With a need at safety, Uconn’s Junior Lee may be an option for the New York Giants in the draft.
University of Connecticut safety Junior Lee attended the New York Giants local Pro Day last Friday, participating in defensive and special teams drills with the staff, as well as meeting with Giants’ secondary coaches Tim Walton and David Merritt for some work in the film room.
Per a source, the 6’0″ and 209 lbs Lee even drew praise from Giants’ defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo for his work during the on field drills.
“We basically just did your everyday footwork drills, but with a more reaction base piece to it, so they could test our listening skills and our ability to react. Also, we did drills to see how well we move and test our athleticism,” said Lee on his workout with Big Blue. “I feel good about how I performed, I started off kind of nervous but as the day progressed I became acclimated to the process and found my comfort zone and just let it all go and I looked good doing it.”
Lee would fill an immediate and obvious need for the Giants should they bring him aboard. New York has a young crop off safeties, three of whom (Nat Berhe, Mykkele Thompson, and Bennett Jackson) all missed the entirety of last season due to injuries.
Meanwhile, Cooper Taylor has yet to show the Giants enough to make them think of anything other than a fringe roster player, and last year’s rookie starter Landon Collins still has a long ways to develop before reaching his full potential.
While it is very likely one of the safeties who landed on IR last season (keep an eye on Berhe) emerge as the team’s second starter, it would not hurt to bring in more depth at the position.
Especially when considering how versatile a player Lee is, and the kind of skill set he would bring to the table for the Giants, he looks like an excellent fit for the “Big Blue Wrecking Crew” Spags is hoping to revive.
“I think my size and ability to move gives me a great advantage and I’m good at taking in information,” said Lee. “Also, I have the ability to be versatile so I can be a safety, a linebacker, and even get some corner in. I also bring the possibility of dominating at all special teams slots, so I feel as if the Giants would get their money’s worth, and that’s what a lot of teams are looking for.”
Lee recorded 60 tackles, half a sack, five passes defended, and one interception for the Huskies over seasons.
He also excelled as a scout team and practice squad player, always putting the team first. As a red shirt in 2011, Lee won Offensive Scout Team Player of the Week and twice won Special Teams Scout Team Player of the Week over the course of the season.
“I want to say because of my size and ability to tackle and hit hard, I would say Kam Chancellor,” said the gritty Lee on his playmaking style. “But with more of an ability to cover man and the field.”
Lee’s upstanding character and New York upbringings also make him a perfect fit for the team first culture that has always been promoted throughout the Giants’ organization. As he strives to be an example both on and off the field for his teammates and fans.
“The most exciting thing would probably be the pride behind it,” said Lee on the prospect of playing for the Giants. “See I’m from NYC, and the people I have behind me looking at me as an example means everything to me and I will have the utmost pride in being a member of the Giants and playing football for them. For me, I’m just happy playing football because I love the game, but to play for the Giants I would be ecstatic. I’m proud of my city and being from there.”
Lee projects as a late round prospect/priority free agent signing. The Giants should definitely keep an eye on him in the later stages of the Draft, as well as after the fact should he go undrafted.