PHOENIX — The New York Giants chose not to address the safety position in free agency, despite the fact that the group isn't where the team wants it to be. On Wednesday at the NFL's annual meetings, Giants head coach Tom Coughlin told reporters that the position is a problem and one that the team still hopes to address.
"That is an issue," Coughlin said. "We do have one more access to bringing in personnel, obviously the draft, and we have a couple guys in the program ... We have injured players coming back, but it's a concern, no doubt."
Nat Berhe is one player Coughlin singled out as a possible asset at the position, although the 2014 fifth-round pick primarily played on special teams as a rookie and had limited experience in the team's defense. The Giants head coach also mentioned the possibility of 2014 sixth-round pick Bennett Jackson making the transition from cornerback to safety, if needed.
The Giants were expected to be a player for New England Patriots safety Devin McCourty, but the Pro Bowler elected to re-sign with the Patriots. New York instead elected to leave the position be in the first days of free agency.
It's anyone's guess what the plan was and still is for the Giants at safety, but Ed Valentine from SB Nation's Giants blog has a theory about what general manager Jerry Reese was thinking:
Rightly or wrongly, I don't think Reese saw players beyond McCourty who were worth getting into bidding wars for. I think he still sees the remaining players that way. My guess is that rather than spend more than he wants he will simply wait until someone is willing to take what he wants to offer. Eventually, openings will dwindle and someone will have to.
In the latest mock draft from SB Nation's Dan Kadar, the Giants are slated to take Iowa offensive tackle Brandon Scherff with the No. 9 pick, while Alabama's Landon Collins is the first safety off the board with the No. 29 selection. The Giants may be in better position to address the defensive secondary with the No. 40 overall selection at the top of the second round.