It turns out that Buffalo Bills safety Donte Whitner, contrary to near-universal and vitriolic public opinion, is an excellent tackler. His teammate, Jairus Byrd, isn't so bad in that department, either.
Though the guys at ProFootballFocus.com were quick to point out that Whitner has never graded out particularly well as an overall player in their system, he was one of the league's most reliable tacklers at safety in 2010. In the site's latest study, which ranks safeties based on a metric measuring the number of tackle attempts per missed tackles, Whitner ranked second in the league for full-time starters, missing a tackle every 27.2 tackle attempts. Perhaps more impressively, he was the only safety ranked in the Top 20 that had over 100 tackles.
Byrd may be the more surprising of the two Bills safeties to be ranked so high, however, as he missed a tackle once every 26.7 attempts, placing him right behind Whitner and third overall amongst starting safeties.
The study was not kind, however, to Bryan Scott, who was the fourth-worst tackling safety in the NFL last season as a part-timer, missing a tackle every 4.9 attempts.