It is never to early too take a look into the future, and with college football officially underway, Giants 101 will start to take a look at the top prospects. The positions that we will take a look at will include: safety, interior offensive line, offensive tackle, tight end and defensive end. Those positions, at the moment, appear to be the most pressing needs for the New York Giants given their current roster and contracts expiring in the near future.
The first position that we will take a look at is safety.
Will Hill's off the field issues forced the Giants to cut him, leaving a lack of young talent at safety. Cooper Taylor (Injured Reserve) and Nat Berhe are solid depth players, but neither project to be consistent full time starters. Stevie Brown is returning from a torn ACL, and has looked hampered by it so far this preseason. Even when healthy, it has yet to be seen if Brown can be a consistent every down safety in the NFL.
The star of the back end of the secondary Antrel Rolle, is 31-years-old and a free agent at the end of this year. Even if the Giants do resign him, they will need to find a replacement for him for the long-term.
Below are the top five safeties to keep an eye on this year.
1. Landon Collins, JR Alabama, 6'0" 215 lbs
- Excellent size and athleticism for the safety position in the NFL.
- Shows very fluid movement in his hips when changing direction
- Excellent tackler, second on the team in 2013
- Able to play both free safety and strong safety in the NFL
- Big time hitter with a knack for knocking the ball loose
- Can be shaky in pass coverage
- Needs to take the next step in diagnosing plays
2. Kurtis Drummond, SR Michigan State, 6'1" 200 lbs
- Outstanding ball skills. Can be a playmaker at the NFL level.
- Has the confidence to be a leader in a defensive backfield
- Can cover a lot of ground. Has the mark of a free safety at the next level
- Takes excellent angles in pursuit
- Very good at staying with receivers in coverage
- Doesn't have ideal size. A little too lean for the NFL level. Will need to address that.
- Needs to develop better tackling technique instead of just launching himself at his opponent
3. Cody Prewitt, SR Ole Miss, 6'2" 212 lbs
- Fits best in a free safety/centerfield role
- Excellent height and weight combination for the position
- Defends the deep ball well
- Excellent hands when making a play on the ball
- Good open field/over the middle tackler but can afford be more aggressive when swarming the ball
- Fluid hip rotation
- Doesn't posses great top end speed, and can fail to recover from misreads in time
- Can be too aggressive in coverage and lacks the speed to recover in time
Other safeties we will be keeping an eye on and updating this list throughout the season are Anthony Harris (Virginia), Tyler Hunter (Florida State), Deron Smith (Fresno State), Jordan Richards (Stanford), and Durrell Eskridge (Syracuse).
Once more film becomes available on these players I will be able to provide in depth reports on them.
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