Jordan Battle from Alabama reminds me a lot of Justin Simmons (Broncos)
The Kansas City Chiefs are fresh off of an excellent season winning the Super Bowl and they will host the 2023 NFL Draft, but their roster building is just beginning. When you’ve looked at as many mock drafts as I have, you begin to notice certain themes. Anthony Richardson is the name at the combine to watch. And no one has any clue what the Raiders are doing at the QB position.
JK Skinner landing with the Chiefs late in the draft would be a great pick up. But what if he’s off the board by then? Or what if the Chiefs pass on the Boise State product for someone they like?
If so, look not further than my favorite safety in the 2023 NFL Draft, Jordan Battle, the Alabama safety. Here, I will break down the three factors (Background, Chiefs fit and Conclusion) that should make the Chiefs should consider the 2x All American safety.
Jordan Battle, S, Alabama
Through four years, safety Jordan Battle was a major part of Alabama’s defense for four years, since a 2019 campaign in which he started four games and played a total of 400 snaps. Has been a starter ever since, with 66 tackles, an interception and four breakups as a sophomore. Had a career-best junior line of 85 tackles, three interceptions, and three breakups. As a senior, he picked up 71 tackles and an interception over 13 games. Battle had an impressive showing on Friday at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine participating in the 40-yard dash and various drills designed for defensive backs. Battle measured in at 6-foot-1, 209 pounds. He had a 8 1/2-inch hand size and a 12-inch arm length. In the 40-yard dash, Battle ran an official time of 4.55 seconds. He also mentioned that he loves to play with the Chiefs on Madden.
How he fits with the Chiefs:
If the Chiefs were to draft Battle, he has the size at 6-1 and 210 pounds that NFL clubs are looking for in the secondary at the next level. While his physical traits pop off the page, his football IQ has improved in his four years at Alabama. He’s a great tackler, who takes smart angles to the football. The biggest development from his career came in the 2021 season has been his ball skills, with three interceptions, including two pick-sixes during that year. Overall, the Chiefs would be getting their future starting safety that excels in run defense by filling gaps and tackling ball carriers in his gap. Possessing the ability to mirror good tight ends in man coverage situations with very good ball skills to create pass break ups and picks. He will struggle with his range due to his lack of foot speed but Ed Reed wasn’t the fastest either (4.57 40). It could affect him from a single-high look allowing deep completions on vertical and corner routes.
Battle would really be the perfect option to play the Daniel Sorensen/Dime linebacker role for the Chiefs. He has the size, versatility and athleticism to both play the deep safety role, but also roll down into the box in certain defensive looks and sub-packages as Sorensen did for Kansas City. He’ll have to get used to some of the man coverage looks that Kansas City runs, but there’s no reason to believe he doesn’t have the skill set to improve in that regard. He offers versatility as a solid blizter, reading the QB to diagnosis if the play at the LOS will be run or pass.
My player comparison of Jordan Battle is Justin Simmons from the Broncos. Both are very good strong safeties with the ability to play hash to sideline. Both can play the single high role, box role and robber role. Simmons went from third round pick to one of the foundational pieces of the Broncos defense. Battle could be the same for the Chiefs. In 3 seasons, Battle could become a foundational piece for the Chiefs secondary with Trent McDuffie which could show promise in a upward trajectory as a player if he works at it.
Jordan Battle is the best player available in the 2nd or 3rd round if he’s available for the Chiefs. He also happens to play a real position of need, as Chiefs is currently projected to start Justin Reid and Bryan Cook in the top middle of the secondary. Potentially working with Chiefs secondary coach Dave Merritt on improving his range can take his game to an All-Pro we haven’t seen since Eric Berry and Tyrann Mathieu. If the Chiefs are set with playing Justin Reid in the dime LB role (LB or slot) on sub packages, Battle would fit well opposite Bryan Cook deep. He could also play in the box or the slot, allowing Steve Spagnuolo to have a dynamic, ball-hawking secondary to play with in 2023. If Battle makes it to the range that the Chiefs can afford him (Mid 2nd Round to Early 3rd Round), he’s the ideal fit candidate in Kansas City.