Giant Issue! Who Plays Free Safety for Big Blue?

Written By Michael Stewart

Giant Issue! Who Plays Free Safety for Big Blue?

Landon Collins has been penciled in to start at strong safety, the issue now is: who plays alongside of him at free safety for Big Blue?

Option 1 is Cooper Taylor, however; at 6’5/230 Cooper seems to be more fitted to play the SS position and is better as an inbox safety. Collins is also better suited as an inbox safety at the NFL level as well, so how can the Giants and DC Steve Spagnuolo expect to succeed without a free safety that can cover the middle of the field?

Option 2 can be Nat Berhe, who fits the free safety position better than Taylor on paper. However; Berhe does have issues as a man coverage safety as he doesn’t possess elite speed (4.71) and often found himself getting beaten by faster receivers while at San Diego State. Despite this flaw, Berhe does have incredible instincts and reaction time as he was always around ball for the Aztecs.

Option 3 could be 5th round pick (2015 Draft) Mykkele Thompson out of Texas. Thompson is versatile and can play corner and safety with good length and is a pure athlete. He is much better in man coverage than either Berhe or Taylor, but lacks bulk and strength and needs to be a better tackler. I think Thompson would be better utilized in a nickel/dime packages for Big Blue and can add depth at the CB position.

Option 4 for the Giants could be Bennett Jackson who played CB at Notre Dame, but many believe (including myself) that he can succeed at the Free Safety position at the NFL level. Jackson has good speed 4.48 and plays with an edge. The best among the other tree mentioned in man to man coverage and more suited to patrol the middle of the field for the Giants. I believe the Giants and HC Tom Coughlin will look to covert Jackson from a CB and into a free safety, especially if Taylor or Berhe struggle early on.

Final Thoughts: Option 5 could be that the Giants scan the waiver wire for a free safety if all the above options fail. Regardless, DC Steve Spagnuolo will have his work cut out and he will be tested to be creative in his defensive packages to get the most out of the safety positions; especially at free safety.