Texas Tech safety Darcel McBath has proven he’s ready for NFL Related Content 137301/VERNON BRYANT/Staff Photographer The Cowboys might target former Texas Tech safety Darcel McBath in the draft. Related Tags (BETA) Darcel McBath’s first love is basketball. He always thought he was headed to the NBA. That’s why he quit football his first two years at Gainesville High. "I was a basketball guy; I had basketball fever," McBath said. "I played AAU basketball, so I didn’t have time for football. I played basketball year-round." McBath, though, regained his love for football as a junior, earned a scholarship to Texas Tech and now is projected as a second- or third-round NFL draft choice as one of the draft’s top safeties. McBath began his career with the Red Raiders at corner before moving to safety, where he starred for three seasons. He finished his career with 218 tackles and 11 interceptions at safety, including 70 and six last season in earning All-Big 12 honors. "Playing defense in the Big 12 is no easy task," says NFL Draft Scout, a Web site devoted to the draft. "Neither is playing against the Raiders’ offense every day in practice. McBath has the versatility and confidence to star in the secondary." Three Big 12 receivers are ranked among the top eight draft prospects at wideout, including McBath’s teammate, Michael Crabtree, who could be a top-five pick. "I played some of the best receivers in the country, [against teams that] passed on almost every down," McBath said. "I think I’ll be prepared in that aspect. I’ll definitely be ready to defend the pass. I got the best of [Crabtree] most of the time." Overview Last year, one safety was selected in the first round. The New York Giants used the 31st and final pick in the first round on University of Miami safety Kenny Phillips. No safety has a first-round grade this year. There could be several safeties selected in the second round, including Western Michigan’s Louis Delmas, Alabama’s Rashard Johnson and Oregon’s Patrick Chung. Top 5 Louis Delmas, FS, Western Michigan, 6-0, 202, 4.52: He is a four-year starter and a three-time all-conference player. Rashard Johnson, FS, Alabama, 5-11, 203, 4.49: The former walk-on had 224 career tackles and 11 interceptions. Patrick Chung, SS, Oregon, 5-11, 212, 4.49: He made 51 career starts with a team-leading 117 tackles in 2007 and 92 stops in 2008. William Moore, SS, Missouri, 6-0, 221, 4.56: He turned four of his 11 career interceptions into touchdowns. Chip Vaughn, SS, Wake Forest, 6-2, 221, 4.42: He is a two-year starter who averaged 90 tackles his final two seasons. Sleeper De’von Hall, SS, Utah State, 6-3, 212, 4.48: He had 72 tackles, four interceptions and seven pass breakups last season. Texas ties Darcel McBath, FS, Texas Tech, 6-0, 198, 4.58: McBath, who had 70 tackles and six interceptions last season, should be a second- or third-round pick. LendyHolmes, FS, Oklahoma, 6-0, 206, 4.69: The Dallas South Oak Cliff product had 79 tackles and five interceptions. Source: Heights, weights and 40 times were compiled from NFL Draft Scout.