Did you hear? Safety appears to be a pressing need for the New York Giants heading into the 2015 NFL Draft. We have talked almost non-stop about the safety issue throughout the offseason, and in the past few days the Giants have reportedly been busy meeting with several of the draft prospects who might be candidates to compete for a safety spot this fall.
Let's quickly look at all three players.
In his prospect profile of Harris, 'Rap' says that he would be "a steal" on Day 3 of the draft. Harris a 6-foot, 183-pound who received a fourth- to fifth-round grade in the 2015 NFL Draft Guide from Dane Brugler of CBS Sports. Brugler says Harris is "a ballhawking type of safety, reading and jumping passes in a hurry, although he will get himself in trouble freelancing." He adds that Harris has limitations in man-to-man coverage and as a run defender. Ourlads summarizes Harris this way:
" ... a very good athlete that moves well all over the field. He has the body control and ball skills to make a difference in coverage. He just needs to become a smarter and more aware player in coverage. He doesn't have the frame to enforce the physical brand of football, but he is an aggressive player that will put his body on the line. Starter potential that can impact the run and pass defense."
Brugler grades the 5-foot-10½, 205-pound Thompson as a priority free agent. Brugler writes:
"He has terrific athleticism to open his hips and run with backs and tight ends, covering a lot of ground vs. both the run and the pass. Thompson has adequateroute recognition in the deep half of the field, but tends to be more reactive than proactive with marginal instincts and ballskills, taking too many late and false steps. He has adequate length to get physical with bigger targets, although he needs to do the same with smaller receivers before they can put the moves on him. Thompson strings out plays and closes the gap on the perimeter, leading with his face and driving his hips on tackle attempts, which should serve him well on special teams -potential NFL back-up."
NFL.com seems to agree that Thompson is a player who is unlikely to be a long-term NFL starter:
"Combination safety with above average athletic traits and size, but plays with below average instincts and isn't as trustworthy as teams will like on the back end. Thompson seems slow to see things on tape and uses his athleticism to make up for it. If he can be trained to recognize and react more quickly, he has a shot at making a roster."
Randall is a player who has seen his stock rise throughout the pre-draft process. Mike Mayock of NFL Network recently listed Randall as the top safety in the 2015 draft class. In his prospect profile of Randall, 'Invictus' compares him favorably to Antrel Rolle and calls him "a good prospect at a position of need."
Brugler has Randall listed as the third-best safety in this draft class behind Landon Collins of Alabama and James Sample of Louisville, giving him a third-round grade. There are some at this point, however, who believe Randall could be selected late in Round 1. Brugler calls Randall "A player with cornerback size, but a free safety skill-set." Ourlads says Randall "has the makings of a play-maker that can change games."