Gophers' Nubin is first safety selected in NFL draft

Former Gophers safety Tyler Nubin is headed to New York.

Nubin became the first safety taken in this year's NFL draft when the New York Giants selected him with their second-round pick (47th overall). He rejoins former Gophers teammates in linebacker Carter Coughlin and center John Michael Schmitz, who were also draft picks by the Giants.

Nubin was part of a run on defensive backs during Friday night's second round.

Four cornerbacks, including Iowa's Cooper DeJean and Alabama's Kool-Aid McKinstry, were drafted consecutively before the Giants drafted Nubin. He was the eighth defensive back selected in this year's draft, but the first who played safety in college.

Nubin joins a Giants defense in flux under new coordinator Shane Bowen, who was hired after Wink Martindale resigned this offseason. New York also lost starting safety Xavier McKinney to the Packers in free agency.

Nubin was a dominant ball-hawking safety over 55 games with the Gophers. He intercepted a program-record 13 passes, surpassing former teammate Antoine Winfield Jr.'s nine picks in maroon and gold. Now Nubin is chasing Winfield's NFL success.

Winfield, a first-team All-Pro defender last season, was also a second-round pick, by the Buccaneers in 2020.

"He definitely set the standard," Nubin said at the NFL scouting combine. "A lot of my game and how I approach the game came from Antoine Winfield Jr. ... The way he studies film, the way he attacks practice every day, just full-on 100 percent intensity. Like what you see on game day is how he is the other six days a week. I think that's really important to be like that."

The Vikings have no second or third round pick and are on the clock again at No. 108 in the fourth round on Saturday.