Will the Giants make safety a draft priority after likely Will Hill suspension?


After a third failed drug test, Giants safety Will Hill, is likely facing his third consecutive suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. His career with Giants is likely over as well, after Fox Sports’ Mike Garafolo reported that management is “livid.” Hill was projected as one of the two starting safeties for 2014 season and his talent will surely be missed. The Giants are left with Antrel Rolle, Stevie Brown, Quentin Demps, and Cooper Taylor at safety. Brown is the likely candidate to take on Hill’s roll, but his ACL surgery could mean he will not be the same player that tied for second in the league in interceptions in 2012. With Hill’s future in serious jeopardy, do the Giants change their draft strategy with the 12th pick?

If the Giants do decide to go with a safety with their first selection the choice would be Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. He obviously has drawn attention from many teams and is widely regarded as the number one safety in the draft. In most mock drafts his slotted to go in the middle of the first round, so he will most likely still be on the board when the Giants make their first pick. Clinton-Dix is well-rounded free safety that makes quick reads, with good speed, and that has above average tackling ability for a player at that position. He is a day one starter for whatever team he becomes a member of on May 8, but it most likely will not be the Giants.

The Giants will probably wait until the third day of the draft if they make a selection at safety. Ed Reynolds, from Stanford, is an interesting prospect. In his first season as a starter for the Cardinal in 2012, he earned third team All-American honors and led the nation with six interceptions. Despite entering 2013 as one of the nation’s top safety prospects, Reynolds looked like a shadow of his former self. Reynolds had just one interception in week one against San Jose State, and turned in mixed performances throughout the rest of 2013. His unimpressive showing at the combine only lengthened the fall of his already faltering draft stock. Reynolds has good size, speed and instincts to be a solid player at the NFL level, but there is no doubt he will be a project. If the Giants can get him in the fifth round it would be a great value pick.

The Giants revamped their secondary during free agency this offseason and before Hill’s probable suspension were probably not thinking about drafting a back end defender. With players like Calvin Pryor, Dion Bailey, Jimmy Ward, Deon Buchanon and Craig Loston all available it is tempting for the Giants to draft one of them. Even with this plethora of talent it is still very unlikely they will draft a safety, during the first four rounds. They have many more pressing needs on the offensive and defensive live, tight end and wide receiver.

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