With the drafting of Landon Collins, the situation for the New York Giants at safety does not look as dire as it did a few weeks ago. Especially if Nat Berhe proves capable. Let's look at Berhe as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp.
2014 Season in Review
A fifth-round pick out of San Diego State, Berhe contributed mostly on special teams as a rookie. Despite the struggles of the Giants' trio of veteran safeties -- Antrel Rolle, Stevie Brown and Quintin Demps -- Berhe played only 32 defensive snaps as a rookie, 19 of those coming in Week 3 against the Houston Texans.
With all three of the aforementioned veteran safeties no longer with the Giants, Berhe has an opportunity to playa much more prominent role on defense. As of now, Berhe and second-round pick Landon Collins would be considered the favorites to be the starting safety tandem for the Giants in 2015.
Berhe, 6-foot, 194 pounds, played a hybrid role at San Diego State, being utilized at both strong and free safety as well as even playing some linebacker despite his sub-200-pound frame. During an appearance a couple of months ago on the 'Big Blue Chat podcast with Pat Traina (Bleacher Report/Inside Football) and myself, Berhe indicated that versatility could help him. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo recently said the Giants have not yet assigned strong and free safety roles, instead using players on left and right sides as they see what they have.
Collins, whom the Giants traded up for in the 2015 NFL Draft, figures to get every chance to be one of the starting safeties. Berhe and third-year man Cooper Taylor would appear to be the leading candidates for the other spot. At 6-4, 228 pounds Taylor is a different player than Berhe.
Berhe is confident that he will prove capable of handling a regular role on defense.
"It's funny to me. It's funny how last year people were calling for young guys to play and they wanted us to play. And now that we've got the opportunity to play, it's like 'oh my goodness, the young guys are going to play.' Everyone is scared," Berhe said. "It's kind of funny to me. I wouldn't be here if I couldn't play.
"Everybody gets caught in in seniority and stuff like that. If you make plays there's no reason you shouldn't be starting."