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2016 NFL Draft: Vonn Bell is good, but not what the New York Giants need

Sometimes the skills and the current talent just don't match up.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, the New York Giants traded up several spots to select a safety at the start of the second round of the NFL Draft. This year, they're likely looking to give him a partner. Could Ohio State's Vonn Bell be a match?



  • Plays the pass rather than the player, which gives him excellent angles on the ball.
  • Blocks out large areas in coverage.
  • Well-rounded player, without any glaring flaw, which gives him a high floor for development. Coaches love developing base talent rather than correcting issues.


  • Plays slow. Doesn't look like he's sprinting on-field.
  • Reluctant to initiate contact. Apprehensive to engage. Lets player come to him.
  • Always appears to be second man to the ball. Stands around, minimal effort on gang tackles.
  • Played predominantly in a Cover 2 as a deep man. No idea if he can play outside of that system.

Prospect Video

Big Board Rankings

Big Blue View - 40th

Mocking The Draft - 48th

CBS - 52nd

Draft Tek - 56th

Does He Fit With the Giants?

Bell has been talked about as potentially the top true safety in the draft for quite a while. Outside of Jalen Ramsey, who may end up playing corner depending on where he lands, Bell has been constantly mentioned as the go-to guy for any team needing a DB in the upcoming draft. His high floor projects well to quick development, and a conservative deployment of his skills could give some teams an immediate starter.

However, I don't think getting picked by the Giants would be ideal for Bell. The Giants need someone to pair with Landon Collins, and that person has to have a complementary talent. I don't think Bell is that guy. While he is a good player, it would be difficult to put him alongside Collins and trust that those two could protect the back end of the defense.

I am on record as loving what Collins brings to the team, but it was also clear that he was misused at times last year. If Bell were to land here, it would be likely that one -- if not both -- would continue to be misused in 2016. Either Bell is forced to cover deep by himself (don't let rookies do this), or Collins is forced to play alongside in a two-deep scheme, and neither of those options are ideal for a team who just spent big money on a new cornerback.

Not investing in the right safeties to put behind Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is the defensive equivalent of signing a franchise quarterback to big money and then trotting out five incapable offensive linemen. You need protection, and while Bell would be a good player on the right team, the other components here mean the fit isn't quite right.

Final Thoughts

This draft is loaded with talented defensive backs. The Giants need defensive backs. I don't see the value in overpaying for an ill-fitting player when mid-round talent is loaded with better scheme fits. It's going to be rough at the start, regardless of what rookie you send out on field, but Bell would be a serious liability if not used properly right away.

If the Giants take him, it means Steve Spagnuolo has a plan for how to use him. Maybe he thinks an improved defensive line will result in less blitzing, and thus, in turn, less stress on the secondary. That could definitely work, and Spagnuolo has certainly ran with two-high safeties before so while Bell may not have fit in the 2015 iteration of the defense, an evolved new-look for 2016 could incorporate him well. He's a player that could be coached in many different directions, and this defensive coordinator knows better than most how to train DBs, having specialized as a positional assistant coach in that area six different times in his career.