Before we can really get a clear picture of what the New York Giants might do in the 2015 NFL Draft, we have to see what happens during the free agency period that begins on March 10.
Part of that process, of course, is figuring out which of their own unrestricted free agents the Giants will be able -- or want -- to keep. We have looked at those players already. Over the next few weeks we will also turn our attention to looking at potential free-agent targets who might fit areas of need for the Giants. Whenever possible, we will be reaching out to our fellow SB Nation team bloggers for information about those players.
We begin our look at free agents with a guy who plays a position that is in great flux for the Giants this off-season -- Buffalo Bills' safety Da'Norris Searcy.
Let's quickly review the safety position for the Giants. Antrel Rolle, Stevie Brown and Quintin Demps, the primary safeties in 2014, are all unrestricted free agents and we have no idea if any of them will be retained. Cooper Taylor, a 2013 fifth-round pick, spent 2014 on IR and is an unknown. Nat Berhe, a 2014, fifth-round pick, is promising but also untested.
The play of Rolle, Brown and Demps left much to be desired in 2014, with the Giants surrendering 75 pass plays of more than 20 yards, 13 of which were for 40 or more yards.
Searcy, 26, is a four-year veteran who became a starter for the Bills mid-way through the 2013 season. He played strong safety in 2014, but has also played free safety. The numbers seems to indicate he is better at the strong safety spot.
In 2014, Searcy had 65 tackles, three interceptions, five passes defensed, a forced fumble and a half-sack in 15 games. Pro Football Focus ranked Searcy fourth in the league among safeties in coverage snaps per reception allowed with only one reception every 42.1 snaps.His overall PFF grade was +8.6, including +5.6 in run support.
Here is Brian Galliford of SB Nation's Buffalo Rumblings on Searcy:
"Searcy is a starting-caliber strong safety. He's more of a box player than a matchup cover guy, but he can play deep or up near the line. He can blitz, and the Bills often used him as a nickel and dime linebacker before he became a full-time starter this past season. Searcy is by no means a star, but he's rock solid."
In looking at Bills' free agents, The Buffalo News recently said that Searcy is "probably underrated" and put the chances of him re-sgning withe Buffalo at 80 percent.
If the Bills do let him go, are you interested? Let us know in the comments.
BONUS: Here are some sights and sounds from a game during which Searcy was mic'd up.