Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Fifth Round: Nat Berhe – S – San Diego State University
Berhe is a pick that has frequently received criticism because of how he would seemingly fit in the Giants defense. Perhaps it’s not warranted. After all, despite a 5’10’’ size and mere 190 pound frame in college, Berhe was a highly productive defender that notched over 90 tackles in two straight years. He played all around the SDSU secondary and possessed an ability to see the entire field of play, with the playmaking instincts to create havoc despite the limitations in his physique.
The funny thing is that despite the criticism, Nat fits well into the Giants’ plans because of the recent suspension of Will Hill that ultimately led to his being waived. Placing Berhe in that role, as a nickel safety who also works as a linebacker, is a seamless transition in terms of responsibility. However, the rookie showed enough as a deep safety in college that he could easily provide depth behind Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown. I believe Berhe will get plenty of rotational snaps, eventually getting ahead of Cooper Taylor.
In the NFL, the safety spot is critical. Instincts and intelligence can go a long way, although physique, big hits and speed is always the focus among fans clamoring for an all-world safety. It’s that idea that you need a safety that is an absolute beast, preferably one with sub 4.4 speed, that’s big, with the ability to jump out of the gym and hit like a crash test car. This is what undermines the idea of Berhe’s potential. Nat Berhe doesn’t have that elite speed, he’ll never catch OBJ in team practice from behind, but he’ll be in position on the play because he is intelligent and instinctual. Even at his small size, Berhe can bump and run with TE’s and get physical with RB’s out of the backfield. The speed can be a major liability when covering deep routes, but for the role envisioned, Berhe has a chance.
The Giants know why they drafted him. Fans, have faith.
Credit: Nat Berhe on Youtube