Top Safeties at the 2023 Shrine Bowl Include Bennett Williams, Trey Dean III, and Jordan Howden

    The top safeties at the 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl are a group of savvy veterans led by Oregon's Bennett Williams, and they can do it all.

    The top safeties at the 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl will make you turn your head as a viewer or NFL decision-maker. A group of savvy veterans led by Oregon’s Bennett Williams, the safeties at the Shrine Bowl can do it all.

    Top 2023 Shrine Bowl Safeties NFL Draft Prospects

    1) Bennett Williams, Oregon

    It took Bennett Williams some time to get his bearings in Eugene. But once the Illinois transfer did so, the wait was well worth it. In his final season, Williams was all over the field for the Ducks, ripping off passes not even in his coverage zone and stuffing ball carriers for a stop.

    Williams was a key component to the Ducks’ resurgence on defense, and his all-around ability was on display each week. Where he plays at the Shrine Bowl will go a long way toward where he’s viewed in the NFL, but don’t be surprised to see Williams making multiple plays in Vegas.

    2) Gervarrius Owens, Houston

    A terrific coverage back, Gervarrius Owens is at his best when he can roam the field and make plays on the ball with his elite coverage instincts. A truly smothering defender, Owens blankets receivers in his coverage area with terrific speed and athleticism.

    MORE: Top 5 QBs at the 2023 Shrine Bowl

    Owens will also be a valuable NFL special teams unit member as early as day one at the next level. At the Shrine Bowl, however, watch for the former cornerback to make his mark during one-on-one drills.

    3) Trey Dean III, Florida

    After five years in the Swamp, most people know Trey Dean III down south. Now, the Florida Gator can put his name further on the map with a dominant performance at the Shrine Bowl. Dean is a bully over the middle of the field and a physically-imposing force at the catch point.

    He is a disciplined hitter and makes plays on the ball as frequently as he makes tackles around the line of scrimmage. Expect to hear Dean’s name often in Vegas.

    4) Christian Izien, Rutgers

    Rutgers’ defense saw quite a bit of improvement during the 2022 season, thanks largely to the play of their secondary. Christian Izien, a longtime member of the Scarlet Knights, was an integral piece to that improvement as he dominated in a nickel/strong safety role for coach Greg Schiano.

    Izien has plenty of speed and athleticism to close on the football and stick with receivers of all types in coverage. He also had no issue influencing the play, both with his pass-rushing skills and his ability to stuff the run on defense.

    5) Jordan Howden, Minnesota

    A sticky coverage defender, Jordan Howden is absolutely on his way up draft boards as he enters the 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl. Get your shares of his now before he vaults his stock with his ability to cover any defender and stop any ball carrier.

    MORE: Top WRs at the 2023 Shrine Bowl

    Howden plays an incredibly well-disciplined game and a fundamentally-sound one at that. He’s a sure tackler, and if he gets his hands on you, you’re going down. In coverage, he’s at his finest, but he’s no slouch at every other facet on defense.

    Other Safeties To Watch

    • Christian Young, Arizona
    • A.J. Finley, Ole Miss
    • Art Green, Houston
    • Tyreque Jones, Boise State

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