EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A few quick thoughts on the New York Giants' second-round draft pick.
The pick: Landon Collins, safety, Alabama
My take: Well, obviously, New York needed a safety. Until about a week ago, Collins was widely viewed as the best safety in this draft. (Arizona State's Damarious Randall was the only safety taken in the first round Thursday night.) The Giants made a big move to trade up from No. 40 to No. 33 and select Collins to help bolster a position of significant need. They gave up the No. 40 pick (second round), the No. 108 pick (fourth round) and the No. 245 pick (the extra seventh-rounder they got from the Broncos in last year's Brandon McManus trade). That seems like a lot to give up, and this pick up doesn't really solve their need at free safety, as Collins projects to be a box safety exclusively. But he likely immediately becomes the best safety on the Giants' roster, and the roster isn't quite as tattered as it was a year ago, so giving up a fourth-rounder isn't likely to hurt too much. I guess I like it.
The trade: Giants GM Jerry Reese said the Giants had a list of players they liked after the first round was completed Thursday night, and he began calling teams with picks ahead of his in the second round before he left the building Thursday night. "We just try to get good players when the opportunity presents itself," Reese said. "We try to be aggressive. We like this guy. When you move up to that spot, you have buddies around the National Football League, but they're not buddy enough to let you come up there for free. We paid a fair price for him." The Giants clearly believe Collins was a first-round player who fell to the second round and that it was worth using multiple picks to get him.
Comparisons, etc.: At the combine in February, Collins said his favorite player was the late Washington safety Sean Taylor, that he wore No. 26 in college because that was Taylor's number at the University of Miami, that Washington was his favorite team as a kid and that he cried the day Taylor died. He patterns himself after the hard-hitting Taylor as a tackler. Reese said the Giants believe he can play free safety as well and handle coverage responsibilities. And he believes that the experience of playing at Alabama in the SEC can help with that. "We think, if they're playing at a higher level of competition, it's an easier adjustment to play up here," Reese said.