2019 NFL Draft Prospect Report: Darnell Savage

Picture Credit: Maryland Athletics

Picture Credit: Maryland Athletics

Name: Darnell Savage

Position: S

School: Maryland

Listed Height: 5’11

Listed Weight: 198

Strengths: While he is undersized, Savage packs a punch and erupts to the ball with an explosive burst and quick feet. He has the versatility to play in zone, track the box, and line up over the slot. When in the slot, he can mirror routes effectively and stay in phase until the whistle. He is very fluid in his lower half, and easily opens and matches route movements. Is very instinctive from multiple alignments, as he feels out route concepts while being able to anticipate breaks with reactionary quickness. He effortlessly digests eye and body movements from the QB and times up his attack of throwing windows in sync with the pass.  When he identifies the runner, he instantly plants and drives off of his back foot to close space between him and the ball. Savage mixes range with ball skills to put himself in position to flip the field. When pursuing, he is a hard hitter who takes accurate angles to the ball carrier and has elite catch up speed. On run downs, he can work downhill to help plug gaps and finish on the run. He keys in on run direction early and accurately while being able to sort through trash to get to the ball.

Weaknesses: He has an undersized frame that would benefit from more bulk. Has issues anchoring and disengaging off of blocks and shows a lack of overall length. When tackling, he doesn’t have ideal grip strength and can fail to finish. Can improperly process receivers moving though zones and can over pursue angles,  giving up completions and big play opportunities after the catch.

Overview and Insights: Savage is not ideally sized, but has all the traits you can ask for in a modern day NFL safety. He can match up over the slot, as he is at his best when reading routes from off coverage, and he is functional in cover 2.  In any spot, he will show off fluidity, elite acceleration, ball skills, instincts, and aggressive strikes on the ball carrier. He will be an NFL starter who can be functional in multiple spots across the defense, which adds to his value.

Round Projection: 2nd-3rd

Ideal Fits: Jaguars, Panthers, Chargers

Pro Comparison: Lamarcus Joyner

Scout: Taylor Moser