The New York Giants selection of cornerback Sam Beal in the NFL Supplemental Draft appears to be playing to solid reviews. Chris liked it. GM Dave Gettleman didn’t hesitate to give up his 2019 third-round pick to make the move.
What are NFL scouts and analysts saying? Let’s take a look at some of the reaction.
NFL Draft Scout says Beal is talented, but “relatively raw.”
In a reflection of Beal’s rare talent (at least among recent supplemental draft prospects), representatives from all 32 teams attended Beal’s personal Pro Day workout on June 28. There, the 6-foot, 178-pounder showed off NFL-caliber athleticism, registering a 4.47 in the 40-yard dash, a vertical jump of 37 inches along with a broad jump of 10-6. He clocked a 4.09 in the short shuttle and 7.11 in the 3-cone drill.
Beal’s greatest asset is his natural cover skills due to an exciting combination of length and fluid athleticism. He uses his long arms to corral receivers off the line of scrimmage, limiting their ability to get a clean release and choking passing lanes as routes progress. He has light feet and loose hips, allowing him to change directions smoothly to effectively stick to the hip of receivers.
While intriguing, Beal remains a relatively raw prospect who needs to get stronger and more physical as a tackler. He is willing to lower a shoulder into ball-carriers to create a pop, but needs to do a better job of extending his arms and wrapping up.
While Beal plays with good timing and competitiveness on 50-50 balls, one area he (and many other defensive backs) can improve is his hands. Beal turned just two of the 10 passes broken up a year ago into interceptions.
Walter Football gives the pick an A+ grade.
The Giants were rewarded the second pick in each round of the supplemental draft, so they had the ability to select Sam Beal in the third frame before everyone else, save for the Raiders. Oakland was the only team that could have chosen Beal ahead of New York, so one has to wonder if Jon Gruden was tanning on some beach and not really paying attention because the Raiders really could have used Beal.
New York was able to greatly benefit from Oakland's incompetence. Beal is a terrific talent, and it could be argued that he would have been a late first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Being able to nab him in the third round is an absolute steal, and the Giants deserve an A+ grade as a result. With Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Ross Cockrell gone, New York had a big need at corner, which Beal should be able to fill. He'll be off to a slow start after missing OTAs, but it wouldn't surprise me if he found his way into the starting lineup by the middle of the season.
Beal is a tall, lengthy corner with great ball skills. He might have problems with speedy receivers, but he'll almost certainly boost a Giants secondary that needed an upgrade.
SB Nation says “Beal has the makings of a starting cornerback with potential to grow into an upper-echelon defender.”
Beal will be well served by the amount of man coverage that Western Michigan played last season. As NFL defenses become more man coverage-centric, Beal is a perfect fit for any defense looking for someone who can compete for a starting spot immediately. It’s rare to have a player in the supplemental draft that’s as talented as Beal.
NFL.com believes Beal “possibly become a natural cover corner on an island.”
Projected by some to be a top-5 player at his position next year, Beal was viewed as a near-lock to be selected today. NFL Network analyst Bucky Brooks noted that Beal owns the footwork and body control to possibly become a natural cover corner on an island, but needs to work on his run defense. Beal joins a Big Blue D that has undergone an overhaul under new defensive coordinator James Bettcher. The Giants need depth at outside corner behind current starters Janoris Jenkins and erratic Eli Apple. Bettcher's system calls for his corners to play a lot of man-coverage on the outside. It's a role Beal is suited to grow into, even if it's not in Year 1.