Anyone who reads this site regularly knows that I don’t try to hide my affinity for the New York Giants and I think I’m the only Giants fan in the world who feels their number one need might actually be a safety. Right now the New York Giants would enter the season with Antrel Rolle and Kenny Phillips entrenched as the starters, which is pretty good. the backups are Tyler Sash and a collection of re-treads and journeymen. If Rolle or Phillips were to get hurt the Giants could be facing a situation like 2009 where run stopping specialist C.C. Brown was forced into starting duty. Giants fans shudder at the name C.C. Brown.
Harrison Smith is widely considered the second best safety in the class and I never really considered him an option for the Giants until last week when I read two people I respect link Smith to the Giants. First was Mike Garafolo of the Newark New-star Ledger, who mentioned Smith as a possibility for the Giants in a list of names he’s heard the Giants were interested in. Then Peter King of Sports Illustrated selected Smith to the Giants in his latest mock.
What kind of merit does the pick have? I mean after all he doesn’t play defensive end.
Interestingly enough since Jerry Reese took over the General Manager he has focused on the secondary in the first much more often than he has defensive linemen. Reese became the G.M. for the 2007 draft. That year he took CB Aaron Ross in the first round, 2008 the Giants turned to Kenny Phillips, in 2009 Hakeem Nicks, 2010 Jason Pierre Paul, and 2011 Prince Amukamara. Jerry Reese has been general manager five drafts and has gone with secondary players in three of those five years.
The Giants like to go secondary early, also having spent a second round pick on Terrell Thomas. The value of the position is one the Giants obviously crave early. The other issue you have to look at with the Giants is the value of the player. There are not 32 players that grade out with first round grades in this draft for most teams (nor for me) but Smith is generally right in that same area as most of the late first round picks so the value would be acceptable to most. The other issue the Giants look at are height, weight, speed. Harrison Smith has good size for a safety at 6’2 and plus speed for a safety that size at 4.57 second officially at the combine. He also fits that mold. Based on the criteria of what the Giants look for in a prospect in the first round it is very possible that Harrison Smith could appeal to the Giants at 32nd overall.
As for me personally-I think it’d be a reach, but perhaps a necessary one (though I would like to emphasize that the Giants should go in another direction). On my own personal big board I have Smith as a late 2nd round prospect. But on a team like the Giant who have a ferocious pass rush a smart, instinctive player with a nose for the ball would fit well with the New York Giants and make some big plays. He would also fill one of the Giants biggest needs.
Ideally, if the Giants really like Harrison Smith they would find a partner to trade down 5-7 spots, pick up an extra pick and take him then.
I think Harrison Smith is a possibility for the Giants at the end of round one, but I think ultimately they will go in a different direction.
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