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Safety first for the Giants?

One position we have all acknowledged feeling the Giants need to upgrade is safety.

Veteran Sammy Knight, signed to replace Gibril Wilson and James Butler are no better than adequate. Second-year man Michael Johnson is exciting, but still unproven. This position needs attention, and I don't think anyone can be surprised if a Day 1 choice is used to upgrade it.

Let's look some of the possibilities. Since I do have an ESPN Insider account, I will use NFL Draft Countdown for player bios.

Kenny Phillips, Miami
This is the guy many mock drafts have the Giants taking. If he is still there at No. 31, this is the guy I want.

NFL Draft Countdown
(First rounder)
The next in a long line of top Hurricane safeties, following in the footsteps of guys like Bennie Blades, Ed Reed, Sean Taylor and Brandon Meriweather ... could rank amongst the Top 10 safeties in the NFL relatively early on in his career.

Reggie Smith, Oklahoma

An intriguing guy who could also project as a cornerback, or at least a nickel back.

NFL Draft Countdown
(First rounder)
Is probably best suited for free safety at the next level but he can certainly play corner in the right situation ... One of the most versatile defensive backs in this draft ... Definite starter.

DaJaun Morgan, North Carolina State
This is a guy who sounds like a developmental player, but one who could be worth the wait.

NFL Draft Countdown
(Round 2 or 3)
Not yet a finished product but could be the best safety to come out of this draft down the road ... Has all the physical tools to be a superb safety at the next level and at the absolute least he will be a stud special teamer ... One of the top safeties available.

Tyrell Johnson, Arkansas State
This guy is one of those players whose stock is rising. ESPN's Mel Kiper has the Giants taking him in the first round.

NFL Draft Countdown
Doesn't really have the size you look for in a strong safety or the pure coverage skills of a free safety but saw action at both spots in college ... Has the talent to be a starter at the pro level but at the absolute least he should be an outstanding backup and special teams ace.

Other names to watch for in the mid- to late rounds

-- Tom Zbikowski, Notre Dame
-- Josh Barrett, Arizona State
-- Jamar Adams, Michigan
-- Thomas DeCoud, California