While in some ways the New York Giants seem to be behind the times in the way they approach the game, the Giants have been at the forefront of the acknowledgment of the importance of the safety position in today's NFL. The safety is vital as the last line of defense in a passing league. A good safety can drastically improve a defense which is why since Jerry Reese became general manager the Giants have invested highly in the position (making Rolle the highest paid safety ever at the time, drafting Phillips in the first round, etc).
Today we look at Landon Collins of Alabama, a player who could instantly upgrade the Giants safety position, but at a heavy cost in the draft.
- A throwback safety who punishes ball carriers and receivers alike. He doles out punishing tackles and can separate the receiver from the ball at the point of the catch. A true middle of the field intimidation presence.
- Plays downhill aggressively, but has good eye discipline and doesn't bite a lot on fakes.
- Takes good pursuit angles
- Excellent tackler. He not only makes the sure tackle, but can jar the bar loose.
- Good be an excellent special teams player
- Does not have great explosion numbers (tested poorly in the 3-cone drill, 20-yard shuttle, and the jumps. And questionable change of direction skills as always been his biggest knock.
- Plus range for a traditional strong safety, but could still be a liability if ever place in center field
- Alabama can beat the heck out of their players. Does Collins have mileage?
Player comparison: Jonathan Cyprien (NFL.com), Donte Whitner (Bucky Brooks), Dawan Landry (me. Not a knock, Landry had a PFF score of +10.9 this year)
Does He Fit With The Giants?
Yes. Landon Collins fits with every team in the league because he will bring a physical down hill presence as a safety. Collins should excel in the run game, and he also has the size and ability to match up with many tight ends. He might never be a stalwart in coverage, and it's a heavy price to pay for a guy to grab in the top 10 in the NFL Draft, but Collins, in my opinion, is better than Mark Barron (who went seventh -- but didn't excel and was traded) and HaHa Clinton Dix (who had a good year in Green Bay) and should be a day 1 starter.
Watch this video. It could be used as a training video of tackling in space. Few in the NFL today can tackle like Collins can now.
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View -18th
CBS Sports -19th
Is Landon Collins a value pick at ninth in the draft in every draft? No. In this one? I think he's well in the range. Is he a possible pick? Yes, I believe so. It depends on what the Giants are able to do in free agency and whether or not they believe he has enough range to not be a liability in coverage. Collins should be a good NFL player who will make a positive impact on a defense, especially in the run game, which is something the Giants desperately need. Also in this draft class there are no great fits for the Giants. The edge rushers that are most likely to be available when the Giants pick don't fit the system perfectly (Beasley/Ray/Gregory), the offensive linemen are not value picks or are better candidates at guard. The Giants will end up with a good player and Collins, while not ideal, could and should be in the mix. Collins is far and away the best safety in this class and worthy of a first-round grade in any safety class. Everyone wants Earl Thomas. Collins is not that, but he might be Kam Chancellor.