The New York Giants are through the first couple rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft, and the verdict is starting to come in on the players they’ve chosen to take. Both picks have gotten a decent reception so far, but the Giants’ second round pick was especially intriguing because the Giants had more directions they could have gone with it. In the end, their decision was to take Alabama safety Xavier McKinney to fill a much needed role.
The pick so far is regarded as a solid one. Antoine Bethea, after all, didn’t return to the Giants after spending the 2019 season with the team and because of that, the Giants have an open hole in the lineup up top next to Jabrill Peppers. There was always a chance for Julian Love to fill that position, but with the second round selection of McKinney, it looks like there will be a competition and Love could move elsewhere.
Xavier McKinney and Julian Love give the Giants a ton of flexibility within the secondary.
Bradberry, Baker, Peppers, Love and McKinney.
That’s a promising unit for the future.
— Vincent Rapisardi (@VinceRapisardi) April 24, 2020
The narrative is also that the Giants managed to get a player in the second round that could have went in the first. Head coach Joe Judge has been aware of McKinney for longer than just this year, and has experience working with McKinney’s college program.
Daniel Jeremiah on Xavier McKinney: "This is a first round player."
— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) April 24, 2020
Alabama coach Nick Saban told teams that S Xavier McKinney was one of his very favorite players. McKinney goes to @Giants at 36. New coach Joe Judge was on Saban’s staff as an analyst for 3 years.
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) April 24, 2020
The Giants have had a problem with defending against deep passing in the last couple of seasons but they get a safety who only allowed three touchdowns in college while in pass defense coverage – the addition is an immediate upgrade over the performance of the aging Bethea, who spent last season in the spot McKinney will likely fill.
Xavier McKinney career at Alabama:
984 Coverage snaps
3 TD allowed pic.twitter.com/NSP7YU4RV4
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 24, 2020
All and all, the Giants have snagged a pretty highly rated player in the second round, which is undoubtedly a steal that will help build the team up in Joe Judge’s first season. After taking a somewhat safe prospect in the first round and getting a second round steal, it looks like smooth sailing so far