Highly-touted out of Western Michigan, cornerback Sam Beal was chosen in the third round by Big Blue in Wednesday’s NFL supplemental draft. The annual event is usually considered ho-hum for most teams, but Beal’s availability added intrigue to this year’s edition. The selection of Beal, who didn’t declare for April’s NFL Draft but opted to leave school following his questions surrounding his academic eligibility, might end up being a steal for the Giants.
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The 21-year-old will immediately be inserted into a conversation at corner, a position facing some uncertainty following the offseason departure of veteran Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Last year, Beal performed well with two interceptions and 10 pass breakups for the Broncos.
In Beal, former NFL scout Dan Shonka said the Giants have someone who he thinks “is likely a second-round talent” had he come out next year.
“Sam Beal has all the tools, good length, fluid athletic ability, smooth hips, good in transition, can carry the deep vertical route with his speed and long arms,” Shonka said. “[He has] good timing on downfield throws, instinctive with good ball skills, [he could improve picking off the ball instead of just batting it down] will fit into the Giants’ man-to-man scheme. He majored in man-to-man at Western Michigan. [He’s an] ascending raw talent that is not afraid to hit, but needs to wrap up more consistently.”
Shonka’s assessment of Beal is met by Ric Serritella, founder of NFL Draft Bible. While Seritella differs from Shonka in saying that he thinks Beal is likely a third or fourth-round pick, he too agrees with the former NFL scout when talking about the new Giants cornerback’s athleticism.
Beal, whose only major college offer was Western Michigan, plays with a chip on his shoulder. For a young Giants secondary, he brings some needed fight and tenacity.
He has intriguing length and good instincts, covering ground very well. And the NFL Draft Bible’s Serritella sees a good fit in the Giants’ defense.
“While he has experience playing in both man and zone schemes, Beal fits the Giants’ defensive scheme as a press man corner,” Seritella said. “He is best suited to play on the outside but it will take him at least half the season before he is able to compete with Eli Apple for the starting job opposite of Janoris Jenkins. While Beal wasn’t known as a big play corner with gaudy stats, he was a dependable staple on defense who played consistently well.”
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