hellams. Sydney Brown, meanwhile, has elements of both.

MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Cornerback Class

The depth of the safety class drops off relatively quickly compared to other positions. However, there are notable sleepers who, in the right situation, could exceed their draft billing. Florida’s Trey Dean III is one that stands out. He’s an elite athlete at 6’3″, 211 pounds, who can play slot CB and roam the box as an enforcer.

Other names to keep an eye on in the 2023 NFL Draft safety class include Jason Taylor II, Jay Ward, Daniel Scott, Quindell Johnson, A.J. Finley, and Anthony Cook. These are deep sleepers, but they have the talent to rise and flourish if given an optimal landing spot.

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