Safety, the position that was a big, gaping hole a year ago for the Giants, may finally be settled, and it could happen long before the end of training camp.
Second-year player Landon Collins and third-round pick Darian Thompson looked terrific working together in the spring and likely will start the preseason as the Giants’ two starters in the back of the defense.
Thompson has shown to be a natural leader who is not afraid to make quick decisions and communicate them well to the veterans on the field. His range and uncanny ability to find the football when it is loose in the air or on the ground – which he demonstrated in OTAs – make him a good bet to win the job at free safety.
That would allow Collins, more of a thumper who played his rookie season mostly out of position as a centerfielder, to come up to the line of scrimmage where he can be more productive. The Thompson pick seems like it will be a good one on its own merits, and if it allows Collins to flourish it could be looked back on as a great one and a key to the 2016 draft class.
There are others who will vie for time, too, including some whose injuries last year led to the abyss at the position. Nat Berhe (calf) and Mykkele Thompson (Achilles) are both coming off injuries suffered last year in training camp, and it was a disappointment that they both missed time in minicamp because of injuries. Cooper Taylor, too, underwent surgery and missed most of the offseason program. He’s expected back for the start of camp.
Bennett Jackson tinkered at safety last year before a knee injury sidelined him, and he can play either safety or cornerback. Justin Currie, an undrafted rookie, saw some time with the second team at free safety in the spring due to the injuries.