The Giants need a safety; who can they get?

You could do a week's worth of blog posts on the New York Giants' needs on the defensive side of the ball. Heck, I just might. But while they desperately need defensive ends, a defensive tackle, a middle linebacker, a cornerback and a free safety, the feeling in the organization is that free safety is is the biggest of those needs. So let's address that one first. That way, if this doesn't turn out to be a series, we'll at least have hit the high point.

The Giants need a true free safety. 2015 second-round pick Landon Collins played well against the run as a rookie, but he's not a helper in coverage and it doesn't look as though they can expect that to ever be his strength. There are people in the league who think the Giants would be better off putting some weight on Collins and moving him to linebacker, à la Arizona's Deone Bucannon. But if you know anything about the Giants, you know they didn't trade up to the top of the second round to get a linebacker. So even if they end up going that way, it's not likely to be in 2016.

So assume Collins is the strong safety and they like him there. The Giants need a free safety who can play in coverage -- an instinctive, reactive playmaker type who'd complement Collins well on the back end. There are options, and here's a look at a few of them.


The dream: Eric Berry

The headliner of this year's safety market, the 27-year-old Berry would command a huge price if he hit the open market. As they did last year with Devin McCourty, the Giants would make a strong push. But don't get your hopes up. The Chiefs are likely to sign Berry before free agency opens.

The more likely option: Tashaun Gipson

Gipson doesn't turn 26 until August, had 11 total interceptions in 2013-14 and isn't likely to sign back with the Browns after a down year in Cleveland. He fits the Giants' preferred age demographic for free agents, and the perception that he slipped a bit in 2015 could help them on price. Gipson looks like a good bounce-back candidate considering all of the issues the Browns had in the secondary around him last year.

Other possibilities: Eric Weddle is a big name, but he's 31. George Iloka is more of a strong safety but improved in coverage in 2015. Rodney McLeod is a restricted free agent but could be available as the Rams have a lot of defensive backs hitting the market.


The dream: Jalen Ramsey, Florida State

Some see the Seminoles star as a corner, others as a safety. That versatility is appealing, and he could be a superstar if he starts as a safety and improves there. But he's not likely to be there at No. 10, so the Giants would have to trade up to get him.

The more likely option: Vonn Bell, Ohio State

Offers the coverage ability and instincts they're looking for, but he's not likely worth the No. 10 pick. You could see a similar situation to Collins last year if someone like Bell is available at the top of the second round.

Other possibilities (after the first round): Keanu Neal, Florida. Jeremy Cash, Duke. Clemson's Jayron Kearse will intrigue them due to his exceptional (6-foot-5) size.