With the release of Antoine Bethea, the New York Giants have a void at the free safety position. They could travel down several avenues in their quest to filling the job with a quality player — a position that has lacked talent for years now.
Bethea struggled in coverage in 2019, recording just one interception, which came within five yards of the line of scrimmage against the Dallas Cowboys. His 72.5 completion percentage is inadequate. He allowed 497 yards and seven scores, yes, you read that right, seven touchdowns.
The Giants need to upgrade this spot along with the offensive tackle and pass rusher position, and they could look to the draft to fill all of these voids.
The draft does offer one quality free safety at the top of the second round in Minnesota’s Antoine Winfield.
Winfield is a ball-hawk style of player who can fill a serious gap in the secondary, and the Giants know all about bad secondary efficiency.
What would Antoine Winfield bring to the New York Giants?
While the Minnesota product isn’t the tallest or most athletic player, he’s quick and has the tenacity to play at the NFL level. His balance and strength make him a great option at the free safety position, and while the Giants draft Julian Love last year in the fourth round to potentially fill that hole, creating competition is always a positive thing.
Love can also play slot corner along with Grant Haley if they elect to draft Winfield, establishing a young secondary with plenty of potential to work with.
The biggest knock on Winfield is that his lack of elite athleticism hinders his ability to tackle efficiently, meaning he will need impeccable fundamentals in the NFL. New head coach Joe Judge harps on having great fundamentals, so this could be a perfect match moving forward. The Giants do have other needs, though, as offensive tackle and pass rusher remains the most significant needs.