1. Vonn Bell
Scouting Profile: For a class with no distinct top prospect, this list will begin with Bell, a junior out of Ohio State. The Buckeye talent had a distinguishable year in 2014, amassing 56 solo tackles, 6 picks, and 6 passes defended. His junior year took a small tumble in production, but he still received 2015 second-team All-Big Ten honors from coaches.
His man coverage skills are impressive, especially considering the 23 passes defended over the past two seasons. Displays good intelligence on the field as well and has a good feel for WR routes.
While he’s got smarts and has a nose for the ball, he is not much of a physical specimen. He stands an inch under 6ft. and does not display the type of quickness one would expect out of a DB. His versatility, especially around the line of scrimmage, is in question.
Scheme Fit: The Giant’s need someone to complement Landon Collins and Bell may be the guy. With Collins’ role as a box-safety solidified during the season, Bell could capitalize on his coverage skills to help protect against the deep ball.
2. Karl Joseph
Scouting Profile: Joseph may have led this safety class if not for an injury that sidelined him for the majority of his senior season. Before that, he had nabbed 5 interceptions over just 4 weeks. This hard hitter out of West Virginia had accumulated just over 200 tackles in his college career.
A ball hawk that also loves to lay big hits. He simply loves making plays. He demonstrates the speed to move from the box to center field in a hurry, giving him good range and the trust of his coaches.
As stated earlier, his injury is a big concern. What looked like a fabulous senior campaign resulted in an injury during a non-contact practice drill. It was already a concern giving his playing style that his body would not be able to take the hits. His frame may not be suitable to the physical contact of the NFL.
Scheme Fit: If he slides, the Giant’s may take a chance. The injury boot Joseph out of the first round, especially if he cannot perform in the combine. Pending medical examinations, he would be a nice fit to have to create competition at the safety position for Big Blue.
Scouting Profile: This senior out of Southern Utah may be the most pure box-safety in the draft. A hybrid safety-linebacker, he wrapped up over 100 tackles in his last two seasons, obtaining first team All-Big Sky honors.
His tackling and wrap up abilities are top notch in this safety class. And his versatility to play LB in some packages could make him quite a shiny option for many teams looking for some consistency.
While he can hit, his coverage skills have been questioned. Perhaps only operating at an average level, teams are not going to be looking to Killebrew to be the last line of defense.
Scheme Fit: The Giants already have a box safety in Landon Collins. However, given the lack of depth at LB the Giants could find a use for this guy. But given Jerry Reese’s tendencies, and other teams wanting to fill a Collins-like role, it is doubtful that Killebrew would be available when the Giants are on the clock.
4. Jeremy Cash
Scouting Profile: The senior out of Duke has an impressive college resume. He racked up 326 tackles in 3 years with Duke and 38 tackles for a loss. He was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year this past season.
Cash is the perfect run-stopper. He does not quite have the build of LB, but can challenge FBs and TEs at the line of scrimmage. He even has 7 forced fumbles over the last 3 seasons.
His coverage skills are lacking. He does not have the speed to drop back into zone and can get overwhelmed when forced into man coverage. Surgery this past season prevented him from participating in a bowl game.
Scheme Fit: Cash’s skills may not be available for the Giants. A run-stopping safety is coveted quite highly in the NFL, but at the 10th spot, the Giant’s will be addressing other needs. The combine may push Cash into the latter half of the first round.
Scouting Profile: In terms of size, Kearse is a freak of nature among safety prospects. This 6’4” monster earned second-team All-American his junior year at Clemson.
Kearse build and athleticism alone get him into the top 5 conversation. His long body and arms make him seem like the type of playmaker a team would want at the second level. He’s has displayed the ability to play deep and lurk around the line of scrimmage.
Despite Kearse’s size, he does not make many plays. Although rumors say his maturity has improved, he still lingers and drifts a bit in the field. His size goes against him when playing against small shift receivers.
Scheme Fit: Kearse needs to be coached. With Steve Spagnuolo at the helm and the no-nonsense mentality that Tom Coughlin instilled in this organization over the years, it is possible the Giants could make this prospect al he can be. But if other teams see this same potential, he may be sought after by other teams as well.