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Inside Bennett Jackson's transition to safety

Rewind to the end of March.


> 5 things we learned at Rookie Mini-Camp
> Spagnuolo turns to Giants history
> Ben McAdoo not satisfied with Year 1
> Giants 2015 Rookie Mini-Camp
> Rookie Mini-Camp Wrapup

At the NFL Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Giants coach Tom Coughlin opened the door for the possibility of cornerback Bennett Jackson, the team's 2014 sixth-round draft choice, to move to safety, where there were no returning starters once free agency opened.

Then at the end of April, when the Giants reported for the start of the offseason workout program, the team approached Jackson.

"'We are thinking about having you learn safety and get the ball rolling,'" Jackson recalled of the conversation.

"I was like, 'Yeah, let's do it,'" he responded.

Fast-forward to present day, and Jackson officially has a new position and a different number to go along with it.

The Notre Dame product, who wore No. 36 last year and spent his rookie campaign on the practice squad/injured reserve list after hurting his knee, lined up alongside this year's first-round pick Landon Collins as the top safety tandem at the Giants' rookie mini-camp, which included 65 players ranging from the six-member draft class to rookie free agents and tryout prospects.

On if he's ever played the position before, Jackson said, "Bits and pieces, not really. Certain formations here and there, but for the most part, no."

Now he will continue working with longtime safeties coach David Merritt and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who begins his second stint with the Giants this season.

"At the end of the day, I am a [defensive back]," Jackson said. "I think my strengths are my cover skills. I have good speed and great ball skills. The thing that it is going to take for me to get out there and make an impact is I have to learn the defense and communicate the calls fluently. That is really the main thing with learning a new defense, you just have to be accountable and allow people to trust that you are going to be out there and get the job done."

At the end of the day, his versatility will equal opportunity.

"Yes, especially coming off a knee injury," Jackson said. "It is good for [the coaches] to see me out there running around, making cuts and getting through the practice. Just really being a football player and not being limited. I don't see it as anything less than another opportunity."

Photos of Safety Bennett Jackson at Giants Rookie mini-camp

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