November 24, 2022

Budda Baker is no longer the best dog: Ranking the best safeties of 2022

8) Micah Hyde – Buffalo Bills

Buffalo has a dynamite safety due to Hyde and Jordan Poyer (more on him later) and both can do it all. Hyde had 5 INT and 4 TFL. His instincts are crazy and he can really play Centerfield. Look at this crazy choice against Mac Jones.

7) Budda Baker – Arizona Cardinals

Baker was my No. 1 ranked safety last year and while he didn’t play at exactly the same level last year, he’s still a Pro Bowl player. At 5’10” 195 pounds, he’s undersized, but he’s dripping with instinct and will punch you in the mouth.

6) Kevin Byard – Tennessee Titans

As ironman, he hasn’t missed a match in his six-year career and he’s probably just had his best season. 1st team All-Pro and a Pro Bowler with 5 INTs and 13 passes defended, he can really play Centerfield. He also has a terrific awareness and will hit a ball if given the chance.

5) Antoine Winfield Jr. – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Winfield was a 2nd round pick two years ago and grabbed immediate attention by giving Tyreek Hill the duces in Super Bowl LV. Winfield followed that up with a Year 2 Pro Bowl season where he made plays all over the court. Despite his lack of ideal height at 5’9″, he can still climb the ladder and make plays when needed.

4) Derwin James Jr. – Los Angeles Chargers

After an injury that plagued 2019 and missed the entire 2020 season, James returned to Pro Bowl form in 2021 and set a career high in tackles (118). He’s the backline anchor of a LOADED Chargers defense in 2022, so hopefully he can stay healthy as they’re set for a huge year in Star City.

3) Jordan Poyer – Buffalo Bills

Last year, I removed Poyer from my top 100 list. His wife, Rachel Bush, took umbrage. She had her reasons, which I respect, and this year her husband left no doubt. He is clearly one of the best Safeties in the league after his 5 INT, 3.0 sack and 8 TFL seasons and his 1st All-Pro team in 2021. Poyer has proven he can both knock you out and make plays too on the ball and Hyde (#78 on the roster) form the best safety duo in the league.

UPDATE: Mrs. Bush is more satisfied with the placement this year.

2) Justin Simmons – Denver Broncos

Simmons didn’t make the Pro Bowl this year, but he’s arguably one of the best safety players in the game. His instincts and reach are exceptional and he continually makes big plays. I’m delighted to see him continue to shine in the turmoil of AFC West.

1) Minkah Fitzpatrick – Pittsburgh Steelers

I have Fitzpatrick ranked as my top safety. He does everything. He has exceptional instincts, range and on-ball production. He’s also not afraid to stick his nose in a space and punch you as he finished 2021 with a career-high 124 tackles.

Here is the full list: