2019 Raiders Draft Profile
Name: Darnell Savage
School: The University of Maryland
Weight: 200 pounds
Round Projection: 4
Regardless of his assignment, Savage maintains a blistering pace of play. From driving towards the line or staying with tight ends, the burst is real. More importantly, houses definitive explosion. While others will fly around without a plan, Savage sees and heads to the target. In addition, he shows the speed to stay with receivers, tight ends, and slot wideouts.
As mentioned, versatility is Savage’s calling card, as coaches can place him in a myriad of spots. When playing the deep safety, he uses visions, angles and a natural field for either man or zone. When faced with bunch or multiple routes to his side, Savage does not seem to get lost in the wash. With a keen understanding, Savage always seems to not sag in coverage or allow for much separation,
First, you noticed the change-of-direction. If the play flows away from him, Savage quickly corrected and takes the proper angle to make the play. On the other hand, when in coverage, he opens his hips and trails the receiver throughout the course of their route. Despite his lack of height, Savage profiles as an easy leaper, quickly getting off the ground to highpoint the ball.
Savage displays a knack for finding the ball. Whether tipped or undercutting a route, he will make a beeline for the pass. Using the aforementioned speed, Savage can lock on a quarterback bird-dogging a wideout, knowing the pass is on the way.
When Savage squares up on a target, he hits with force. Regardless of the opponent being a tight end, wideout, or back, Savage tackles to his surname. Yet, he shows the knowledge of dialing down the aggression to make the sound tackle. Even under those circumstances, he will deliver a pop to the chest of the player. Meanwhile, running down the sideline, Savage meets the ballcarrier will a firm shoulder, sending him out of bounds.
While the Raiders do employ another undersized hitter in Karl Joseph, unbelievably, Savage fits on this team. First, his range would give the Raiders excellent deep coverage. Next, his speed and quicks give him a shot to cover slot corners. While Joseph is a bigger hitter, Savage’s ball skills surpass his. However, together, they would give the Raiders an explosive last line of defense.