The last time the New York Giants won the Super Bowl they entered the NFL Draft the following April in need of an upgrade at the safety position, and with one logical target. That player, Kenny Phillips, ended up being available and the Giants happily snapped him up.
This year, as the 2012 NFL Draft approaches, safety could again be on the team's list of positions it would like to shore up. Which brings us to the subject of today's 2012 NFL Draft Prospect Profile -- Alabama safety Mark Barron.
We know defensive coordinator Perry Fewell and the Giants have had great success the past two seasons with the three-safety alignment. One of those three safeties, Deon Grant, is a veteran who is nearing the end of the line. His lack of speed was exposed at times in 2011, and right now it seems unlikely he would return. Tyler Sash was drafted in the sixth round a year ago, but speed is also an issue for him. He seems destined to be a special teams player. Chad Jones? A wonderful story and you have to root for him. Certainly, though, you can't plan on him being a viable player. Anything he ever contributes on the field is purely a bonus at this point.
In its most recent mock, Draft Tek has Barron going to the Giants with the 32nd pick. Draft Tek Giants analyst Bill Bliss is excited by the site's computer simulation given Barron to the Giants, writing "Barron is our top-ranked safety, and for good reason: he's a hard hitter who plays the run well and possesses superb ball skills. He's got the long arms that [Jerry] Reese likes and has played a major role in both of Bama's recent National Championships."
Mocking The Draft considers Barron "a downhill box safety with some pop in his game." Yet, MTD's review of Barron was written last May, so does not take the 2011 season into account.
The National Football Post has the 6-foot-2, 218-pound All American as its 15th-ranked overall prospect and the top safety on the board.
"Has the makings of a heck of a special teams player who can also attack downhill vs. the run game, play inside the box and drive on the football in front of him in the pass game," writes the NFP's West Bunting. "Isn't going to be a major threat turning and tracking the football, but his improved instincts makes me think he can start in the league early on." [Full NFP Scouting Report]
Considering all of the uncanny similarities between the Giants' Super Bowl victories in 2008 and 2012, could it really be a stunner if Barron is among the players Reese has to choose from when the Giants' turn comes this April?
The Mark Barron File
Weight: 218 pounds
2011 Consensus All-American
12 career interceptions
Mark Barron Highlights (via AlabamaFootballFan3)