Maryland safety Darnell Savage Jr. has been somewhat of a sleeper through the NFL Draft process. Over the last few months, he hasn’t received quite the attention as some of the other first- and second-round draft picks, but is still a high talent to a lot of experts.
Savage has been considered a second-round prospect through most of the offseason, but ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. recently told Pardon My Take that the former Terrapin could sneak into the first round on Thursday. That’s surprising, considering there hasn’t been much talk about the safety.
And Kiper isn’t the only one who’s extremely high on Savage. Fellow ESPN draft expert Todd McShay said he loves watching tape on the defensive back.
“I just love watching his tape,” McShay said. “He’s always right there when a play needs to be made. Every time you see the ball and play finish, it seems like he’s in on the play.”
Savage did just about everything for the Terrapins last season, totaling 52 tackles, 5.5 for loss and hauling in four interceptions, including a pick-six. He was a consistent player on the Maryland defense for the last three seasons and recorded a minimum of 50 tackles and one interception each year since 2016.
Clearly, Kiper and McShay believe his skillset can transfer to the NFL and could result in a high draft pick.
If Savage creeps into the first round, it would be of significance for Maryland. Since 2009, the Terrapins have had just one player selected in the first round of the NFL Draft since 2009 — wide receiver D.J. Moore who went No. 24 overall last year.