Could Giants’ forgotten cornerback steal the starting slot job?

aaron robinson, new york giants
Aug 11, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Kristian Wilkerson (17) makes a catch against New York Giants cornerback Aaron Robinson (33) during the first half of a preseason game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are bracing for an intense position battle for the slot in the upcoming training camp and preseason. The management made strategic moves during the off-season to enhance the cornerback position, recruiting Deonte Banks from Maryland and taking on several late-round picks to increase the overall athleticism of the roster.

The Giants hope to extract the best performance from several veterans, particularly Darnay Holmes, Aaron Robinson, second-year DB Cor’Dale Flott, and possibly Bobby McCain, who is anticipated to be utilized in a versatile role.

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Optimistic Scenario for the Giants

Ideally, Flott, who the Giants drafted from LSU in the third round last year, would secure the starting position, displaying excellent tackling and coverage skills. Despite grappling with injuries in his rookie year, Flott’s talent is well-suited to the heavy man coverage defensive scheme championed by Wink Martindale.

That being said, Robinson’s strong performance in the slot during his collegiate days with UCF before transitioning to the boundary at the NFL level could make him a serious contender for the slot position.

Aaron Robinson’s Performance and Potential

At just 24, Robinson, who stands at 6-foot-1 and weighs 193 pounds, has clocked 340 total snaps in his professional career with the Giants. He has allowed 181 yards, one touchdown, and made three pass breakups. Despite a limited sample size, he has achieved commendable grades. However, injuries have significantly impeded his progress, despite showing great promise as a former third-round pick.

The main question hanging over Florr’s potential is his tackling and run defense skills, given his slender frame as a corner. He may lack the overall strength to plug gaps and resist blockers at the second level, but Robinson’s added size and strength suggest he could be a more suitable fit.

A Realistic Outlook

Expectations should remain measured due to Robinson’s limited playing time over the past two seasons. Furthermore, the other alternatives are not significantly better. Flott’s contribution remains uncertain, and Holmes has faced considerable difficulties with his coverage across his three NFL seasons.

Last year, Holmes clocked a total of 637 snaps, surrendering 527 yards and making six pass breakups with nine penalties, almost double his previous high of five in 2020. Despite displaying good tackling skills and field vision, Holmes has had issues with his technique and has been vulnerable against slot receivers at times.

At the very least, the slot position should be fiercely contested, and given Robinson’s past potential, it would be premature to count him out of the competition at this stage.