The New York Giants added plenty of reinforcements in the first three rounds of the draft. The pick of safety Cooper Taylor in the fifth round, however, might be the best pick of the 2013 NFL Draft for the Giants. Taylor has very good size for a safety at 6-4, 228 pounds and excellent speed, clocking in with a 4.49 40-yard dash.
Taylor recorded 141 tackles and five interceptions in 18 games with Richmond. He also recorded 90 tackles and two picks in 20 with Georgia Tech. It was at Georgia Tech in 2009 that Taylor was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, a heart condition that stems from abnormal electrical pathways to the heart and results in rapid heart rate. He underwent a procedure to correct the problem in November of 2009 and has not had any major issues since then.
Aside from the heart condition Taylor has had other injury issues. He had a knee problem in 2011 and suffered a torn pectoral and broken hands in 2012. However, Taylor, son of former Baltimore Colts quarterback Jim Taylor, has a history of being able to play through pain.
The Giants lost Kenny Phillips this past off-season to free agency. Stevie Brown, Antrel Rolle, Will Hill, Tyler Sash and Ryan Mundy are on the roster leaving Taylor facing an uphill battle for playing time at safety. However, given his speed and size Taylor could become an asset as the safety/linebacker hybrid position that defensive coordinator Perry Fewell often employs. Taylor could also line up at linebacker where the Giants are somewhat thin.
To begin his NFL career Taylor might need to prove himself on special teams. However, the Giants could quickly lean on Taylor to play a major role in their secondary as Brown is playing this season on a one-year tender and Rolle is in the final year of his deal. Taylor could very well be the safety of the future for the Giants.