Atlanta Firebirds

Cornerbacks

Aaron Berry – 7

Brandon Boykin – 9a

Bruce Dukes – 6a

Mike Hilton – 6aa

Nick Marshall – 8aa

Jerraud Powers – 9c

LaRico Stevenson – 6a

Safeties

SS Matt Daniels – 7a

SS Isaiah Johnson – 7

FS Rahim Moore – 8c

FS Bacarri Rambo – 9a

Summary: Atlanta has to feel very good about the top end of their secondary. At cornerback they have three of the best around. Nick Marshall was an all-SFL cornerback as a rookie and looks like he can be one of the very best in the league again, but he might not even be the best cornerback on the team this year. Brandon Boykin and Jerraud Powers are fantastic veterans. After those guys, Aaron Berry is a solid veteran, then it’s some projects. Mike Hilton looks like he has a bright future. At safety, Atlanta again has some very good options and great depth. Baecarri Rambo is a fantastic free safety and Rahim Moore is a nice addition, though he has a lot to prove after playing his way out of the NFL. Matt Daniels and Isaiah Johnson are tremendous depth.

Birmingham Predators

Cornerbacks

Bene Benwikere – 7aa

Blake Countess – 6aa

Derek Cox – 7c

Chris Culliver – 8ci

Brandon Ghee – 7c

Safeties

SS Will Allen – 8D

FS David Bruton – 7c

FS Josh Evans – 8a

SS Dawan Landry – 7d

Summary: Birmingham did a very solid job getting veterans into their secondary, but while it should be competitive, it is an old unit that is expected to start. Will Allen and Dawan Landry are both 34 years old and nearing retirement. Dawan Landry was pretty bad in New York last year. Chris Culliver is a big name but has bum knees that have hurt his performance lately. Derek Cox and Brandon Ghee are purely backups. The Predators might be smart to quickly shift to younger guys who have shown solid potential, like Josh Evans, Bene Benwikere, and Blake Countess.

Carolina Generals

Cornerbacks

Juston Burris – 7aa

James Harrell – 7

Torez Jones – 6a

Kent Richardson – 7

Carlos Rogers – 8D

James Romain – 8

Ryan Smith – 7aa

Safeties

SS Jeremy Cash – 6aa

FS Kenny Ladler – 7aa

S Bryce Peila – 7a

SS Bernard Pollard – 8D$

Summary: Carlos Rogers still has something left in the tank but he’s nearing the end of his career. James Romain is solid too, but doesn’t look like he will get any better than he already is. Easily, the future of this secondary are Juston Burris and Ryan Smith. Both of those guys have shown a lot of potential in training camp. At safety, Bernard Pollard is a thumping veterans, but can be a liability in coverage. Bryce Peila has a surprising season last year when it came to getting turnovers, but that was probably him over-achieving. Kenny Ladler and Jeremy Cash look like promising younger players.

Charleston Dragons

Cornerbacks

Javier Arenas – 6

Adairius Barnes – 6aa

Briean Boddy-Calhoun – 7aa

Justin Coleman – 8aa

Leonard Johnson – 7aa

Akwasi Owusu-Ansah – 7

Nickell Robey-Coleman – 8aa

Safeties

SS Winston Guy – 8a

FS Jayron Kearse – 7aa

SS Kyle Sebetic – 6a

FS DeShawn Shead – 9a

SS Phillip Thomas – 7

Summary: Josh Norman will be sorely missed but while he was a huge part of their secondary last season, he wasn’t the only reason why they had the No. 1 pass defense in the league in 2016. Nickell Robey-Coleman is a stud who is only getting better and appears ready to step into the No. 1 spot on the team and becoming one of the best in the league. Justin Coleman is right behind and also looks like a stud. Behind those guys, Leonard Johnson and Briean Boddy-Calhoun look like very promising players and had good camps. At safety, DeShawn Shead was a tremendous player for the Dragons and another big reason why they finished top in the league in pass defense. Winston Guy is a very good No. 2 safety but Jayron Kearse is the future of the position. He had a remarkable camp.

Columbus Explorers

Cornerbacks

Zac Bowman – 9d

TJ Carrie – 8aa

Marcus Cooper – 9a

Ken Crawley – 7aa

Doran Grant – 6aa

Isiah Green – 6a

Jonathan Jones – 7aa

Tre Jones – 6a

Safeties

FS Quentin Demps – 10

FS Kurtis Drummond – 7a

SS Marwin Evans – 6aa

FS Brandian Ross – 8

SS Daniel Sorenson – 7a

FS Earl Wolff – 7ci

Summary: Columbus has to be very happy with how competitive their defensive back have been in training camp. Zac Bowman and Marcus Cooper are both coming off good 2015 seasons and had good camps that should set them up for a lot of success. TJ Carrie showed a great deal of promise too in camp and is right on their heels. On top of that, Ken Crawley and Jonathan Jones are promising young players who also had strong camp performances. Quentin Demps is an ageless safety who continues to play strong football and makes big plays. Brandian Ross is probably the second safety starting week 1, but Kurtis Drummond, Marwin Evans and Daniel Sorenson are all pushing for playing time.

Dallas Six-Shooters

Cornerbacks

Kenneth Acker – 9a

DeAndre Elliott – 6aa

Ciante Evans – 6aa

LaDarius Gunter – 8aa

Kevin White – 6a

Safeties

FS Major Culbert – 6c

SS Anthony Harris – 7aa

SS Jeff Heath – 8a

FS Pat Watkins – 9

Summary: Dallas had an incredible record-breaking year in 2016 when their secondary led them to 46 interceptions. That’s nearly three picks per game. While some of the guys are gone, most of them are back. The interesting thing here is that outside their interceptions, the Six-Shooters ranked in the lower third of the league in pass defense. If they don’t have all the picks it could be a little rough for them. Kenneth Acker is a fantastic cornerback and LaDarius Gunter is a great No. 2 cornerback ready for a truly breakout season as a shutdown guy, but behind them it’s only projects. At safety, Pat Watkins led the SFL with 11 interceptions and Jeff Heath is another good safety. Anthony Harris a good third guy, but behind them it’s very little. Great starters, iffy depth, opportunistic, but not overly good at shutting teams down without the interceptions.

Louisville Cougars

Cornerbacks

Alan Ball – 8c

Martel Durant – 6aa

Rod Issac – 6aa

Keynan Parker – 6a

Joe Powell – 7aa

Kalan Reed – 6aa

Laron Scott – 7a

Paul Woldu – 7

Safeties

FS Marquis Drayton – 6a

SS Kavon Frazier – 7aa

SS Ashley Lowery – 7a

FS AJ Stamps – 6a

SS Braylon Webb – 7a

Summary: There is reason to be excited about the future of the Louisville Cougars’ secondary, but it still might be a struggle for the unit overall in 2017. Alan Ball is a nice veteran addition with NFL experience and should bump Paul Woldu down to a more fitting spot as against No. 2 or No. 3 receivers. Joe Powell might push Woldu out of a starting spot, though, after a fantastic camp. Kalan Reed, Martell Durant and Rod Isaac could all become solid players in time, but look to be a ways away from being starters. At safety, Kavon Frazier had a great rookie camp and also looks like he can be a stud in the future. Ashley Lowery and Braylon Webb aren’t too far behind, but unless one of them moves to free safety they are blocked.

Houston Wranglers

Cornerbacks

Josh Bell – 7c

Tracy Belton – 7a

Jerrell Gavins – 7a

Aaron Grymes – 6aa

Tracy Howard – 7aa

Jonathon Mincy – 7aa

Loucheiz Purifoy – 7aa

Devin Smith – 6a

Safeties

SS Tarris Batiste – 6a

SS Craig Butler – 7aa

FS Jamal Golden – 6a

SS Adrian McDonald – 6aa

FS Dezmen Southward – 6aa

Summary: Houston is going with a slow build in their secondary. They have a lot of youth, some of whom come with a lot of potential, but this is not going to be a shutdown unit this year. Rookie Tracy Howard has been a very nice surprise in camp and looks like he may have earned himself a starting job. Loucheiz Purifoy bounced back nicely in Nashville after a struggling start to his career in Atlanta, and now Chris Dunn has him back and probably will be starting him. Jonathon Mincy is a solid rookie addition too who looks like he’s right in the mix with those guys too. Tracy Belton and Jerrell Gavins are two other guys with potential, but haven’t looked quite as good in camp. At safety, Craig Butler is ready for a big role right away, but after that we’ll have to see what guys like Adrian McDonald and Dezmen Southward can do.

Los Angeles Stars

Cornerbacks

Trey Caldwell – 6aa

Antone Exum – 7a

Jordan Poyer – 8aa

Kevon Seymour – 6aa

Josh Shaw – 7aa

Jamar Wall – 6a

Safeties

SS Dion Bailey – 7a

FS Arkeith Brown – 7c

SS Robert Lester – 7a

FS Taylor Loffler – 7aa

FS Brian Poole – 8aa

SS James Sample – 7aa

Summary: The secondary really let Los Angeles down last year. As great as their offense was, they suffered through a rough season because they just couldn’t stop anybody. Los Angeles didn’t do a whole lot to improve their secondary, but have made some nice strides. Jordan Poyer had a fantastic camp and should be due for a breakout year. If that happens then they’ll at least have a No. 1 cornerback, but Josh Shaw has a lot to prove to become a legitimate starter. Antone Exum has something to prove too. Trey Caldwell and Kevon Seymour both had good camps, but are a ways away from being legitimate contributors. At safety things do look better with first round draft pick Brian Poole having a great rookie camp. He’s been a bit of a surprise but looks like he can become an All-SFL caliber player in the future. But he is a rookie and behind him it’s a bit muddled. Taylor Loffler and James Sample both seem to have a lot of potential, but are also young guys. Robert Lester is a bit older, but still have some potential to get things going in the right direction.

Michigan Stags

Cornerbacks

Charles Gaines – 9a

Josh Johnson – 8a

Cre’veon LeBlanc – 7aa

Tony Lippett – 8aa

John Ojo – 10

Zack Sanchez – 6aa

Varmah Sonie – 6a

Safeties

SS Clayton Geathers – 8aa

FS DeAndre Houston-Carson – 7aa

SS Shiloh Keo – 7

FS Jarrod Wilson – 7aa

Summary: John Ojo came into camp with a chip on his shoulder that he was only a second team All-SFL player and looked incredible. Expect him to play with that burning fire all year long as he looks to prove he’s the best around. And while he would be enough for most teams alone, the Stags look to have maybe the deepest and most talented group around. Charles Gaines is coming off a very strong year of his own but took out for Tony Lippett. Michigan essentially red-shirted him as a rookie but he’s been fantastic in camp and looks like he can be one of the best in the league in a short time if given the proper attention. Then you have veteran Josh Johnson and rookie Cre’veon LeBlanc, who’s had a strong camp himself. They’re loaded at cornerback. Safety isn’t as loaded, but certainly it can be with high-ceiling players. Clayton Geathers is the veteran leading the group but both DeAndre Houston-Carson and Jarrod Wilson are rookies who both had strong camps and look like they can turn out to be very good players.

Minnesota Freeze

Cornerbacks

Malcolm Butler – 10

Terrell Chestnut – 6aa

Micah Hyde – 9a

Eric Murray – 6aa

Cord Parks – 8

Ryan Phillips – 8

Safeties

SS Clayton Fejedelem – 6aa

FS LaRoche Jackson – 7

FS Miles Killebrew – 7aa

SS Mark LeGree – 7

FS Robenson Therezie – 7aa

Summary: Malcolm Butler has surprised everybody as he’s gone from a small school to easily one of the best cover corners in all of football. He’s leading the way and the always-tough Freeze secondary has plenty behind him. Micah Hyde has gotten better and better each and every year and looks to be on the true cusp of elite this year. Behind those two, who make up one of the best duos in the league, Cord Parks and Ryan Phillips are two veterans who could start for a few teams in this league. At safety, it’s a bit of a youth movement with rookies Clayton Fejedelem and Miles Killebrew likely starting. Robenson Therezie is also in the mix while LaRoche Jackson and Mark LeGree are the veterans of the group.

Nashville Renegades

Cornerbacks

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu – 8aa

Mike Harris – 7

Stanley Jean-Baptiste – 7aa

Keenan Lewis – 8dc

Mike McMillan – 6a

Tyler Patmon – 8a

Safeties

SS Duke Ihenacho – 8aa

SS Brian Randolph – 6aa

FS Antoine Pruneau – 7a

FS Derron Smith – 7aa

Summary: Nashville made some big changes to their secondary in the middle of last season and with other big moves they made, it helped them get into the playoffs. Coming back this year, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu looks like he’s ready for a serious breakout year. Stanley Jean-Baptiste is also a player on the rise, but it will be interesting to see how they handle him and Tyler Patmon. Jean-Baptiste definitely had more potential, but Patmon is a free agent addition who is better right now. Keenan Lewis is a solid veteran addition too, but is on the downside of his career. At safety, the Renegades made a great addition by getting Duke Ihenacho from Orlando to lead their secondary. Derron Smith looks like he can be set for a quality second season as a starter again, but if he stumbles at all and has any sort of a sophomore slump then veteran Antoine Pruneau is on his heels.

New Orleans Nightmare

Cornerbacks

DJ Moore – 8

Eddie Moten – 8D

Captain Munnerlyn – 10

Rashard Robinson – 7aa

Clevan Thomas – 8D

Geoff Tisdale – 8

Safeties

SS Deon Bush – 7aa

SS Kyries Hebert – 7d

SS Ronald Martin – 6aa

FS Jalen Mills – 7aa

Summary: Captain Munnerlyn was an expensive, but great addition for New Orleans. The star who led the Rockets secondary to a championship is now in the Big Easy looking to give the Nightmare a much needed secondary boost. His addition will be great, because NOLA has a load of No. 2 cornerbacks and it will help them no longer be over-exposed against top receivers. Who the actual No. 2 cornerback will be is a mystery. Clevan Thomas is a legend, but is really up there in age and is at the end of his career. Eddie Moten is also past his prime but is still a very reliable veteran. Geoff Tisdale and DJ Moore are veterans who are reliable, but probably will only be what we see now. Rashard Robinson showed nice potential in camp. At safety, the Nightmare will be young. Deon Bush and Jalen Mills are very talented rookies, but we’ll have to see what they can do.

New York Marauders

Cornerbacks

Courtney Bridget – 7a

Arjen Colquhoun – 6a

Josh Hawkins – 7aa

Justin King – 8D

Tye Smith – 7aa

DJ White – 7aa

Cary Williams – 9

Safeties

SS CJ Barnett – 6a

FS Anthony Gaffney – 6a

SS WIll Hill – 8c

FS Derrick Kindred – 7aa

FS Durell Eskridge – 6a

FS Gerod Holliman – 6aa

Summary: Cary Williams really saved the Marauders secondary last season. After a horrible start, he came in and New York finished fourth in the league in pass defense. He doesn’t look like he is going to be any worse this year, but will be prone to a mistake or two. This offseason the Marauders also added SFL legend Justin King, the 2014 DPOY. King has been trending down, but he’s still going to be a great stopgap with the Marauders having quite a few young guys who have shown a lot of promise but may not be quite ready. Tye Smith had a good rookie year and rookie Josh Hawkins and DJ White all look like they have a lot of potential, but just need time to progress. Safety is a bit more muddled. They’re hoping that Will Hill, who has been blackballed by the NFL for positive PED tests, can stay playing at a high level with his system all clean now. Rookie Derrick Kindred looks like he has a lot of potential too and probably will start next to him. Gerod Holliman and Durell Eskridge were okay last year in a split starting role, but left a little to be desired.

Omaha Express

Cornerbacks

Deion Belue – 6a

Anthony Brown – 7a

Daniel Davie – 6a

Alfonzo Dennard – 8a

Greg Henderson – 6a

Jovon Johnson – 7

Joshua Mitchell – 6a

Safeties

SS Corey Cooper – 6a

SS Thomas Gordon – 7a

FS TJ Heath – 6a

SS Kyshoen Jarrett – 7ai

SS Taylor Mays – 8c

Summary: Dallas Hartwell risked Alfonzo Dennard on the waiver-wire but successfully got him over to Omaha to lead that secondary in their inaugural year. Dennard has always been a good but not great cornerback in the league. He’ll have a lot on him in Omaha with only prospects around him. Jovon Johnson may be the other starter right away based on his experience but it nothing to write home about. It’s hard to see many guys with too much potential either. This group will need to add talent unless somebody really just shocks the world. At safety, it’s kind of the same thing going on. Taylor Mayes is an NFL flameout but Omaha has high hopes for him. Thomas Gordon and Kyshoen Jarrett will battle it out for the second starting spot.

Orlando Rockets

Cornerbacks

Kevin Fogg – 7a

Montell Garner – 6a

Jacoby Glenn – 6a

Andre Hal – 8aa

Demetrius McCray – 8aa

Marcus Roberson – 7a

Damian Swann – 7aa

Safeties

FS Andrew Adams – 7aa

FS Adrian Amos – 8aa

SS Kentrell Brice – 7aa

FS Justin Cox – 6a

SS Dexter McCoil – 9a

FS Tyvis Powell – 6aa

Summary: The Rockets always draft well and it’s kept plenty them with plenty of talented players to work with this year, but the salary cap caught up to them a bit. They couldn’t afford to keep Captain Munnerlyn or Duke Ihenacho after they helped lead the rockets to a championship in 2016. That will hurt them, but they have some options. Demetrius McCray appears ready to take over as the team’s top cornerback. Andre Hal is right there with him and also had a great training camp. Damian Swann also appears ready to take over in the slot, but the group is still a step down from last year. Safety Dexter McCoil is the start of the entire group is coming off a very good 2016 season but again, the Rockets will have to rely on some unproven guys, but they are a talented group. Adrian Amos didn’t play much last year, but appears ready to breakout after an incredible training camp. Kentrell Brice and Andrew Adams are also talented players who provide incredible depth to the group.

Philadelphia Bulldogs

Cornerbacks

Marquis Floyd – 8D

Deiondre Hall – 6aa

Dwayne Hollis – 6a

Jordan Lucas – 6aa

Harlan Miller – 6aa

Marrio Norman – 6

Greg Reid – 7aa

JaCorey Shepherd – 6aa

Tavon Young – 8aa

Safeties

FS Jahleel Addae – 9a

SS Antonio Allen – 9

FS Ken Fontenette – 8D

Summary: Safeties Jahleel Addae and Antonio Allen are one of the better safety duos in the league and in a reserve role, Ken Fontenette can still be fantastic. Those safeties might have to be relied on a lot though, because Philly didn’t do too much to sure up one of the poorer units in the league. Tavon Young does look like he can be a top-notch cornerback, but putting it all on a rookie might be tough. He’ll take time to turn into an elite player. Marquis Floyd is an over-the-hill, but still competent veteran, but probably won’t be an overly great No. 2 cornerback. It’s going to take time for guys like Greg Reid, Harlan Miller, Jordan Lucas and Deiondre Hall to develop into anything reliable.

Phoenix Scorpions

Cornerbacks

Chykie Brown – 7

Lloyd Carrington – 6a

Emanuel Davis – 8

Pierre Desir – 7ac

Dominique Franks – 7

Abdul Kanneh – 8a

Nick VanHoose – 6a

Safeties

FS John Boyett – 7a

FS Maurice Leggett – 8a

SS Will Parks – 7aa

FS Keon Raymond – 7d

Summary: Phoenix’ secondary is more a sum of it’s parts than a group of top individuals. The Scorps mixed things up quite a bit last year but they seem settled on Abdul Kanneh, Emanuel Davis and Maurice Leggett leading the way. Kenny Phillips retired the day before camp and that was really unexpected and will hurt the team, but that might open the door for promising rookie Will Parks to get a starting job right away. Keon Raymond is a reliable veteran nearing the end of his career, but he is a versatile player the team could ask to start week one if Parks isn’t up to the task yet. At cornerback, Chykie Brown and Dominique Franks made some starts last year. They weren’t overly great, but could be solid backups. Pierre Desir is a very interesting NFL flameout, but is very talented and could maybe become something decent.

Pittsburgh Forge

Cornerbacks

Tommie Campbell – 7a

Jayron Hosley – 7a

AJ Jefferson – 6a

Lafayette Pitts – 6aa

Cassius Vaughn – 7a

Daryl Worley – 8aa

Blidi Wreh-Wilson – 7a

Safeties

FS Sergio Brown – 7a

SS KJ Dillon – 6aa

SS Ray Vinopal – 6a

SS Donte Whitner – 9d

Summary: Another expansion team, Pittsburgh will rely mostly on young players but at least brought in top-notch veteran Donte Whitner to lead the group this year. He’s still one of the better safeties around, though he is on the downside of his career. Sergio Brown has a bit of potential at free safety, though he may not be a long term option. At cornerback, territorial pick Daryl Worley looks like he can be a fantastic player, but it will be a slower progression for other players.

San Antonio Marshalls

Cornerbacks

Johnny Adams – 7a

Quandre Diggs – 7aa

De’Vante Harris – 6aa

Jeremy Kellem – 8a

Cody Riggs – 6aa

Kevin Rutland – 7a

Corey White – 8aa

Brandon Williams – 7aa

Safeties

SS Marc-Olivier Brouillette – 7

FS Cody Davis – 7aa

FS Thomas DeCoud – 8D

SS Corey Moore – 7aa

Summary: San Antonio’s defense still needs some work, but has a few guys who looks like they’ll be big parts of their future. Corey White has finally emerged as reliable top cornerback who looks like he can be a breakout of the year candidate. Jeremy Kellem also had a solid 2016 season, but might be capped as a No. 2 cornerback. Brandon Williams and Quandre Diggs had good camps and could provide some decent depth. Safety is a bit more of a concern immediately. Thomas DeCoud is reliable, but is past his prime. Cody Davis and Corey Moore need to step up and take over.

Seattle Orcas

Cornerbacks

AJ Bouye – 9a

Greg Ducre – 7a

EJ Gaines – 8aa

Fred Obi – 7a

Rayshaun Kizer – 8D

Micheaux Robinson – 6

Jonathan Rose – 6aa

Safeties

FS Chip Cox – 7d

FS Tashaun Gipson – 10f

SS Tony Jefferson – 10

FS Anthony Thompson – 6a

Summary: Tashaun Gipson was issued the first-ever SFL designated player tag and he’s worth every penny of that big contract. Gipson is the best safety in the league and led the defense that was the backbone to the Western Conference champion Orcas. And he has an incredible running mate in Tony Jefferson, who can also claim to be one of the very best

Washington Wave

Cornerbacks

Maurice Canady – 6aa

Chris Cook – 7

Travis Hawkins – 6a

Jonathan Hefney – 7

Charles Tillman – 8D

Josh Wilson – 8D

Safeties

FS Matthias Farley – 6aa

SS Dashon Goldson – 8D

SS Jacob Hagen – 6aa

FS Vic Hall – 7d

SS Johnny Sears Jr – 7

SS Marvin Ross – 6a

Summary: Washington went out and added some veterans to make this group better. It might not be as improved as some other areas on their team, but an 0-16 team can’t flip it around everywhere. Still, the additions of Charles Tillman from the NFL and Josh Wilson after a solid, though not outstanding, season with the Marauders gives the Wave two reliable starters they can count on. Chris Cook is also a decent veteran depth option, though Maurice Canady has a nice amount of potential. But he’ll require some patience. At safety, Dashon Goldson still has some left in the tank and should provide another nice veteran presence, but is over the hill.

SFL Top 5 Cornerbacks

1. John Ojo, Michigan Stags
– John Ojo has a big chip on his shoulder as he felt he should have been looked at as the best cornerback in the league. While Josh Norman is off to the NFL, Ojo won’t be able to prove it head-to-head against him, but he is on a mission to be the best shutdown corner.

2. Malcolm Butler, Minnesota Freeze
– It was a shame the Freeze didn’t make the playoffs last year because Butler didn’t get a great a chance to shine on the big stage but he is absolutely one of the best No. 1 cornerbacks in the league.

3. Captain Munnerlyn, New Orleans Nightmare
– The Nightmare spent big money to bring Captain Munnerlyn to the Big Easy and he’s going to be worth every bit of that money. Captain Munnerlyn is a top-notch cornerback and should provide New Orleans with a much-needed secondary star.

4. Brandon Boykin, Atlanta Firebirds
– Atlanta had a great run to the playoffs last year that was led by a great passing game, but Brandon Boykin had a fantastic season of his own and elevated himself to the elite group of cornerbacks.

5. Marcus Cooper, Columbus Explorers
– Marcus Cooper had a very, very good year that kind of flew under the radar last season. He started off as a project in Columbus but has developed into one of the better cornerbacks in the league. He was a big part of that team’s quick turnaround back into the playoffs.

HONORABLE MENTION: Kenneth Acker, Dallas Six-Shooters
– As previously mentioned, Dallas had an incredible season getting interceptions, which led to a league record by a team with 46. Acker had seven of them and he gets some props, but at the same time, Dallas was below average in overall pass defense. It’s interesting where we should put Acker but he deserves credit for what he can do when the ball is thrown his way.

SFL Top 5 Safeties

1. Tashaun Gipson, Seattle Orcas
– The Orcas issued the first-ever SFL Designated Player tag to keep Tashaun Gipson and he’s absolutely worth every penny of that expansive contract. Gipson led Seattle to the No. 3 pass defense in the league and to the SFL Grand Finale. He’s 26, the best in the league and somehow is still getting better.

2. Quentin Demps, Columbus Explorers
– Quentin Demps is as steady as they come at the safety position. At 31 years old he picked off seven passes and is coming into 2017 and had another strong camp. We should expect nothing less than another good season from him.

3. Tony Jefferson, Seattle Orcas
– Seattle might have the two best safeties in the league. He’s very strong in coverage but while he’s not going to pick a ton of passes off, he works so perfectly with Tashaun Gipson because he’s the thumping strong safety. He’s only 25. Seattle has two great, young safeties. This unit is going to be great for a long time.

4. Pat Watkins, Dallas Six-Shooters
– At 34-years-old it was unthinkable that Pat Watkins would end up with a league-best 11 interceptions in a 16-game season. He made teams pay when they threw shaky passes anywhere near him. As has been the criticism with Dallas, though, their overall pass defense was poor, so he won’t take a top three spot, but he’s as big of a playmaker as their is.

5. Dexter McCoil, Orlando Rockets
– Dexter McCoil appears to be on his way to superstardom after a strong 2016 season and a great training camp. He’s only 25-years-old and is just getting into his prime.

HONORABLE MENTION: Bacarri Rambo, Atlanta Firebirds
– Maybe it was a bit of a slower than expected start to Bacarri Rambo’s career, but he’s starting to live up to his potential. He had a strong 2016 season as a nice run-stuffer at the safety position and has looked very strong in cap this year.

Commissioner’s prospect watch (Top 7 Rookies and Sophomores)

1. Nick Marshall, CB, Atlanta Firebirds
– A former Auburn quarterback turned cornerback was an all-SFL player as a rookie. That was unexpected, but with a full year at playing cornerback under his belt and further development in the specialized potential, Nick Marshall’s future looks very, very bright.

2. Charles Gaines, CB, Michigan Stags
– Michigan’s secondary is so ridiculously deep and Charles Gaines was a very underrated rookie starter last year in their great unit. He’s established himself as a shutdown guy already and could become one of the league’s best cornerbacks with great follow up sophomore season.

3. Iko Ekrpe-Olomu, CB, Nashville Renegades
– Iko Ekpre-Olomu was a first round pick for the Renegades last year and quickly turned into their top cornerback. This year he looks to have a follow-up breakout season.

4. Brian Poole, FS, Los Angeles Stars
– New Stars owner owes a big thank you to temporary owner Carlton Jefcoat for finding this gem in the draft. Some scratched their heads when the Stars took Poole in the first round but he’s been fabulous in camp and looks like he’ll be the start of their entire defense in 2017.

5. Adrian Amos, FS, OrlandoRockets
– Philly should be upset with themselves for letting this guy go in a trade, but while Amos did not play too much as a rookie for a loaded secondary, he is clearly a superb athlete with tremendous potential. He’ll be given a starting job now with Duke Ihenacho having been traded and we expect him to his the ground on a full sprint.

6.Tony Lippett, CB, Michigan Stags
– The Stags essentially redshirted Tony Lippett as a rookie but he didn’t take the lack of playing time as a sign that the team didn’t like him, instead of worked his butt off and got significantly better. In college he played both wide receiver and cornerback but now that he’s settle in and is perfecting his skills at one position he looks like he is going to be one of the better cornerbacks in the league once he hits the field.

7. Tavon Young, CB, Philadelphia Bulldogs
– With how poorly the Bulldogs secondary played last year they needed a defensive back to shine in camp and the guy who appears to be shining the brightest is Tavon Young. The rookie out of Temple might stand small at only 5-foot-8, but he plays a lot bigger, is incredible tough and jams even bigger receivers at the line. But he also has the speed to keep up with anybody.

By the Numbers:
10 Ratings: 6 (2.38%)
9 Ratings: 16 (6.34%)
8 Ratings: 54 (21.43%)
7 Ratings: 100 (39.68%)
6 Ratings: 76 (30.16%)