Four impressive stats that will have Giants fans excited about Xavier McKinney

New York Giants, Xavier McKinney

The New York Giants are getting an elite playmaker in Xavier McKinney out of Alabama. As the number one rated safety in the 2020 NFL draft class, the Giants landed him at the top of the second round, an unexpected development that panned out in their favor.

McKinney is a high character player that received glowing reviews from legendary Alabama coach, Nick Saban. McKinney’s toughness and diversity are two positives that Saban mentioned, noting that he played multiple positions in college and has the ability to adapt and react on the move.

Saban said specifically:

“I think Xavier has a lot of diversity as a player,” Saban said. “He can play man-to-man, he’s got pretty good ball judgment, he’s a good tackler, he’s got a lot of toughness, he’s a very instinctive and effective blitzer. He’s got some burst and acceleration to come off the edge or blitz up the middle and he’s got enough power to take on a blocker if he needs to. So he can do just about all the critical factors in terms of what we look for in a safety here. As he got experience, he was smart enough to be able to play multiple positions.

“I think the guy’s got some dog in him. He’s a competitive guy. He’s a playmaker. We have a production point system here that we use, and he was always high on that board because he forces fumbles, shows up in the right place, does a good job of executing. He’s instinctive, he’s a quick reactor, he’s got a burst. He can be a knock-back tackler. So he’s always been a real playmaker for us and it comes in a lot of different ways, but that’s probably his greatest strength – his production.”

The stand-out defender brings a ton of upside to the defense, specifically at the free safety position. The Giants have struggled to contain the long-ball in recent years, and now they have a player who can move up to the line of scrimmage and act as a ball hawk in the secondary.

However, McKinney brings four elite-level stats with him from college:

1.) Solo Tackles

The Giants’ defense has lacked a sure-fire tackler in the backfield, and McKinney brings elite fundamentals in that category. He ranked second overall in the SEC with 59 solo tackles in 2019. Having a player you can trust in the open field is precisely what the Giants have been missing, and he will be an essential factor for them on defense when it comes to containing plays across the middle or speedy-wideouts looking to expose the boundaries.

2.) Total Tackles
McKinney ranked sixth overall in total tackles, compiling 95 last season. If you compare that to his solo tackles, he posted an additional 36 where he helped a teammate take down an offensive player. Not only is he capable of bringing down runners in the open field, but he has great game speed. Often times, the Giants would rely on singular players to make defensive stops, but we should expect McKinney to be around the ball frequently moving forward.
3.) Interceptions
If you remember Curtis Riley and Antoine Bethea, you likely remember how terrible they were in the secondary. Nicknamed, “no angle Riley,” the days of poor free safety play are hopefully over. McKinney ranked eighth in the SEC with three interceptions last season, showing off his ability to create turnovers and help his defense get off the field. Mitigating fatigue is essential in the NFL, and McKinney will help exponentially in that category with his turnover rate.
4.) Fumbles
Speaking of turnovers, McKinney posted for forced fumbles last year with the Crimson Tide. This only attests to his tackling fundamentals and his ability to get to the ball quickly. His timing and punch are excellent, and having a turnover machine in the backfield that can step up and help against the run will be significant. Overall, the Giants are gaining a player that essentially is Isaiah Simmons at the safety position. He can drop back in coverage, move up to the line of scrimmage and rush the passer, cover the slot, and so much more. We should expect defensive coordinator Patrick Graham to utilize him in various different ways, and that should brew excitement within the fanbase.

MLB News: MLB Draft to take place Wednesday and Thursday, details

For the New York Yankees and the other 29 MLB teams, there may be no baseball right now due to the coronavirus and contentious negotiations between the owners and players.  But all is not gloom as MLB provides hope of future baseball by holding the 2020 baseball Draft.

It will not be like any draft held before, because this one will only five rounds instead of the usual 40 rounds. The 2020 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft will take place on June 10-11th. The draft will assign amateur baseball players to MLB teams.  Teams will select players in a draft order that is based on the reverse of last season’s standings.  This means the New York Yankees will select 28th in the draft order.

But the reduction of rounds is hardly the only change this year.  The players will not be able to attend the draft.  Like so many school proms and graduations have been held virtually so will the MLB Draft broadcast with twenty-three of the top players — including 12 of the top 13 on the Draft Top 200 — joining the coverage virtually, Major League Baseball announced on Friday.

Another difference is that the draft will be broadcast on multiple television channels.  This year you can watch the draft on the MLB Network and on ESPN. The broadcast will be live at 7 pm Eastern on Wednesday and Thursday. New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman will also take part in the virtual event by remote camera along with executives from each of the other 29 MLB clubs.

The first night (June 10) will feature the first 37 picks (the first round plus Competitive Balance Round A) and coverage will continue on Thursday, June 11, on MLB Network and ESPN2 at 5 p.m. ET and last through the duration of the five-round event (picks 38 through 160).

All 23 players — nine pitchers, six outfielders, four infielders, three catchers, and one infielder/outfielder — scheduled to appear are ranked within the top 36 of the Draft Top 200.  If you would like a preview of the draft, tonight at 6 p.m. ET, you can preview the pitchers available in the draft. Sunday at the same time infielders will be previewed, and Monday, they will cover the outfielders.  The preview shows will only be on the MLB Network.

For a complete list of all those players participating in the virtual broadcast, go here. Click here for the top 200 prospects.  Click here for the complete MLBN coverage of the 2020 Draft. Count on EmpireSportsMedia.com for all the coverage you will need as the 2020 MLB Draft is completed.