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Cardinals Draft Primer 2019: Safety

Position is led by talented duo of Baker and Swearinger, but depth needed

General Manager Steve Keim upgraded several areas of the roster in free agency, but there is still work to be done. The Cardinals have 10 picks in this month's draft, including No. 1 overall, as Keim aims to stock the roster for new coach Kliff Kingsbury. We will take a look at each position group heading into the draft, which will be held from April 25-27.

Draft primer: Safety

More draft primer analysis: QB I LB I WR I DL I TE I CB I ST I OL

Players under contract: Budda Baker, D.J. Swearinger, Rudy Ford, Jonathan Owens

Need: Medium

The Cardinals' situation: The top of the depth chart is impressive. Baker was a Pro Bowl alternate at the position in 2018 and is one of the core players on defense heading into his third season. Swearinger played well for the Cardinals in 2016 and the team brought him back on waivers at the end of last year. The duo continues the team's extended run of talented safeties. The position is short on depth after Antoine Bethea was released and Tre Boston departed as a free agent. Ford is an athletically gifted player who needs to make mental strides to get a chance on defense, while Owens will aim to make the team after tearing his ACL last offseason.

The draft class: There aren't any safeties projected to be chosen in the first round. Washington's Taylor Rapp, Delaware's Nasir Adderley and Florida's Chauncey Gardner-Johnson are among the prospects who are projected to go on the second day. Mississippi State's Johnathan Abram, Virginia's Juan Thornhill, Alabama's Deionte Thompson and Maryland's Darnell Savage are some of the other most prominent safety prospects.

The conclusion: The Cardinals regularly used three safeties in nickel formations the past few years, with players like Baker and Tyrann Mathieu playing the slot. That role is expected to go to a cornerback this season, which means only two safeties will be needed on the field the majority of the time. Baker and Swearinger have those roles locked down, but the Cardinals could use some depth behind them in case of injury. While this position isn't a glaring need, a draft pick could help fortify the group initially and have a chance for a bigger role down the line.

Images of some of the top safety prospects heading into the April 25-27 draft

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