Because of the growth in passing and the position’s requirement to be able to operate as an extra cornerback in coverage and assist in stopping the run like a linebacker, the safety position has gained value over the past several years. These days, the position is staffed by some of the NFL’s most versatile players. Pro Football Reference’s Approximate Value, along with advanced measures like grades from Pro Football Focus, are among the criteria used to create this list. For representational purposes, a variety of safeties from different backgrounds complete the list, as the safety position is somewhat more diverse than others due to the use of players with varying skill sets.
A variety of players with different playing styles are attracted to the position of safety. This group includes players who are excellent at covering deep downfield as well as players who are outstanding at playing downhill and attacking opposing offences.
Top 10 NFL Most Valuable Safeties 2024
Below are the Top 10 NFL Most Valuable Safeties for the 2024 season:
10. Tyrann Mathieu, New Orleans Saints
According to the National Football League, Tyrann Devine Mathieu is a safety for the New Orleans Saints, who play in the American Football League.
This season, Mathieu has only given up 16 receptions on throws into his primary coverage, recording three interceptions and two pass breakups in the process. Among safeties, his 75.0 PFF grade is ranked 16th, while his 79.3 PFF coverage grade is ranked 11th.
9. Tashaun Gipson Sr., San Francisco 49ers
Tashaun Gipson Sr. is a safety for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League. He plays for the San Francisco 49ers. Wyoming was his college football team, and in 2012, he signed with the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free agent after playing college football there. The Chicago Bears, the Houston Texans, and the Jacksonville Jaguars are some of the other teams that Gipson has played for.
In his twelfth year in the league, Gipson is still going strong, ranking 17th among safeties this season (74.7). His performance has been consistent throughout, as seen by his 70.0-plus coverage and run defence grades.
8. Jevon Holland, Miami Dolphins
Jevon Holland is a safety who played for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League. Holland was born in Canada and currently plays for the Dolphins. He was selected by the Dolphins in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft after playing college football at Oregon. The Dolphins recruited him.
This season, Holland has the best coverage grade in the league at 90.7, and he has only allowed 19 receptions on throws into his primary coverage. He has also performed admirably against the run, ranking eighth among his peers with a run-defence rating of 83.2.
7. Xavier McKinney, New York Giants
Xavier Avis McKinney is a safety who plays for the New York Giants of the National Football League. He works in the sport of American football. In college, he was a football player for Alabama.
McKinney, who is headed to free agency after four years out of Alabama, is enjoying his greatest season to date. He has only missed 7.3% of his tackle attempts and has not yet allowed a touchdown on throws into his prime coverage.
6. Camryn Bynum, Minnesota Vikings
Camryn Bynum is a safety who plays for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League. She works in the sport of American football. The Minnesota Vikings took him in the fourth round of the United States National Football League Draft in 2021. He played college football for the California Golden Bears.
With a grade of 85.7 through 14 weeks, Bynum is the fifth-highest safety in the NFL and is enjoying his second year as a starter. In addition to setting a career-high in defensive stops (20), he also had career-highs in run defence (80.3) and coverage (84.9).
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5. Jessie Bates III, Atlanta Falcons
According to the National Football League, Jessie Bates III is a safety for the Atlanta Falcons, who play in the American Football League. He attended Wake Forest University during his college football career and was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round of the 2018 National Football League Draft.
A career-high PFF grade in Bates’ debut season with the Atlanta Falcons is also anticipated. He is second at the position with five interceptions and is ranked in the top three for both run-defense and coverage grade.
4. Jalen Thompson, Arizona Cardinals
Jalen Thompson is a safety who plays for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League. John Thompson is an American football player. At Washington State University, he was a collegiate football player.
Thompson, an undrafted free agent in 2019, is expected to receive a PFF grade that will set a career-best. For the Cardinals, he rotates about the defensive backfield, but on 543 of his 711 defensive snaps this season, he has lined up in the box or the slot.
3. Jabrill Peppers, New England Patriots
Jabrill Ahmad Peppers is a safety who plays for the New England Patriots of the National Football League. Peppers is associated with the sport of American football. He attended the University of Michigan during his college football career and was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the first round of the 2017 National Football League Draft.
Peppers ranks 12th among safeties with a coverage grade of 77.4 PFF. However, he has been among the league’s finest run-stoppers, with a run-defence grade of 91.8, second only to Winfield.
2. Antoine Winfield Jr., Tampa Bay Buccaneers
As a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League, Antoine Duane Winfield Jr. plays the position of safety in amateur American football. He attended the University of Minnesota for his collegiate football career and was selected by the Buccaneers in the second round of the NFL Draft in the year 2020.
Through Week 14, Winfield has the highest pass-rush grade of any player at his position (93.4). In 38 pass-rushing snaps, he has accumulated 15 total pressures. In coverage, he has also excelled; his seven pass breakups are tied for the most at the position.
1. Kyle Hamilton, Baltimore Ravens
As a member of the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League, Kyle Hamilton plays the position of safety in American football. Prior to being selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, he participated in collegiate football at Notre Dame, where he was recognized as a consensus All-American in 2021.
This season, Hamilton has lined up for the Ravens all over the field as a versatile safety. He can cover the slot, attack screens, and rush the passer when he is close to the line of scrimmage, which is where he excels. Among safeties, his 28 defensive stops rank fifth, and his 14 pressures rank third.