A fresh look at the Giants’ secondary heading into the 2023 season

dane belton, new york giants

The New York Giants have made some significant changes to their defensive backfield this offseason. One of the team’s biggest off-season acquisitions was first-round draft pick Deonte Banks. The Maryland cornerback will join the Giants’ rebuilt secondary featuring an abundance of young talent that projects into the starting lineup.

Projecting the New York Giants secondary in 2023:

With the recent addition of Banks and the recent departure of Julian Love, here’s the projected starting defensive backfield for the New York Giants in 2023:

  • CB1: Adoree’ Jackson
  • CB2: Deonte Banks
  • SLCB: Cor’Dale Flott
  • FS: Xavier McKinney
  • SS: Dane Belton

Veteran CB Adoree’ Jackson will continue to maintain his role as the Giants’ primary boundary corner. Jackson proved his value to the team after holding Vikings WR Justin Jefferson to only 47 yards with zero touchdowns in the Giants’ Wild Card victory against Minnesota. As he enters the final year of his deal, however, Jackson’s future is uncertain.

Opposite Jackson will be New York’s first-round draft pick, Deonte Banks. The Giants reportedly attempted to trade up into the middle of the first round for Banks before ultimately moving up one spot to take him with the 24th overall selection. Banks is an elite athlete and projects as a day-one starter on the boundary.

Competition is brewing for the Giants’ slot cornerback position. Entering his second season, Cor’Dale Flott looks like a strong contender to win the starting job. Flott appeared in 11 games during his rookie 2022 season, making six starts and totaling 26 combined tackles with two passes defended.

Competing with Flott, though, will be the likes of Aaron Robinson and Darnay Holmes. Robinson missed the majority of last season with injuries. Holmes played in 15 games but struggled consistently. Any of these three players could win the starting role this summer, though, as each player has red flags.

Xavier McKinney will maintain his role as New York’s starting free safety. Entering his fourth season, McKinney is establishing himself as one of the NFL’s brightest young defensive backs.

Alongside McKinney, though, there will be a major change to the lineup. Veteran safety Julian Love departed in free agency this offseason, leaving the strong safety position wide open for the taking. In all likelihood, second-year DB Dane Belton will take the job. However, seventh-round draft pick Gervarrius Owens could be a sleeper to steal this job.

Belton and Owens, though, are not prototypical strong safeties. Both players have far more experience playing free safety than strong safety. Considering New York’s lack of personnel in this department, McKinney may be forced to move into the box and play strong safety this season, opening the free safety spot for Belton and Owens.

Overall, New York has solidified the depth in their secondary this offseason. Banks will hopefully serve as a major upgrade at CB2 while loads of young talent in the slot and at safety hopefully develop to create a competent defensive backfield for the Giants.

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