The New York Giants are desperately in need of a starting free safety, and there are several avenues they can take to find one. The NFL Draft offers quality options to supplement the void, specifically in the shape of Antoine Winfield in the second round, known for his ball-hawk abilities and instinctual play.
Winfield is a top option at 36th overall — formerly the captain of the Minnesota football team, recording seven interceptions in 2019, showing off his coverage skills and right-place, right-time mentality. If the Giants want to spend a high draft pick on his skill-set, they would be gaining an immediate starter at the position for the foreseeable future. His downfall, however, is his athleticism and tackling technique at times. Winfield’s elite vision and instincts compensate for his lack of speed/size, and his tackling can always be improved — Joe Judge will harp on the details.
Alternatively, the Giants could seek help in the form of a trade. The Minnesota Vikings recently franchise-tagged Anthony Harris and are working on a long-term deal, but nothing is set in stone. They have been patient with his market and negotiations, indicating that he might be a trade option for a needy-team like Big Blue.
What Anthony Harris would bring to the New York Giants:
Grabbing Harris would immediately turn the free safety position into one of absolute strength, but it would likely cost GM Dave Gettleman at least a third-rounder to pry him away from the Vikings. It would be well worth the investment if it didn’t break the bank, though, considering Harris’ six interceptions and 11 passes defended in 2019.
Harris started in 14 games last season, the most in his career, previously starting in nine games in 2018 and three in 2017. While those numbers are a bit concerning, it seems as if Minnesota were dabbling with Harris in different positions (SS), which ultimately didn’t pay off. Permanently moving him to free safety saw his value explode and landed him a franchise tag deal.
If the Giants can pry him away, they will be in good shape in the defensive secondary, allowing Gettleman to invest draft picks into the offensive line and pass rusher positions.