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Will undrafted safety Sean Chandler carve out a role in the Giants’ secondary?

Former Temple Owl competing for role as reserve

NCAA Football: Villanova at Temple Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

As our look at the New York Giants’ 90-man roster rolls on, we come to undrafted free agent safety Sean Chandler out of Temple.Could Chandler claw his way on to the roster and force his way on to the field in a thin secondary?

The Basics

Age: 22
Experience: 0
Position: Safety
Height: 5 feet, 10 12 inches
Weight: 205

2017 season in review

As a four-year starter, Chandler has played both cornerback and safety for Temple and has been a remarkably consistent defender for the Owls. From his freshman year through his junior season, Chandler could be counted on for roughly 65 tackles, 3-4 tackles for a loss, a sack, a couple interceptions, and a forced fumble.

His numbers changed some in his senior year when Matt Rhule, Temple’s head coach through Chandler’s junior season, left to become Baylor’s head coach. Chandler spent less time in opponents’ backfields under new HC Geoff Collins, but was still productive, with 79 total tackles (1.5 for a loss), 3 interceptions, 4 passes defensed, and a forced fumble.

About Chandler, The NFL Draft Report says,

With the current trend for using safeties in the NFL, Chandler fits right into that scheme, as he’s played slot cornerback, strong safety with in-the-box success and free safety, where he used his speed to cover the deep areas in the zone.

Chandler fills hard and has developed into a very good open field tackler. ... He has experience on the perimeter, as an eighth-member in the box, a match-up cover corner in the slot, and a more traditional safety in the deep one-half of the field. He also has the size, speed and tackling skills to play a big role on special teams as a returner.

2018 outlook

Giants’ fans have grown accustomed to looking over the team’s undrafted free agent signings and trying to anticipate which could be that next diamond in the rough. At the same time, the secondary has become a serious concern, particularly at the cornerback position.

Chandler has played both free and strong safety, as well as slot corner, at Temple. He has only modest long speed (ran a 4.65 second 40-yard dash) as well as some tightness through his hips and ankles. Chandler might not have the range and fluidity to play the center-fielding free safety in an aggressive man coverage scheme in support of a blitzing defense. That kind of scheme puts tremendous pressure on the free safety to secure the back end, take away deep passes, and capitalize on mistakes by the quarterback.

However, Chandler might be well positioned to take a role closer to the line of scrimmage. He is quick to come downhill, is adept at flowing to the ball, and always seems to be in on the play. His experience as a cornerback as well as safety could help him play both the run and pass in nickel or dime situations. Helping his case to make the roster, Chandler also has experience on special teams, including as a punt returner.

Chandler has a reputation as a tough, gritty, smart player who could become a key contributor on special teams as well as a backup for Landon Collins.