There is a potential opening for a reserve safety on the New York Giants' roster. Could C.J. Barnett, an undrafted free agent out of Ohio State, be the player to grab it? Let's look at Barnett as we continue our player-by-player breakdown of the Giants' 90-man roster heading into training camp.
2013 Season In Review
Barnett had four interceptions, 84 tackles and five passes defensed for the Buckeyes. Barnett was named honorable mention All-Big Ten after being named to the preseason Bednarik and Thorpe Award watch lists.
Barnett will be looking to earn a spot with the Giants as a reserve safety and special teams player. CBS Sports calls the 6-foot, 204-pound Barnett "an instinctive player with some cornerback skills."
SB Nation's Ohio State web site Land Grant Holy Land did an extensive scouting report on Barnett. Here is the essential stuff for Giants fans:
What Barnett will bring to a NFL team is a very intelligent and instinctual style of play. The trust that Barnett has in what he sees allows him to be aggressive in run support. This is shown by his impressive tackle totals for a safety in his time as a starter in Columbus. Barnett has good size for a safety, which allows him to be a very physical tackler. ...
While Barnett is a very intelligent football player, he needs to outthink his opponent since he is lacking in some of his physical gifts. Barnett possesses decent overall speed, but it isn't good enough to the point where he can lineup against speedy slot receivers. The size that he has allows him to be able to cover tight ends. Barnett has to be careful in man coverage since his footwork could use work.
Another area for concern for NFL teams might be the injury history that Barnett has gone through. While it hasn't been extensive, he did suffer a knee injury that required surgery in 2010. During his junior season Barnett also missed three games due to an ankle injury. With Barnett's physical style of play, his durability will be worth keeping an eye on.
Watch during training camp to see if Barnett's name appears in the daily practice reports, and then see if he shows up on special teams during the Giants' five preseason games.