There has been some buzz around the Washington Football Team safeties during the 2020 training camp. We know Landon Collins is the undisputed starter at strong safety, and the new coaching staff is very excited about how they’ll be able to utilize him around the line of scrimmage. Who will start opposite Collins would likely be decided by whoever stands out in training camp. The two players competing for that position are 2018 fourth-rounder Troy Apke and recent free-agent acquisition Sean Davis. Both are excellent athletes and operate well in the single high setting that Washington will ask of them this season. However, there are some other interesting safeties on the Washington roster. Who are the ones to look for this coming season?
Washington safeties 2020
- Landon Collins
- Troy Apke
- Sean Davis
- Deshazor Everett
- Jeremy Reaves
- Kamren Curl
One sure-fire starter and a battle for the other spot
We know with certainty that Collins will be the starting strong or “box” safety. Collins was occasionally misused last season, put into deep coverage, and asked to carry the receivers down the field way too often. Under the new coaching staff, Collins will be asked to play by the line of scrimmage at nearly all times. He’s one of the top box safeties in the NFL, he’s an elite run defender and an effective pass rusher. Expect Collins to remain one of the most productive safeties in the NFL in tackles, tackles for loss, and sacks.
The starting free safety is currently a two-horse race between Apke and Davis, with Apke seemingly possessing the inside track. Both players have the requisite athletic ability to play the single high free safety Washington desperately needs. However, both players aren’t without faults. Neither is very good in man coverage, and both take poor angles against the run causing them to be liabilities as the last line of defense. Both players have elements they need to clean up, so the player with the smoothest training camp will likely be the starter.
So far, all reports point to Apke being the biggest safety standout in camp. He’s made plays as the single high safety on numerous occasions. Getting his hands on a couple of interceptions, a number of pass deflections, and even had a big hit on Steven Sims Jr. forcing him to drop a would-be first down. If Washington can get a productive season from whoever is their starting free safety, it’ll be a major weight off the franchises back.
A special teams star leads the depth options for Washington’s safeties in 2020
The first player off the bench will likely be Deshazor Everett, the captain of the special teams unit. A sound tackler and decent in coverage, Everett can operate as a solid third or fourth safety but his true value to the team is brought on special teams. He’ll continue to be a star on kick coverage, and as long as he is he’ll have a place on the roster.
It is likely Washington only carries four safeties, with a potential max of five in 2020. The team currently has six safeties in total on the roster. The final two are Jeremy Reaves and Kamren Curl. Reaves was a preseason standout last year, and Curl was a draft selection this season out of Arkansas. They’re different players and each has their own play-style so it may come down to which skill-set the coaches deem more valuable or important.
Reaves is a shorter and stockier player at 5-11 and 205 pounds, while Curl is taller and slender at 6-2 and 198 pounds. Reaves has made an impact in camp this year, but Curl was drafted by the current regime. Reaves is a more natural safety while Curl blurs the line between linebacker and safety. It’s unlikely that both make the team, but it’s not impossible. Both will also be options for the 2020 practice squad.
For the 2020 season, the Washington safeties will have a major impact on the success of the defense. The team has a productive safety in Collins. He’s one of the top box safeties in the NFL, and he will be an impact around the line of scrimmage. PFN’s Matt Williamson ranked the top 25 safeties in the NFL and mentioned Collins.
The free safety spot across from Collins will come down to whoever wins the job between Davis and Apke, with Everett making the roster as a special teams staple. Reaves and Curl will battle it out to see who wins the final safety spot, while also trying to make a case for Washington to decide to carry six safeties in 2020.