Photos of Alabama Safety Landon Collins
Which rookie will have the most impact on the giants this year?
Landon Collins. The temptation is to say Ereck Flowers since he was, after all, the first-round draft choice. But he's an offensive tackle and Will Beatty and Justin Pugh, the starting tackles the last two seasons, remain very much on the team.
That doesn't mean Flowers won't start, but an incumbent will either have to lose his job or change positions for that to happen. Not so with Collins, who was arguably the best safety in the 2015 draft class. The top three safeties from last season – Antrel Rolle, Stevie Brown and Quintin Demps – have moved on, the first two to new teams, the third to free agency limbo.
The current starters at safety are … well, whoever impresses the coaches in the spring and in training camp. I think Collins will be one of them.
Landon Collins will impact the team the most right away. He is extremely polished in his ability to line up the defense, read offenses and make adjustments on the fly. He comes from a pro-style program with an NFL head coach and should be accustomed to all the pressure that comes with playing in New York.
The Crimson Tide are actually a bigger deal down there than the Giants are up here. I expect Collins to hit the ground running and immediately become a leader on the defense, and an impactful player in the secondary. He, in my mind, is the equivalent of a second first round pick.
My initial thought was to go with Ereck Flowers because you don't draft an offensive lineman No. 9 overall and not expect him to contribute right away. But looking at the safety position, there's more of an opportunity for second-round pick Landon Collins.
The Giants have no returning starting safeties from last season, and Collins has the background to step in on Day 1. He's an All-American product of Nick Saban's elite Alabama defenses, and his intangibles equally impressed the Giants.
Meanwhile, he's only going to be extra hungry to prove he should have been taken in the first round.