There are many possibilities of who the New York Giants will be taking with their first round selection in this year’s NFL Draft. Depending on how the first eight picks in the draft shake up on April 30th, the Giants will have many talented draft prospects to choose from for the No. 9 overall pick in the draft. One of these prospect is Alabama All-American safety Landon Collins.
Collins was standout player in Nick Saban’s defense this past year at Alabama. He led the Crimson Tide in tackles with 98, and had the most interception on the team with three. The New Orleans native, was also named an All-American during his senior year of high school by USA Today as well.
As an NFL prospect, Collins is at the top of his class at the safety position in this year’s draft. Collins possesses great speed on the field for a safety, running a 4.5 40 yard dash back in February at the NFL Scouting Combine. On the field, Collins is know as hard nose football player. He is very sound tackler, plays with a lot of heart and toughness, and also has a nose for the football. He also has shown attributes of being a playmaker, which is very highly rated by NFL scouts and coaches as well.
In hindsight, Collins and the Giants are a perfect match. The G-Men are in desperate need of filling a hole at the safety position, after Antrel Rolle left to sign with the Chicago Bears in free agency this offseason. Collins can step in from day one and contribute to the Giants defense. His ability to play the run so well and being a sound tackling machine, will help improve a Big Blue run defense that was ranked an embarrassing 30th in the league last year.
With that said though, Collins is too much of reach for the Giants to pick at the 9th spot in the draft. Even though Collins is the top safety prospect in the draft, he is overall not a top-10 prospect in the draft. Grading wise, Collins is projected as more of mid to late first round pick and not a top-10 draft pick.
Since the Giants hold the No. 9 pick overall in the draft, it would be wise for them not to reach for Collins at that spot and instead pick the best available player on their draft board. This will give them a true top-10 pick that can make an immediate impact for them offensively or defensively. Adding a wide receiver with a top-10 grade like Amari Cooper or Kevin White, could make the Giants passing attack unstoppable or drafting a pass rusher with a top 5 grade like Vic Beasley, can help the G-Men get back to being the best in the NFL at rushing the passer.
The other fact of the matter is, the Giants can draft a safety in the mid to late rounds of the draft and get similar production out that player that Collins would have given them.
Overall, Landon Collins will be a solid NFL player, but he is not worth the Giants reaching for with the 9th pick in the draft. The Giants in their position should draft the best player available instead of reaching for a player like Collins to fill a position need. They can use the rest of draft to address filling position needs and use their first round pick as way to add a player with top-10 talent to their team. Last year the Giants made good use of having a top-15 pick in drafting Odell Beckham Jr, who is without a doubt one of the best receivers in the game now. The G-Men need to do the same with their pick this year, because adding a player that can impact the team sort of like Beckham did this past season, can help get Big Blue over the hump and back into the playoffs.