Landon Collins has had only two practices on the field with the Giants veterans so far, but he's already becoming a dominant figure in the defense.

"Collins seems very assertive when he calls out the plays," cornerback Prince Amukamara said of the second-round pick who will likely be one of the team's starting safeties this season. "Just the way he communicates with other DBs on the field, it seems like he's taking charge out there."

The Giants traded up to the top of the second round to select Collins, and admitted they had a need at the position. So far, Amukamara said he likes what he's heard. And seen.

"He's built like a truck," Amukamara said.

Amukamara was honored as one of the Hometown Heroes at Tuesday night's Gridiron Gala in Manhattan to benefit the United Way of New York City. When he spoke to reporters earlier in the offseason he expressed concern about the safety position in light of the team losing veterans Antrel Rolle and Quintin Demps (and eventually Stevie Brown) and relying on players such as Nat Berhe and Cooper Taylor and converted cornerback Bennett Jackson, none of whom have ever started an NFL game.

"I think being unsure is a natural reaction because you don't know what the guys are going to bring and guys who are on our roster, they don' really have any experience," Amukamara explained. "I think being unsure is natural. But seeing the guys on the field and how they are getting the new playbook down, my confidence is starting to build in them."

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Especially, it seems, in Collins.

"I think all of that confidence comes from being at Alabama and always playing at a pro-caliber mentality," Amukamara said.

And the players are finding their confidence in Collins growing too.