clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2016 NFL Draft: McShay, Kiper high on safety class

ESPN analysts break down next week's draft.

Vonn Bell
Vonn Bell
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay teamed up Tuesday for a lengthy conference call to discuss the 2016 NFL Draft. They weren't asked any direct questions about the New York Giants, but much of what they said applied to the Giants. So, here are some of the highlights.

On the safety class

The safety position is one of intense interest to Giants fans. McShay spoke a lot about the safety class.

"Vonn Bell to me is the best cover safety in this draft. I think there's a chance depending on the team and scheme that he winds up moved over to cornerback. He has good ball skills. ... When you watch him on tape it jumps out how quick he is, how agile he is," McShay said.

He added that his 4.50 40-yard dash time is misleading, saying "I think he's a lot faster play speed and closing burst than that number would indicate."

McShay added that Karl Joseph of West Virginia is "the most complete" safety in the class and that Justin Simmons of Boston College is "underrated."

McShay also said there are 10 safeties in the class worth of being selected in the first three rounds.

One of Kiper's favorites is Maryland Sean Davis, who ""played corner, played safety, I love the kid. I thought he was an aggressive player, a ballhawk."

A Leonard Floyd mention

McShay spoke about polarizing Georgia linebacker Leonard Floyd, who he does nto see as a fit for the Giants.

"Leonard Floyd in my opinion is a top 10, top 15 pick but he's a pure outside linebacker that only fits as a 3-4 outside ‘backer."

Jack Conklin gone before No. 10?

We seem to talk more and more about Michigan State offensive tackle Jack Conklin. Kiper doesn't believe the Giants will even have a decision to make as to whether or not to select him.

"Talk about a guy who's underrated. Jack Conklin played extremely well at left tackle. ... had a great combine, showed that he's a great athlete with tremendous length. I don't see how Jack Conklin isn't a pick inside of seven. ... he's rising fast in these last two or three weeks."

Cornering the market

Kiper was asked about cornerbacks and had some interesting things to say about Vernon Hargreaves of Florida, a player many would like to see the Giants pick at 10 if he is available.

"I don't think he's a lead corner. I think he's a No. 2 corner. I don't think he can be a lockdown corner. I don't think he's a guy you want on the best receiver of the opposition all the time, but I think he's a good football player."

Kiper said that Virginia Tech corner Kendall Fuller, who will likely fall to Day 2 of the draft after a 2015 injury, "could be the steal of the draft. If you can get him in the second round it would be a great pick."

The sad story of Jaylon Smith

McShay sounded sad talking about Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith. He said two GMs told him that Smith was the best player in the draft before his devastating knee injury. With phrases like nerve damage and drop foot hanging over him, uncertainty over when he may play again and a serious question about the kind of player he will be Smith is a risk for any team that selects him.

"It's highly concerning, certainly not playing next year, may never get to the level he was, so you're taking a huge risk ... I can't believe I'm saying it but it won't surprise me if we get to Day 3 and Jaylon Smith is still on the board."