Nate Salley S 6'3 220 Ohio St.
By: Robert Davis
Nate Salley has been a mainstay in the Buckeye secondary since his sophomore season. He spent time as a corner early on, but once he settled in at free safety in 2003, he became one of the biggest hitters in the Big 10. As a sophomore, he finished the season with a career high 77 tackles. As a junior he earned All Big 10 2nd team honors after racking up 55 tackles in the secondary. This past season, he only had 43 tackles, but was good enough to earn All Big 10 1st team honors.
Salley may be one of the most physically gifted safeties in this draft. He has excellent size, is a good athlete, and displays good speed on the football field. His name has been made by the number of big hits he has delivered during his Buckeye career. He can absolutely come up and lay the wood on opponents. Salley is such a good athlete, that he played basketball early on at Ohio St.
For all his talent, he has never made enough plays to warrant the hype he has gotten. He has the ability to be a dominator in coverage and in the running game with his combination of size, speed, and strength. Instead he's been beaten deep in coverage, bites on fakes, and has missed quite a few tackles.
Despite all his experience, Salley needs more work at the next level. His mindset has been to knock the snot out of players, but in the process he'll give up plays in coverage, and miss on tackles while trying to make the big hit. Nevertheless, he has the ability to really fly up the boards with good workouts. In a very deep safety class, Salley will not likely hear his name called on Day 1. He has the talent to develop into a player, but he is a work in progress.
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