Giants named top fit for rangy coverage safety on Day 2 of the draft

ncaa football: washington at southern california, calen bullock, new york giants
Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have been pegged as a potential landing spot for USC Trojans safety Calen Bullock on Day 2 of the NFL draft. After losing standout safety Xavier McKinney, the Giants desperately need help in their secondary.

Giants named top fit for USC safety Calen Bullock

While listing top fits for prospects on the second day of the draft, Dalton Wasserman of Pro Football Focus named Bullock as a top fit for Big Blue:

“The Giants lost their outstanding free safety Xavier McKinney in free agency, so they could replace him with USC safety Calen Bullock. Bullock doesn’t provide much help in the run game, but he is the best single-high safety in the draft. His play style very much resembles McKinney, and he would have a chance to start immediately in the Giants’ secondary.”

Dalton Wasserman of Pro Football Focus

What could Bullock bring to the Giants?

Standing at 6’2 and weighing 188 pounds, Bullock is known for his ball-hawking abilities and impressive burst, speed, and instincts on the field. As a true freshman at USC, he quickly emerged as a playmaker, starting half of the team’s games and tallying 40 tackles, two interceptions, and three pass breakups.

In his sophomore year, he continued to shine with 58 total stops and five interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. In 2023, Bullock racked up 61 total tackles, two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), and seven passes defended.

Bullock’s struggles in run defense could make him a risky pick

While Bullock has excelled in coverage, earning PFF grades above 80 in his past two seasons, his weakness lies in run defense, where he earned grades of 55.1 and 49.0, respectively. He also seems to struggle against tight ends in the run game and bigger-bodied receivers.

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Bullock’s versatility could be the key for the Giants

Despite his struggles against the run, the 20-year-old’s versatility as a do-it-all defensive back could make him a crucial asset for Big Blue. With safety Dane Belton expected to compete for a starting role, the Giants could consider Bullock a cornerback prospect.

The G-Men’s cornerback room is weak, with Deonte Banks shouldering much of the load. Bullock’s ability to potentially transition to a cornerback role could provide much-needed depth and flexibility for the team. With a depleted secondary tested by injuries and a lack of depth in the 2023 season, having a player like Bullock who can step up in multiple roles could be crucial.

Bullock’s playmaking skills and versatility make him an intriguing prospect for the Giants. While he may have weaknesses in run defense, his ability to make big plays and adapt to different roles could prove valuable for the team.

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