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What to expect from Rookie Safety Landon Collins


That's the unavoidable reality for rookies in the NFL, but Landon Collins doesn't mind. In fact, he's out to prove he should have been taken earlier.

The former Alabama safety, whom the Giants traded up to grab with the first pick in the second round, has expressed his disappointment in not being in the top 32, using it as motivation to start what he and the Giants hope will be a productive career.

But what exactly is realistic? looked back at the last five years of the draft and examined how safeties taken in the first and second rounds fared in their rookie seasons, which you will find below:

YRRD (#)PLAYERCOLLEGETEAMG (GS)TACKINTPDSACK20141 (18)Calvin PryorLouisvilleJets16 (11)60020.520141 (21)Ha Ha Clinton-DixAlabamaPackers16 (10)9216120141 (27)Deone BucannonWash. St.Cardinals16 (9)8302220141 (30)Jimmie WardN. Illinois49ers8 (0)1902020131 (15)Kenny VaccaroTexasSaints14 (14)7918120131 (18)Eric ReidLSU49ers16 (16)77411020131 (32)Matt ElamFloridaRavens16 (15)7713020132 (33)John CyprienFlorida Int.Jaguars15 (15)10416120132 (57)D.J. SwearingerS. CarolinaTexans16 (10)7114020121 (7)Mark BarronAlabamaBuccaneers16 (16)88110020121 (29)Harrison SmithNotre DameVikings16 (16)104311120122 (48)Tavon WilsonIllinoisPatriots16 (4)4146020112 (45)Rahim MooreUCLABroncos15 (7)3112020112 (54)Jaiquawn JarrettTempleEagles12 (2)1700020101 (5)Eric BerryTennesseeChiefs16 (16)9249220101 (14)Earl ThomasTexasSeahawks16 (16)7657020102 (37)Nate AllenS. FloridaEagles13 (13)4838220102 (38)T.J. WardOregonBrowns16 (16)123210020102 (49)Taylor MaysUSC49ers16 (6)38020

As you can see, there are plenty of instant starters across the board, and Collins has the upcoming organized team activities, training camp and preseason games to try to become one in his own right.

Photos of Safety Landon Collins in Giants Blue

"Alabama prepared me for that," Collins said of his alma mater. "Being under coach [Nick] Saban, he doesn't coach us as freshmen, he coaches us as juniors and he puts a lot of responsibility on your shoulders as an 18-year-old. I have the upmost respect for him because of that. Going through that process, it helped a lot because it made me a man, the person, the player and the leader that I am today and a smart player knowing the game. Definitely the school and coach Saban have helped me a long way with that."

Meanwhile, Collins is the highest safety drafted by the Giants since 2008 when they took Kenny Phillips out of Miami with the final pick in the first round coming off their victory in Super Bowl XLII.

As a rookie, Phillips played in all 16 games with three starts, recording 67 tackles, five passes defensed and an interception. The Giants finished with a 12-4 record that season as they claimed the NFC East title.

Historically, here is a look at past safeties who put together some of the all-time great rookie campaigns at the position:

1948: Emlen Tunnell, New York Giants

Signed as an undrafted free agent, Tunnell, who became known as "offense on defense" throughout his Hall of Fame career, recorded seven of his then-record 79 career interceptions as a rookie.

In honor of Jackie Robinson Day, looks back at the career of defensive back Emlen Tunnell, who was the first African-American to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967.

1964: Paul Krause, Washington Redskins

Drafted out of Iowa in the second round (18th overall) of the 1964 NFL Draft, Krause began his Hall of Fame career by leading the NFL in interceptions with 12. He would go on to retire as the game's all-time leader with 81 career picks.

1990: Mark Carrier, Chicago Bears

The USC product, who was the sixth overall selection, forced 15 turnovers (10 interceptions and five forced fumbles) en route to winning Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in 1990.

Photos of safeties drafted in the first two rounds since 2010

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