Throughout our Daily NFL Draft Prospect Profile series we have looked at several players who the Giants could look to for protection in the event Kenny Phillips does not make a full recovery from his knee surgery.
Today, let's add another one to the list. Let's take a look at Reshad Jones of Georgia, a hard-hitting 6-foot-1, 212-pound player who might fit at either safety slot. He is another one of the myriad of safeties projected to come off the draft board in the second or third rounds.
Reshad Jones Scouting Reports
From SB Nation's Mocking The Draft.
Does not have the range to play a single high Cover 1 role, but can be trusted as a Cover 2 safety. Anticipates routes and lanes well. ... Sure tackler that can be depended upon as the last line of defense with confidence. Shows proper technique and makes the effort to wrap up and drive the ball carrier through the ground. Has had more than his fair share of bone-jarring hits. Will make receivers think twice about going over the middle. Really lays the wood and consistently knocks the ball carrier backward.
Jones is a safety that is NFL ready from the physical point of view. He plays with the kind of downhill aggression that every team wants in an enforcer over the middle. He is a guy that always find himself in or near the action, getting in on a lot of turnovers and big plays. He is not the kind of safety that can be trusted with a lot of coverage responsibility but his length and instincts will be enough to get him in the every down defense early in his career. If he can be put in to a system that allows him to play downhill and in man coverage against tight ends, Jones will thrive. He is of the 2nd round type that teams will look to as the kind of high reward pick in terms of immediate payback.
From the National Football Post.
He's a physical hitter with a strong upper body. He will go for the knockout punch too often instead of wrapping up but overall is a sound tackler when asked to close in pursuit. He's also a good last-line defender who breaks down well and can wrap up in space. Jones is an above-average straight-line athlete for his size who gets up to full speed quickly and does a good job taking proper angles toward the ball.
He possesses good ball skills downfield, and once he sees the play he does a nice job tackling the ball. ... Jones possesses an intriguing frame and above-average straight-line speed once he gets going but isn't instinctive and fails to quickly redirect and change directions.
Jones is a big, strong safety with good athleticism. He has been a productive starter for Georgia over the past two seasons. Jones has decent range in pursuit but lacks great speed, lateral agility and quickness in man coverage schemes. He is better attacking the line of scrimmage than in space and maybe best in the box. Jones is quick to the fill the alley and shows good pop and power as a tackler. He can over run or not take the proper angle at times and this gets him out of position to maintain leverage on the ball. Jones will drop some balls he should catch and shows average balls skills for the safety position. Jones has enough size and athleticism to be a solid NFL safety but there are concerns that may affect his draft status.
Why Jones fits with the Giants
First and foremost, the Giants need to find alternatives to Michael Johnson and C.C. Brown. Not to mention, of course, that the Giants need to protect themselves in the event Phillips does not return at full strength. Jones is on a long list of second- or third-round type safeties who could be an upgrade, and provide insurance, for the Giants. With the Giants situation, you have to like the fact that he is considered 'NFL ready,' and not a project type. You also have to like his reputation as a sure tackler and a guy who can prevent the big play.
Why the Giants should pass
Should they? To me, drafting a safety at some point is a must. They have to come out of the draft with a player like this, or one they like even better. There are lots of players to choose from and it will be interesting to see what GM Jerry Reese decides to do.