BBI New York Giants 2014 NFL Draft Preview: Safety
by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Sy’56
Current Safeties on NYG Roster:
Antrel Rolle – Signed through 2015
Will Hill – Signed through 2015
Stevie Brown – Signed through 2015
Quintin Demps – Signed through 2015
Cooper Taylor – Signed through 2017
Where They Stand:
Upon initial glance, the safety group looks strong and deep for the 2014 season. Rolle is one of the highest paid players on the team and even though his production hasn’t matched his cap number, his value goes deeper than what we see on the stat sheet. He is the leader of the defense and comes to play every Sunday. He is one of the more versatile and reliable players on this team. Hill and Brown have both shown game breaking ability here and there. They are aggressive players that are always around the action. Both have concerns though. Brown has the knee injury he will attempt to bounce back from and Hill has had his share of off-field issues. Demps was a quality FA signing that can wear a few hats and Taylor showed promise as a special teamer in 2013. This unit is strong for the current situation they are in, but we could be looking at an entirely different situation a year from now. How much longer can NYG pay Rolle? And are Brown/Hill capable of overcoming their respective problems?
Top 10 Draft Prospect Grades:
1 – Calvin Pryor III – Louisville – 5’11/207: 86
2 – Hasean Clinton-Dix – 6’1/208: 84
3 – Deone Bucannon – Washington State – 6’1/211: 81
4 – Dion Bailey – USC – 6’0/206: 78
5 – Terrence Brooks – Florida State – 5’11/198: 76
6 – Vinnie Sunseri – Alabama – 5’11/210: 74
7 – Marcus Trice – North Texas – 5’8/193: 73
8 – Shamiel Gary – Oklahoma State – 6’0/205: 73
9 – Ed Reynolds – Stanford – 6’1/207: 73
10 – CJ Barnett – Ohio State – 6’0/204: 72
Day One Target:
Calvin Pryor – Louisville
Pryor has been the top rated safety on my board since the early fall of 2013. I saw him early two times and really liked his game. He is such a well rounded player that makes the impact that some of the top safeties in the game can do. Pryor is an angry missile from the secondary when defending the run. His style is straddles the line of too-aggressive. Pryor is a sound tackler that can be relied upon as the last line of defense in the open fiend, showing the ability to break down on the move and control his body enough to tackle an elusive runner. In coverage, Pryor grades out as an above average defender, but lacks the elite movement ability. He still gets his hand in on the action plenty, however. There is a good chance Pryor will be the top graded player available when NYG is on the clock for me. Even though the safety spot is not a vital position of need this season, he will still be a consideration. He’s a reliable impact player that can change a defense.
Day Two Target:
Deone Bucannon – Washington State
Bucannon is the classic case of being a superb prospect coming from a poor defensive program. Very few were able to see him play in 2013 from a general public perspective, but make no mistake about this player’s ‘special’ potential. I’ll put his ability against the run up against anyone’s in this draft class. He is a well built, explosive-in-short-spaces safety that can play in the box with the best of them. He has consistently led that team in tackles with a career-high 114 in 2013 and has 15 career interceptions, including 6 this past season. From the first time I saw this defense play, Bucannon always appears to be a pro football player matched up against kids. He graded out as a 1st-round caliber prospect on my board and he would be a great value pick in round 2 or 3.
Day Three Target:
Marcus Trice – North Texas
One of my favorite lesser-known prospects in the nation here. Trice will fight the naysayers all day, every day because of his sub 5’10 listing. The lack of size hurt his grade, but he still graded out as a borderline 3rd/4th rounder on my board. Trice made an impact on every game I watched. He is an enforcer that ball carriers fear but he can also play a deep cover 1 role, showing enough range to reach either sideline. He anticipates the action well and gets his hands on a lot of passes. Trice is a fun player to watch that will make his impact on a tea one way or another. Sometimes I’ll overlook the meaurables when a player like this jumps off the tape as much as Trice did. He is a spirited competitor that gets the most out of himself and others. Day 3 will be when is start to consider this versatile defender for NYG.
I’ve put a lot of thought in to this, and admittedly am still struggling to come up with a clear cut answer on how to approach the safeties in this draft. Overall, this group is below average when looking at my past grades. Pryor and Clinton-Dix would help this defense; there is no doubt about it. They are more talented than what is currently on the roster at the position with much more upside. Their grades tell me they are worthy of the #12 overall pick, so those two facts should be enough to say yes to one of them if they are available, right?
Like most of you, I would rather wait on bringing in another young safety to this team. One could make the case there is no room on the roster, and it would be a waste economically. Although there is a little voice that says you don’t pass on high grades like this, especially considering the lack of stability at the position past this upcoming season. In my ideal world, NYG passes on safety altogether in 2014 and reevaluates the position at this time next year. You have to gamble on certain spots here and there and have faith that what currently resides on the roster will be good enough.