Kevin Boss was the last Giants fifth round selection to have a significant impact on the roster, and he was picked in 2007, Jerry Reese’s first season as General Manager. The Giants went on the clock at 2:32 hoping to reverse that trend and selected San Diego State safety Nat Berhe.
The Selection: Nat Berhe is a 5’11”, 193 pound strong safety with a constantly running motor and a nose for the ball. Seen as a leader in the secondary, he reads plays quickly and reacts just as fast, possessing good body control and balance. Berhe disguises coverages well and baits quarterbacks into making poor decisions. He is not fast, and is undersized, needing some time in a NFL weight room before he will be able to stand up to the rigors of professional play. Berhe should contribute immediately as a special teams player and see some backup and spot duty in the secondary.
Berhe started 41 games and was team captain for San Diego state. Despite his 4.71 speed in the 40 yard dash, he plays faster and flies around the field making plays. He lives and breathes football.
Who They Passed Up: According to the experts, Alabama defensive end Ed Stinson is the premier player dropping the furthest on the value chart. He went 8 picks later to the Bills at 162. There are also several big raw offensive line prospects that could be brought into camp.
Expert Rankings: Berhe was not ranked on with NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock’s top 100 player list (At his point, only three players are left on his list, quarterback’s Zack Mettenberg and AJ McCarron and Stinson). He also did not appear on nfl.com and SiriusXm radio draft expert Gil Brandt’s top 125 prospects. Nolan Nawrocki listed him as a late draftable pick and the 6th strong safety.
Current Giant Most Effected: Will Hill. His third positive drug test is his third strike. Expect the team to waive him as soon as it is cap prudent. Berhe will take his roster spot.
The reason for this pick is obvious – replacing Will Hill. Berhe will need some time to build strength and muscle onto his frame, described as more cornerback than safety, but should be able to contribute on special teams while the team waits for him to develop into a NFL safety. At this point in the draft, every pick is speculative. As a 41 game starter, team captain, and vocal, football focused leader, the attributes that made him attractive to the Giants are apparent.