At nearly the midway point of the 2022 season, the New York Giants’ defense ranks 16th in the NFL. In his first year of leading the unit, defensive coordinator Wink Martindale has done a remarkable job. The Giants’ defense has had some great moments, and many players have stepped up.
Some unsung heroes from out of nowhere have delivered in a big way and rounded out the group with depth. Also, some starting players, still relatively young, have contributed and flown under the radar across the team.
One of those young players who is getting his best opportunity to date and proving himself as the most underrated player in this defense is safety, Julian Love.
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Why Julian Love is the New York Giants’ most underrated player on defense:
Love has played 100% of the Giants’ snaps defensively through seven of eight games. He is a young, fourth-year, 24-year-old safety who looks to be hitting his best playing days.
So far, at almost the midpoint of the year, Love has one interception, two passes defended, a forced fumble, a sack, three tackles for loss, a quarterback hit, and 58 total tackles. Safe to say, Love has filled out the stat sheet as best as possible.
Per PFF, the top two areas of Love’s game this year have been his tackling, which grades at 76.8, and his coverage which is graded at 68.1. His tackling has been 79.4 or better in four games. Love’s coverage has been 64.7 or better in four games. He has allowed 14 receptions on 21 targets for 181 yards and only one touchdown. In run defense, Love has graded 63.3 or better three times.
It is great to see a young player finally given a starting role and playing well. Love has played 92% of the Giants’ snaps this year. Over his first three years, his highest percentage of snaps accumulated was 66%. Love is a versatile player doing a lot of good things for the Giants and establishing himself as the defense’s most underrated player.