By: Steven Tauro
April 27, 2020
Before we start this article, we would like to thank, Landon Collins, NFL Safety of the Washington Redskins and former New York Giant, for your shoutout! Throughout the history of the game we have seen many hard hitting players like Sean Taylor, Brian Dawkins, and Kam "Bam Bam" Chancellor that make the game enjoyable for fans. Obviously in 2020 the game has changed for the safety of the players, but these guys have changed their game to make a powerful impact the right way. In this article we will discuss the hardest hitting safeties across the NFL today.
Landon Collins S Washington Redskins
Since being drafted by the Giants in 2015, Landon has definitely made his impact in the NFL. On top of being one of the hardest hitters in the league, Collins has consistently put up top safety numbers regardless of having a team switch. Being compared to the rest of the players at his position, since his rookie season in 2015, Landon Collins has the most solo and combined tackles by a large margin. Recording 554 combined tackles and 407 solo tackles, nearly 100 more combined tackles and 50 more solo tackles than anybody else in that time span, goes to show the difference he creates for NFL defenses. Let's not forget 31 tackles for loss, ranking 2nd for his position.
Harrison Smith S Minnesota Vikings
One of the most under appreciated players in the league, Harrison Smith, has been making his presence felt since he was drafted in 2012. For the past 8 years, Smith has led all safeties in sacks with 13. Usually from the safety position, blitzing doesn't always lead to pass rush production, but being ranked 2nd in quarterback hits with 26, shows how successful and dominant Smith is. Harrison's impact and hard hitting isn't only felt by the QB's, WR's, and TE's, in that time frame the safety had 37 tackles for loss, also being known as a great run defender.
Justin Simmons S Denver Broncos Apple Podcast:https://apple.co/35fW05K
One of the younger guys in this group is just hitting his prime, Justin Simmons. The former 3rd round pick from Boston College just got hit with the franchise tag, while a long term deal is negotiated. As the backend for that Broncos defense, Simmons is tied for 2nd with Jamal Adams for 20 passes defended since 2018. Not only effective in coverage, the safety is in the top 10 in total tackles for his position since 2018 with 190.
Jamal Adams S New York Jets
Regardless of his freakish production, the Jets continue to shop Pro Bowl Safety Jamal Adams. Having the most tackles for loss, 28, nearly doubling all safeties with sacks, 12, and quarterback hits, 23, statistically, physically, and mentally, players don't get much more productive than Jamal. With all of that being kept in mind, Adams is also 4th of all starting safeties in solo tackles with 210, since 2017. Whether the Jets choose to trade him or not, Jamal Adams will be one of the hardest hitting player in this league for years to come.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix S Dallas Cowboys
For those of you that don't know, there is no mistake here. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has been one of the hardest hitting and most productive safeties regardless of his team. Being drafted by the Redskins, and later playing for the Packers and Bears, Ha Ha is now a Dallas Cowboy. Since 2014, Clinton-Dix has the 2nd most solo tackles for a Safety in the NFL with 417, 10 behind veteran Antoine Bethea who has a total of 427. Now with a star on his helmet, Ha Ha is primed to shine
Tyrann Mathieu S Kansas City Chiefs
Fresh off of a Super Bowl, the story of the "Honey Badger" continues to get better. Starting his career in the desert with the Cardinals, Mathieu was playing Free Safety, which is just a tad different from our hard hitting Strong Safeties. Having a career change and landing with the Texans, Tyrann has the versatility to consistently play any defensive back position. A year after signing with the Texans, the "Honey Badger" finds himself in Kansas City. Since 2013, the safety is tied for 2nd in tackles for loss, tied for 4th in quarterback hits, and 5th in sacks from the Safety position. If your nickname is the "Honey Badger" you deserve to be on this list.
Malcolm Jenkins S New Orleans Saints
Drafted by the New Orleans Saints in 2009, Jenkins has made his presence in the NFL, on and off the field. Winning a Super Bowl with New Orleans in 2010 and with the Eagles in 2018, Malcolm has been idolized as a player. Since being drafted in 2009, Jenkins has nearly 700 solo tackles, while adding in 41 tackles for loss and 27 QB hits, being ranked in the top 3 for these Safety statistics. Returning to New Orleans for one last chance at a Championship is on the mind of one of the better safeties in the past decade.