Over the past week the New York Giants draft class have officially begun signings. From the start of free agency the Giants budget has always been the center of attention. This year they were able to make decent picks based on the $133 million they had to spend.
The Giants made Berhe their first of two fifth-round picks with the 152nd-overall selection. After the selection, coach Tom Coughlin, general manager Jerry Reese and vice president of player evaluation Marc Ross all used the same phrase to describe Berhe’s game. He’s “a football player,” they all said.
When you look at $133 million salary cap, you have to question where a chunk of that money goes. Of the seven men chosen in the draft the first to be inked was Andre Williams and Nat Berhe last Friday. All contracts are for four years with the exception of first round pick.
Andre Williams was drafted in the fourth round and has signed for $2,673,600 contract terms and an average salary of $668,400. Nat Berhe, a fifth round draft pick, was signed for $2,412,800 with an average salary of $603,200. Not bad for a 21 and 22 year old fresh out of college.
Berhe showed his excitement through Twitter and tweeted out “First Eritrean in the NFL?” His father was born in the country, which is located in the Horn of Africa and resided there until he moved to the United Sates. They have never had an NFL athlete come out of this region so it has brought extreme nationalistic support.
Mostly, instincts are innate, they can’t be learned. Some players have it, some don’t. The Giants insist that Berhe has them. He knows where he’s supposed to be and anticipates where the play is headed. It’s these natural instincts that allow him to make plays without hesitation.
Berhe’s not huge and only 5-10 and 193 pounds. “He is very instinctive and physical for a small guy,” Ross said. “But that is his trait. He is very physical.”
Just look at the first few plays of his highlight reel here. Berhe acts as a fearless missile, throwing his body at receivers and running backs with little regard for the affect it may have on his body. You may think it’s a prerequisite for a safety to have play with this type of fearlessness and veracity. But not everyone at the position plays with the same willingness to deliver hits and be involved in contact. Berhe is. This play, where he jumps on the pile in an attempt to help out his teammates, displays the willingness. It may seem like a harmless play, but it shows his personality and naturally aggressive nature.
Berhe was effective in almost any role San Diego State drew up for his skills. It also used Berhe as a blitzer and run-stopper. He was a versatile weapon.
“Different defenses call it something different,” Ross said. “But this guy knows multiple positions and again it is a guy that plays hard and has a high motor.”
The Giants call it the Deon Grant package. That is where they see Berhe fitting in best (especially early in his career), as the third safety in the 3-safety sets that defensive coordinator Perry Fewell likes to utilize.
For the Giants, Berhe’s instincts, fearlessness, versatility and cover ability left them confident that they have “a football player.”