Could Delaware’s Nasir Adderley be the future of the Giants’ safety position?
One of the best parts of the NFL Draft is finding players in unexpected places, players from small schools that nobody expected to excel — but still do. This year’s biggest, and most pleasant, surprise is Nasir Adderly out of Delaware.
Adderley emerged from pretty much nowhere to be one one of the top defensive backs in this draft class.
As it so happens, the New York Giants are in a position where they could spend an early round draft pick to secure a long-term answer to man the back end of their defense. Could the Giants look at the Fighting Blue Hen as an eventual replacement for Antoine Bethea?
- Rangy safety with good instincts.
- Able to play in man coverage and shows good awareness in zones.
- Generally does a good job of keeping the play in front of him.
- Quick to come downhill to make a play.
- Physical and competitive safety with a good motor.
- Generally a reliable tackler.
- Shows good ball skills.
- Able to play near the line of scrimmage as well as in a deep zone.
- Capably navigates crowded areas.
- Needs to get better taking on blockers.
- Long speed is only special.
- Will face a jump in competition from Delaware to the NFL.
What They’re Saying
Nasir Adderley is the latest small school prospect to serve as a reminder that high quality football players come from every level. Adderley has high end coverage skills and tackling, making him a desirable candidate to start in a single high role on defense. His projection would pair best in a man scheme, where he is then able to focus on prowling for the football as compared to passing off coverages. Adderley has excellent anticipation and ball skills, can be an impact starter.
– Kyle Crabbs (The Draft Network – Scouting Report)
Does He Fit The Giants?
Adderley should be a good fit for what the Giants like to do on defense. He is typically used in deep zone coverage, and passers rarely targeted him there his senior year. While Delaware ran a lot quarter coverage, Adderley has the traits to give confidence that he will be able to play in single-high safety looks.
He will face a significant jump in competition leaping from Delaware to the NFL, but he should be able to handle it.
Adderley does a lot of what the Giants want from their free safety. He has a background as a cornerback letting him play in man coverage near the line of scrimmage, is quick to come down and play the run, and is a capable blitzer. He could deal with blocks better, but that should come with coaching. He is a competitive, physical player who shows no hesitation to come downhill and lay hits, while also generally wrapping up to limit yards after contact.
If the Giants are willing to spend a high draft pick on a safety, Adderley would be one of their best options.