2021 NFL Draft: Diamond in the Rough- Safety

The safety class this year is arguably the thinnest of any position. With Trevon Moehrig, Richie Grant, and Jevon Holland firmly at the top, it feels like there isn’t anyone outside of those three. I thought of doing Jamar Johnson from Indiana here but I feel like he is finally getting the respect he deserves so instead I will go with a true diamond in the rough. That “diamond” being Mizzou’s Tyree Gillespie. Gillespie is a highly skilled defensive back who’s best fit is at strong safety in the NFL. Gillespie however, should not be confined to the box, and should be allowed to use his range in the NFL. He is a big hitter who has coverage ability and plays with great instincts.


At 6’0″ 210 lbs, Gillespie is a little bit on the small side but taller than Vonn Bell, and in the same general height pool as Keanu Neal, and Jamal Adams so it shouldn’t hold him back too much. Gillespie looks lightning fast on tape and put the proof in the pudding when he ran a 4.38u forty yard dash. Tyree can absolutely move.


Gillespie is a see ball get ball kind of defender. He has excellent speed and the range to crash the box from any area of the field. Tyree is a big hitter and is one of the most reliable tacklers in the draft. He has good coverage ability and was able to flaunt that at the Senior Bowl.

Closing Thoughts

Not many people have the speed and reliability of Gillespie. He has everything you want in a safety and proved himself both in the SEC and at the Senior Bowl. He is flying way under the radar and will be picked much higher than people think come draft day.

Best Fits

Atlanta Falcons

After the departures of Kazee, Ricardo Allen, and Keanu Neal, the Falcons are in desperate need of safety help. Gillespie would have a chance to grab either of the safety spots and would impress in that scheme.

Chicago Bears

The Bears are rolling with Deon Bush right now at strong safety and he may be the answer but bringing in Tyree to compete would be an advised option. I believe Gillespie could win the Bears starting spot.